a career in the performing arts 20 years ago. For several years I toured professionally throughout Canada, the United States, and even Japan, playing keyboards for Australian pop-star Ben Lee, and in my own bands (The Way Out, TV Heart Attack, The Buffalo Jump) touring numerous times with Tegan and Sara, Biff Naked and other artists.
Around 2011 I had begun to put music "behind me" in terms of a career, and it sort of faded from my life as I became more and more focused on post-secondary studies and eventually my career in social policy and planning. I work for the City of Vancouver (which means the people of Vancouver!) as a Social Planner overseeing work on poverty reduction and community economic development. I've worked on these and other related issues in the city's Downtown Eastside since 2009, and many of my songs draw from my work in community.
I also draw inspiration from political and social developments here in BC and elsewhere. From the impacts of the fentanyl/opioid crisis in communities to housing affordability. From LGBTQ2S rights and persecution in Russia to the shocking election of Donald Trump and the troubling anti-democratic trends surfacing in the U.S. As a lover of geography, and an environmentalist, there are also some environmental justice and climate action related lyrics in some of these songs. I ran as the Green Party of Canada's candidate in the 2015 Federal Election in Vancouver East, some of these songs were actually inspired by that experience too.
I have felt the itch to record an album about the things I have seen and experience here for years and have invested time and money into this album as a way of celebrating 20 years in Vancouver.
I'm about halfway done but I can't do it alone though!
In my time living in Vancouver I've worked with, musically or otherwise, amazing musicians who I've asked to perform on this album and I believe in paying artists fairly. I need about another $4,000 to finish the album and half of it will be going to artist performances and the other half to remaining studio time and post-production.
I'm deeply grateful for any support, I've been chipping away at this album for over a year and with your help I can get this across the finish line in this milestone of a year. I hope you enjoy the songs.
- Melanie Conn
- Billy Hepper
- Ezra Cipes
- David Butt
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