Bahamas is Coming to Newfoundland … Afie Jurvanen on Fishing the Gander, Hip Hop Lyrics, and the Story Behind “Little Record Girl.”

Bahamas will be performing with his full band at Harbourage Music Festival in St. John's Sept. 5th

This year Harbourage Music Festival reeled in quite a line up: local acts Green and Gold, Steve Maloney and the Wandering Kind, Johnny and the Cowabungas will share the stage with the come-from-aways Rich Aucoin, Dan Mangan + Blacksmith and of course, Bahamas. 

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When I got Afie Jurvanen on the line to talk about his latest two-time Juno award winning album Bahamas is Afie he told me the title of the album comes from having to name his “art project.”

“When I started playing I was really uncomfortable bringing my own name to the music, wasn’t really quite sure what I was doing yet, didn’t have a full album, didn’t have a band, I didn’t know what I was doing – I basically had an art project and I was thinking ‘what am I going to call this art project?’”

Bahamas is Afie, and Afie is Bahamas, and the name Bahamas essentially came down to a good feeling.

“I like the sound of it and it seemed to conjure up all this nice stuff – people seem to hear that word and it filters their perception of the music. “

Bahamas is Afie was released in August of last year, and was also long listed for the 2015 Polaris Prize. The singer-songwriter is influenced by an eclectic taste in music, and his current playlist caught me a little off guard. Lately he’s been listening to Alan Jackson’s latest, along with D’Angelo and Kendrick Lamar. He’s not lying when he says he’s really influenced by music outside his own genre.

“All the interesting stuff seems to be happening in hip-hop. As far as lyrics go those are the artists willing to sing about the time that we live in, they sing about politics, and cultural issues and cell phones. They sing about all the stuff indie rock people seem scared to sing about.”

Picking a single song off his latest record to focus on was nearly impossible. “Little Record Girl” is a catchy little, stand out track with a bit of a fifties vibe. I asked who was on his mind when he wrote that tune.

“My friend Tamara, she has a band called The Weather Station.”

The first time he heard her play, having no idea who she was, he was blown away.

“I ran over to the merch table right away and bought her album, and I went home and I came up with this idea of this guy that finds an album that he thinks is a really rare album and he falls in love and thinks the music is so meaningful. He falls in love with the woman on the cover only to discover that it’s one of the most popular albums and everybody loves that person, it’s not some secret.”

When he’s not playing music, Afie likes to dive into a favourite new hobby that might have him reeling in some new song inspiration.

“I’ve gotten pretty into fishing in the last little while, I will listen to fishing podcasts and all kinds of stupid stuff, about guys talking in-depth about the reels and rods and what type of flies to use.”

If only he had more time in Newfoundland, he said he’d love to cast a line in the Gander River, it’s become a real passion.

“I mean basically all the energy I used to put into guitars, I used to be obsessed with guitars, I mean I still love beautiful old guitars … but a lot of that energy has been transferred over to other things now and it seems like this summer I’ve just been getting into fishing.”

I asked him about his luck on his fishing endeavours and whether he’s caught a fish, but he admitted he never has. He mostly enjoys the aspect that “you’re with friends and you’re in nature and that’s just awesome.”

Bahamas will be performing, outside in nature, with his full band at Harbourage. There are still tickets left for the September 5th concert. For more information you can check it out at Harbourage.ca

Want to win a pair of tickets? Enter below:

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