Sunday, April 21, 2024

New Music Monday: Zoë-Blue tells stories of liberation through folk songs

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Victoria and Vancouver Island have a lot of musical talent, and Victoria Buzz wants to highlight some of the best and brightest local artists and bands.

Every Monday, there will be a fresh ‘New Music Monday’ article to help people find and support local artists and bands that are up-and-coming, well established or hidden gems!

For this endeavour, Victoria Buzz has partnered with our good friends at CFUV 101.9 FM, UVic’s campus radio station, to find and select the musicians and bands for this regular column.

This week, Zoë-Blue is the New Music Monday highlight!

Zoë-Blue is a folk artist who is inspired by the art of storytelling through music. 

She has been playing guitar and writing since she was a little girl, but for this project in particular, she wanted to make music like some of the artists that have inspired her. 

“I just love folk music,” Zoë-Blue told Victoria Buzz.

“I studied history when I was in university and I just have been a longtime lover of history. I really admired the stories told that is the folk tradition.”

She says the most impactful moments in her life have been listening to someone tell a story with an instrument in hand. 

Zoë-Blue says she was more of a classical musician when she began, but her love for artists such as Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot and Rita Chairelli pushed her toward more folk rhythms. 


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Although she has never recorded her music, Zoë-Blue performed live on CFUV in Victoria for the show Hot Local Singles In Your Playlist. 

“To be honest with you, I hate the process of recording,” Zoë-Blue explained. “I found it really tedious so I really am just excited to have these sessions so that I can maybe make something out of that.”

She says her focus is not on the recording process, but rather on uplifting and contributing to Victoria’s music community. 

“My aims with my music are to speak truth to power and talk about important things that a lot of folks who are going to shows aren’t really keeping an eye on,” Zoë-Blue said. 

She also aspires leading a liberation choir with other like minded people who want to breathe and sing together in acts of protest and social justice. 

One song that Zoë-Blue wanted to highlight from her live CFUV session was Draining Houses after being inspired by the atmospheric river which impacted BC in 2021. 

“‘Floods of oil slick to the road,’ is how it starts,” Zoë-Blue said. 

She works at the Compost Education Centre in Victoria and says she spent the week sharing on social media how important compost is for water retention.

Zoë-Blue says she then sat down with her grandparents and confessed she was feeling depressed from climate grief and her elders could not empathize with her while comparing the strife their generation faced with her generation’s issues.

“I was just mad and quite sad and feeling a bit of hopelessness and so that’s where that song came from, just pure anger at the ways that a lot of people are oblivious to how much their actions really contribute to the issues we’re seeing,” she explained.

“The line ‘Thank god I’m not a banker, so I don’t have any money to mend your houses that you built on stolen land,’ that’s where that comes from.”

Watch and listen to Zoë-Blue’s live CFUV session here:

If you want to see Zoë-Blue perform, she is playing a fundraiser on March 23th at the Fernwood Community Centre (Big Fernwood). 

CFUV is a non-profit campus and community radio station that plays a ton of local music of all kinds across Vancouver Island. If you like to support local music they are an amazing resource with a plethora of new local tunes in their arsenal. 

Coming up between March 15th and 22nd, they’ll be doing their annual Funding Drive, where they will have special shows and programming in order to help them raise money to operate the station.

“I personally think that CFUV is the best radio station in our region,” Zoë-Blue told Victoria Buzz. 

“I think that they highlight a very diverse range of voices in our community and I, for one, really value that. They create a warm and inviting space for artists like myself.”

Tune into CFUV 101.9 FM on air or online and, if you can, donate to their Funding Drive!

Let us know what you think of Zoë-Blue in the comments below.

mm
Curtis Blandy
curtis@victoriabuzz.com

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