Fresh from the Juno Awards, electronic musician Lights headed west this week to visit Alpha Secondary School to celebrate their win of $12,000 worth of music gear, thanks to MusiCounts, Roland Canada, and SiriusXM Canada.
Back on the road next week, Lights talks love, groupies, and the power of music.
Pop Counter//Culture: Why is it important to keep the arts alive in public schools?
Lights: Music is an incredibly powerful thing. Sometimes people dismiss it as less important because it’s not tangible but being able to provide kids with tools to actually experience music is really cool.
I went to a lot of different high schools because I moved around a lot and I never had a music program. I relied on going home and borrowing my dad’s gear. That provide a launch pad for me but a lot of parents aren’t musicians. When a school has instruments kids can feel it out, see what they like, and invest in instruments later, but at least there is an exploratory field for them.
PCC: Your first record was described as ‘pretty’, the second ‘gritty’, what’s the third sounding like?
Lights: I don’t know yet! It’s exciting. Music is so volatile. It’s something you can’t control and it’s so strong. It just comes. When it’s time for a new record, you gotta wait for the new place, the new place in your life. So, I’m waiting for the third right now.
PCC: What kind of place did Siberia come from?
Lights: Siberia is as much of a love record that I can make at this point. It’s not lovey dovey but it comes from a place where there is pureness in love. There’s something to be said when you can find something that puts your heart at ease.
With the first record your writing about things you’ve been though and things you’re dealing with. With the second, you can lay back and smell the roses, delve into another world, so it becomes an adventure.
PCC: The Juno Awards, which you preformed at, have been taking a little heat after naming Michael Bublé’s Christmas record Album of the Year as opposed to Drake’s critically and commercially successful effort, Take Care. Who should have won?
Lights: That’s frustrating for the underdog. I’m not speaking for myself necessarily but success is always such a fluke and it doesn’t mean that what you’re doing isn’t good. That being said, I love Michael Bublé and I’m glad he won. He’s got an amazing voice and such a charismatic personality. He deserves it.
PCC: You turn 25 next week. Is this where you thought you’d be?
Lights: If I would have talked to myself 10 years ago, I would have been really pleased at where I am. I always knew I was going to get into music and I knew certain things would be in place, but I never thought it would be the way that it is now. It’s a lot harder than I would have thought but it’s a lot more rewarding, and a lot more longstanding. If you do things right you can provide yourself a vision for 10 years down the road as opposed to what’s going on this year.
PCC: You tweeted earlier this year about being misconstrued as a groupie while backstage. That happens to you?
Lights: This is just one example, I was in Dallas and I headed back into the venue and the security guard said, “she can’t be back here without a pass.”
He assumed the guy [ I was with] was the one playing and I was automatically the groupie. It really accentuates the fact there are far fewer women in the industry. It’s changing but it’s a frustrating thing to deal with. The more you deal with it, the more sensitive you are to the issue and you get angry especially when you work so hard.
But the best thing you can do, is by the end of the night turn them into believers. Show them you are amazing at what you do. Prove them wrong.