Buy a Record, Make a Difference is a new series we have created to help local musicians generate income during COVID-19. It is based on the principle that we should support and reward the hard work local artists have already put into recordings, as it is an immensely difficult undertaking to be creating new material under current circumstances. There is currently a lot of emphasis on livestreaming and innovation in our industry, and while those things absolutely have their place, we think it’s also important to boost projects that have already been completed.
In each post, we’ll ask a local artist a series of the same questions, give them the opportunity to talk about recordings they’re proud of, and ask them to talk about other local musicians whose work they admire. It’s our hope that you’ll take the time to listen to & purchase the work of local artists, or at the very least share their work with others.
1. Who are you?
I’m Kristin Fung and I’m an ice cream inhaler, midnight cyclist, and lover of dancing anywhere. I’m also a vocalist, keyboardist, composer, and ukulele player who loves building community, especially through music education. I lived in Toronto for the past seven years and I loved the very colourful life I had there — from recording and performing my original music with amazing collaborators who have been my greatest teachers — to busking in the subways with my ukulele duet, K Funk and Lady Ree, to playing piano in ballet classes, 5-star hotel lounges, and improv comedy shows. I’m grateful to be back in Vancouver, where I was born and raised, during this very strange time of flattening the curve of the covid-19 pandemic, and I believe very strongly in helping people in vulnerable communities rise and thrive.
2. Describe your music as best you can.
It’s a fusion of the sounds I’ve fallen in love with since I was a kid: 90s R&B, 70s soul, jazz through the lens of musical theatre, and experimental improvised music. People say it’s full of zeal and that it’s earnest, outpouring, lyrical, dramatic, groovy, and joyful. The music I make empowers people, draws them into deeply heartfelt places, and makes them feel warm inside.
3. What’s your latest recording (or a recording you’d like to promote)? Where can people get it?
I just released my latest single, “You For You” on all digital platforms on June 21, which was the day my band would have performed at this year’s Vancouver jazzfest (I still thank you and love you and miss you all at Coastal Jazz very much).
This song is an uplifting anthem about loving yourself and others despite capitalist pressure to continually chase what’s ‘shiny and new.’ It’s actually been the perfect song for the pandemic, not only because you can feel the happiness oozing out of the track, but that it reminds us to go back to who we are at our core, know that we are loved, and get through this twisted life journey together.
You can find it on Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, Google Play, etc… but I’d really rather you buy it on Friday July 3rd on Bandcamp because I’ll be donating 100% of the revenue earned that day to The Hogan’s Alley Society, an important advocate for rebuilding the communities of Black Canadians in Vancouver whose homes were destroyed and erased in the 1970s.
4. Is there another local musician whose work you’d like to give a shout out to?
All the Canadian heavyweights who played on my track “You For You.” Sarah Thawer, who is a monstrously talented percussionist. Rich Brown, Canada’s national treasure who takes the electric bass above and beyond. Anh Phung, the fiercest flute player you’ll ever know. Eric St-Laurent, the most perceptive guitarist I’ve ever played with. Tyler Emond and B.Morales for being musically compassionate and irreplaceable in the mixing process.
Local to Vancouver at the moment, I am really excited about the musical offerings we’re receiving from KeAloha Noelani, Kai Basanta, and Ben Brown – all of them play the drums but each person has such a distinct creative voice!