For Raghu Lokanathan, the 10-year journey – that took him from a university teaching assistant to a Nova Scotia organic farmer to a Prince George singer-songwriter – is about a desire to tell stories.
Lokanathan, a songwriter in the same folk tradition as Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, says that after 10 years of searching, “I concluded that [music] was what I enjoyed doing most.”
His music is straight-forward, simple and tries to say something meaningful.
“Quite a few of my songs tend to be story-telling kinds of songs – it’s become an important element of my song writing.”
Some of his stories are drawn from personal experience – or from the experience of family and friends. Others begin from these roots, but emerge with their own shape from Lokanathan’s imagination.
And those stories will be on display in Wells this weekend as Lokanathan gets ready to play the Island Mountain Arts gallery 7:30 p.m. Saturday, December 13. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for kids.
Lokanathan is already becoming a familiar face in the PG music scene – performing at Art Space and at the recent CFUR Handshaker concert.
Lokanathan has just finished recording his second album – set for release in early January. His first, Everywhere I’ve Ever Been, was made in the spring of 2001 in Nova Scotia on borrowed equipment in a friend’s basement.
His second album, which he says is slightly more formal, was recorded by David Essig, an accomplished singer-songwriter from Thetis Island.
And Lokanathan is using January’s CD-release as a springboard to launch his career.
Lokanathan is an independent artist and has been learning about the business of music on his own.
He has a demo recording comprised of three songs from his upcoming CD. The demo – combined with photo, bio, and clippings – is then shopped around to different promoters and venue owners.
“I do a bit of door-to-door sales. I call people and tell them I’m a singer-songwriter trying to arrange a tour.”
Lokanathan says that a lot of the work is now done on-line – both musicians and venues have their own websites.
“I don’t have a website, and I’m kind of reluctant, but I may have to at some point.”