B.C. songwriter Shane Philip will bring his unique style of music to Tracks this Friday at 8 p.m.
The Quadra Island musician has been working as a non-stop touring musician since 2005.
"I reached a point in my life where I wanted to completely follow my passion, without any fear of not making a living doing it or having to support someone,î said Philip.
"It has been amazing ever since I made that decision.î
Philip has been playing music all his life. He started playing the ukulele when he started walking.
"I have always been musical and I have always been able to make music on almost anything, but I have never had lessons,î he said.
In university in Thunder Bay, he studied to become a social studies teacher. After his degree was done, he moved to B.C., where he taught for seven years. He still found a way to incorporate music into his job.
"One day, one of the kids asked what I was doing teaching school instead of playing music,î he remembered.
"I kind of took it to heart.î
Philip said he had become a teacher because he wanted to touch on and change people's lives.
He discovered that he could do it in a much more powerful way through his music.
When it comes to songwriting, Philip is inspired by everyday life and nature.
"I write about things that I believe are important, like not using plastic bags, taking care of our environment and treating all life with respect and dignity,î he said.
While some spectators might not agree with the songs' subject matter, they can still dance.
Philip plays the guitar, the drums and the didgeridoo while he sings. For this tour, he is accompanied on percussions by Zach Sukuweh, another B.C. musician. Sukuweh was actually the one that introduced him to the didgeridoo.
"When I first met Zach Sukuweh, he was with a drumming band out of Cortes Island. He had a couple of songs he did on the didgeridoo,î said Philip.
"I heard it and the sound was so powerful for me because I could hear what it was doing in the textures and the notes. Also, it gave me a feeling that no other music has ever given me before.î
Philip describes the effect the didgeridoo has on him as visceral and cerebral. After hearing Sukuweh play it, he knew he had to learn how to play it.
Philip cannot categorize his style of music. While there are elements of reggae and rock, he will borrow from many different genres.
Once this tour is over in mid-February, Philip will make his way to Toronto to plays shows there. He is also thinking about planning a U.S. tour.
"Hopefully, that is going to include Hawaii,î he concluded.