East Van Digital label head and performer of Shambhala for many years knows better than many the cultural significance held by Salmo’s neighbourhood ranch. Being who he is and how long he has been entrenched in Western Canada’ music he offers up a unique perspective we are fortunate to hear first hand.
If you had a to pick two genres that have echoed throughout the years from the PK systems which would they be?
It’s no secret that a large part of the popularity of the Village at Shambhala is the sound provided by PK. They’ve made a home in the Village for years and their stage is renowned for all things drum & bass and Dubstep. In a sense, you could say that modern North American Dubstep was born there, having both inspired and championed artists like Excision & Datsik who have both had large rolls in bringing that genre to feverish heights.
Why has Shambhala been so successful in being a part of our piece of Western Canada’s music scene?
There are so many elements that come together to make an event like that successful over the span of 17+ years, the base of which is that it evolved from a grassroots music community and retains that ethos…that resonates with people. Next, obviously, is the music. A variety of acts that span across all electronic genres, with a healthy mix of homegrown and international artists, they are always ahead of the curve when it comes to booking talent, as well as providing an incredible stage for locals to showcase on.
What have you seen your artists (EVD) bring from Shambhala to the studio?
For many of our artists, Shambhala is the peak to their festival season, so for many veterans, who both play & stay for the event, we leave inspired, having soaked in a lot of fresh sounds in a short time. It’s also a prime place for artists to meet and discuss collaborations as creativity runs high in that environment.
If you had to narrow it down to one thing that the festival best represents for local artists what would it be?
I think the answer lies within the question: The festival best represents local artists. With regular attendance topping ten thousand people, Shambhala has been instrumental in giving locals centre stage and representation on par with international headliners.
Now that Shambhala Digital has come into play what does this mean for artists of the region?
It’s nice to see them take things a step further, this will provide even more exposure for artists affiliated with the festival, and get their music to a larger audience. They have a huge talent pool to work with, spanning multiple genres, so it should make for a nice representation of what is happening on the ground during the festival.
What were your highlights of 2014?
Playing my Caturday Morning Disco set to a dance floor full of people sporting cat themed attire was the top highlight for me. As an avowed house head, I did also manage to search out some great house music from My Nu Leng, Hannah Wants, Chris Lorenzo, Mark Farina, JGirl & Manousos, and Rich-E-Rich.
What does Shambhala mean to you?
Something different every time I go, all dependent on where I’m at in my life. In the early years, it was about having a blast with my friends. The last few years, with the introduction of the East Van Digital label, I’ve been more business focused. This year, I simply wanted to treat it as a genuine vacation with my girlfriend. Shambhala can be what you make it.