Pacifika plays to home crowd
With equal parts dance groove, lilting multilingual lyrics and Latin rhythms, the trio Pacifika will bring some world music flair to the Port Moody Inlet Theatre for their show Feb. 3.
The Juno-nominated group — consisting of Peruvian-born singer Silvana Kane, bassist Toby Peter of Barbados and Canadian contingent Adam Popowitz on guitar — will be playing their signature laid-back global vibe to a hometown crowd. Both Kane and Peter now live in Port Moody, with Popowitz just a stone’s throw away over the Coquitlam border.
This Friday’s show comes as the band works on a solo record for Kane as well as a fourth Pacifika album.
“Over the course of the last few years people have always been asking about [Silvana’s] upbringing and the music she listened to, so she was inspired to do a tribute album to the artists she grew up with,” Popowitz said, including South American legends Susana Baca and Mercedes Sosa.
“It’s much more gentle, lullaby, folkloric kind of tunes.”
The fourth Pacifika album — the group’s third record-label release after their first independent album — promises more of the trio’s eclectic mix of musical styles.
“We didn’t want to work with a deadline in our head, we wanted to let the music take us where it was going,” Popowitz said.
They also wanted to give themselves plenty of time to make the summer festival circuit and aim to have the album finished sometime in the fall. “We just want to make a really good record.”
Given Pacifika’s track record, fans can expect nothing less, starting with the 2008 release of Asuncion, a mix of “indie rock, bossa nova, Afropop and dub production,” followed by the enticing Supermagique, a blend of breezy pop and Brazilian rhythms with lyrics in Spanish, French and English.
Popowitz credits the group’s varied backgrounds with Pacifika’s unique sound.
“All three of us have traveled and worked and fallen in love with many types of music and many types of inspiration,” he said. “It helps that Silvana is from Peru, so she has that South American and flamenco blood flowing through her. She’s also spent time in Spain and Ibiza, where there’s a huge house and electronica culture.”
Peter adds a Caribbean flair, combined with his experimental heavy metal background and use of dub bass lines, while Popowitz was heavily influenced by 80s new wave music like The Smiths and The Cure.
(Popowitz has also studied classical flamenco and, as a producer, has even crafted Armenian folk records.)
Pacifika’s work on Supermagique netted them the 2010 iTunes (US) award for Best World Album, a 2011 Juno nomination for World Music Album of the Year and the 2011 nomination for World Recording of the Year from the Western Canadian Music Alliance.
“In Canada a Juno nomination really validates all your hard work,” Popowitz said. “And we live in Canada, so we really respect what the Junos can do for you.”
He recalled being in a Toronto hotel room, following a three-week sojourn in Quebec, the morning the nominations were announced.
“I didn’t know what had happened and I turned on the TV and there it was, World Music --— Pacifika,” said Popowitz. “It was great being there, we got a lot of attention. We went back two months later for the ceremony and...it was great just seeing everyone in Canadian music, like Rush, Barenaked Ladies, Feist, Shania Twain.”
The Inlet Theatre show marks Pacifika’s first “intimate theatre showcase,” Popowitz said, and one where audiences can enjoy the group’s dynamic on-stage presence. They’ll be joined by renowned drummer Elliott Polsky.
“Our show is more than just music, it’s an experience,” Popowitz said. “We want people to be moved, we want to inspire people, we want them to go home and love each other and give them lots of peace and love and joy, as corny as that all sounds.”
• Pacifika plays the Inlet Theatre (100 Newport Dr.) Friday, Feb. 3 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25, available at 604-931-2008. Visit www.pacifikaonline.com for more details.