Pop Okanagan SPECIAL FEATURE: Jeff Pike of Windborn

As we count down the days until Pop Okanagan in Kelowna, oook.ca contributor Katie Brennan sat down with 4 local musicians to hear their thoughts on Pop Okanagan and the Okanagan Music Scene and to find out when and where you can see them play during Pop Okanagan. Recently, she met up with Jeff Pike of Windborn to hear what he’s up to and his thoughts on Pop Okanagan. Here’s their conversation.


oook: How is it for you to be an independent musician in Kelowna? Do you tour a lot or do you play here quite regularly?
JP: Kelowna is a good spot to be based out of to tour western Canada. Mostly I do
weekenders around the interior and the coast. Kelowna has enough of a music scene
that I can play here between 2 and 6 times a month at different types of venues with
different types of audiences.

oook: What are the available venues like in Kelowna?
JP: It seems like the venues in Kelowna are always changing. For quite a while I
played mainly at the Grateful Fed and then a lot at the Habitat. For a while a lot
of cafe’s were starting to have regular live music. Now there are only a few.
Everything seems to change quickly. There’s always something going on though. You
just have to stay in the loop or create opportunities yourself.

oook: What’s your sense of the music scene in Kelowna and in the whole Okanagan in general?
JP: The music scene in Kelowna and the rest of the Okanagan is still hanging in there
largely due to the fact that there are people here who appreciate original art.
People like to discover and create something new. Not just in Kelowna but in most
parts of BC which is why BC is a good place to be based as an original artist.

oook: How has it changed in the last five years?
JP: The music scene always changes with people’s preferences in music. Whatever is
being force fed on mainstream radio always has a huge impact on the music scene. For
example lately top 40 radio is mostly dance tracks really. You’ll hear a lot of the
same music at a club. So not as many people are coming out to concerts anywhere
because they would rather go check out a DJ. Satellite radio and other stations like
CBC Radio 3 have helped keep bands and musicians alive.

oook:What are your thoughts on playing Pop Okanagan?
JP: I’m really looking forward to Pop Okanagan. I think it will draw more and more
people every year and could end up being a pretty big event in the Canadian music
scene. The setting, the venues and the talent that are here will make it a success.
This year is a good chance for a lot of local musicians to get their foot in the
door for future years.

oook: What do you think Pop Okanagan brings to Kelowna?
JP: Pop Okanagan brings a vibe to Kelowna that can be lost if no one organizes events like
this. Kelowna has a reputation for art and culture. If events like this don’t happen
though the reputation is lost pretty fast and bands cease to exist or move away to
other places that are keeping the music scene alive.

oook:How do you think Pop Okanagan compares to Breakoutwest?
JP: Pop Okanagan and Breakout West I think will have a similar feel. The main
difference though is that Pop Okanagan has an emphasis on local artists which is important
because every artist is local somewhere. If they’re not supported in their own town
then they either quit or have to move on.

oook: What are you working on right now?
JP: Right now I’m just writing and playing concerts supporting my last CD, Spitting
Bullets. I’m booking a Western Canada tour for January and am currently attempting
to get my cost of living down to a minimum so that I can try to make my music for a
living and do nothing else. If I can do that then I can have the time to make my
music even better.

oook: Where and when will you be playing for Pop Okanagan?
JP: I’ll be playing 2 sets at the Grateful Fed for Pop Okanagan. One on Thursday Oct
13th at 9pm and Saturday the 15th at 10pm. It’s a small venue and it will be packed
so come early to get your elbow room.

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