Back in the days when Len—remember “Steal My Sunshine”?—band members lived at Sun Peaks, a new artist was learning the ropes of music production, and now he’s proud to release his debut album and first music video.
Apocalypse, the new album by Kamloops MC Sick Steen, is a hefty 20-tracks produced and mixed by the artist. The video for the album’s “Time to React” was shot by John Hinch, and features many familiar sights from the River City.
“The hardest part was getting the shots on the red bridge in Kamloops without getting run over,” says Sick Steen.
MC Sick Steen, a.k.a. Steen Blechingberg, spent many years absorbing ski culture and musical influence at Sun Peaks. While he doesn’t spend much time on the slopes anymore, Sick Steen happily recalls his “golden years” at the resort.
“I’ve very fond memories of Sun Peaks,” he says. “My older sister lived at the hill, so I crashed either on her couch or in her closet, worked, and partied—although I didn’t know it at the time, me being up there at that time helped shape me as an artist.”
Sick Steen’s sister happened to live next door to Marc Costanzo, vocalist and guitarist for the band Len. Costanzo had a huge influence on Blechinberg, teaching him about hip hop and music theory. He also lent Sick Steen his first sampler, an E-mu SP-1200. From there, Sick Steen was hooked.
He grew up listening to music ranging from The Beatles to Nirvana. In Grade 6, he heard his first rap album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) by the Wu-Tang Clan, which opened up a new world focused on lyrical composition.
“I memorized every word from that record and I thought if I can do this, then I should do this—and I did,” he says.
Rap greats such as Nas, Slick Rick, and Big L have been major influences for Sick Steen, who describes his music as rap, with elements from jazz, rock and roll, electronic, industrial, and world music. He goes with what inspires him at the time.
“I want my music to be a ride, with many twists and turns, but one that doesn’t make the listener sick after being on it too long,” he says.
Apocalypse is now available on iTunes. Despite the title, the album has nothing to do with the 2012 end-of-days conspiracy.
“If you look up the definition of apocalypse it says, ‘lifting of the veil’, or ‘revelation,’” Sick Steen explains. “It’s a disclosure of something hidden from the majority of mankind in an era dominated by falsehood and misconception.”
The album shows Sick Steen’s serious mastery of the English language. The lyrics are both entertaining and heartfelt, and the finished product is tight and catchy. No live shows have been announced, but Sick Steen has a busy year ahead of him.
“I’m in the process of collaborating with one of the hottest emcees in the game today,” he says. “Any free time I have right now is spent in the studio—my goal is to release four full-length records in 2012.”
That’s a serious New Year’s resolution.