After a summer jam-packed with local art and music, Jam in Jubilee 2018 wrapped up yet another successful year on Thursday, Aug. 2. Preceded by Vancouver-based Sister Says, and Abbotsford’s Ben Cottrill, local DJ Simon Bridgefoot wowed attendees with an impressive set list. Before he claimed the stage, however, The Cascade was able to grab a moment of the accomplished artist’s time to ask him about his history with the Abbotsford Arts Council and what he’s been up to lately.
Jam in Jubilee is put on by the Abbotsford Arts Council (AAC), whom you’ve been involved with before, having done an artist residency with them just last year. How did you enjoy working with them and how did you feel when they asked you to headline this week’s show?
At the time when I was doing the artist residency at the AAC with Kristen Witko, a girl that I lived with was actually their executive director. So, it was very easy to have conversations about how we could use the Kariton Gallery space, and what we could utilize the AAC’s resources for. So it all felt very familiar going through everything that we did. The people that we ended up getting to play on my record and on Kristen’s record were all pals of ours, and it felt like a sort of a little family.
One of the workshops that we did ended up hooking me up with this guy called David Ivan Neil. We did some recording together and now he’s really active in the Abbotsford, Fraser Valley, and Lower Mainland area. The whole experience was very natural, but it was also very nerve-racking, leading the workshops. So, I got pretty anxious about that. When I found out that the AAC wanted me to come back and do the last week of Jam in Jubilee, I was really excited, and I was also really nervous. Those things do seem to go hand in hand. I was trying to think about how I’ve never done a park DJ set before, since usually I’m in closed environments.
So, you’ve previously released music under the title “The Parish of Little Clifton” until last fall when you released your third album, “Ghosts Was Here” under your own name. How do you feel this change has benefited you and your career?
A: It’s a little bit early on to say, but when I released that album I made the change because it felt very personal to me, and I wanted to just put it under my name. When I started DJing, I never really chose a DJ name. So, now my birth name is sort of turning into a personal brand and artist name. At this point it’s hard to say what that’s really done. Maybe it’s made things a little more personal in terms of people knowing me. I don’t know, maybe there will be some weird fallout in a couple of years.
Do you currently have any new material in the works? Any other shows planned in the near future?
I’m always working on material, and the album I did with Kristen at the Arts Council has yet to be released. Right now, I’m working on a lot of music from this disposition of trying to be a sort of scientist about it. I’m being very methodical and mathematical and spending a very long time with things. I have a couple rules for myself, like if I start something then I have to finish it. So right now, I’m working on something that I don’t really want to work on. But I also don’t want to break my rule. There’s always things proliferating, but I don’t feel very active compositionally right now.
Image: Brian Chan