How do you balance between music and life?

Well, balancing can be a challenge. Essentially, I have to accept that, while I’m a student, music has to take a back seat in my life, which means less shows than I would like. Between working, paper writing, and class time, I’m not able to give myself much time for devoted music time. That being said, music has a way of sneaking into my day to day stuff. Concepts and melodies for songs show up abruptly and seem to love interrupting me when my head’s fully engaged with something else. Frankly, I love it. It’s encouraging to me that when I can’t make as much time for music as I would like, my music forces itself into my life. All that being said, I’ll still get together with a friend once in a blue moon and record something in a tunnel with a cool reverb.

What has surprised you most about putting yourself out there in such a personal way?

How much of an art staying sincere is. When you watch the musicians you love perform, you can get lost so easily in the beauty of what they’re singing and playing. When I’m the one playing though, some kind of strange wall of insecurity can pop up, making it hard to know if what I’m playing is sincere. It adds a whole new dynamic to playing my music, because, instead of mainly focus on how tight my finger picking is, I have to remind myself that doing this because I love it is far more important.

How do you find Folk music as something which compliments your area of study?

Oh man. If I hadn’t minored in English, I don’t think I would have become a storytelling folk artist. Reading English poetry, especially Romantics like Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Keats, immersed me in stories and expressions which helped me form some of the earliest work I was happiest with. I once converted Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner into a freestyle shanty as a class project, which was beyond fun to do. Literature is like fuel for me as a songwriter. The more I’m able to engage with authors I love, the more I produce work which I love.


Arts Editor   Cheryl is in her third year of VIU’s Creative Writing program. Recipient of the 2017 Gisele Merlet Award, she has a passion for the written word, and lives for the arts community. Cheryl moved to Nanaimo in September 2014 to pursue her writing career.

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