Whitehorse performance artist Paris Pick is releasing her new album, Feeling Love, on November 16 at the Guild Hall. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News)

Motown modern

Local musician Paris Pick says her new record borrows from funk and soul

The first time Paris Pick sang in front of people, she cried.

She was 13, and shy, and someone broke out a karaoke machine during her then-boyfriend’s family party. At the time, she had no plans to become a musician (she wanted to be a cartoonist). This November though, Pick, now in her 20s, is releasing her second album, Feeling Love.

On Oct. 24, the day before Pick hit the road for a two-week tour of British Columbia, she told the News she came to music late, by picking up a bass guitar when she was in Grade 11.

She was inspired by friends who played. At the same time, she said her confidence had escalated due, in part, to joining student council at her British Columbia high school. There, she was responsible for announcements, DJ duties, planning dances, and acting as an emcee at various events.

“All of a sudden I had this persona that I could be like ‘oh, I’m the person that’s going to engage this crowd right now!’ So that was kind of my introduction to that.”

Pick said she played a bit in B.C., but her public performances really picked up when she moved to the Yukon in 2013. Not that it was her intention to move here. She, like many, came North to visit, and just never left.

Part of the reason, she said, is that, within the first year of living in Whitehorse, she realized how many musical opportunities there were. The city had plenty of open mic nights. There were paying gigs and there were accessible grants.

That’s partly how she funded the recording of Feeling Love and its subsequent tour, she said — by way of a grant from Yukon Media Development.

Pick said she used the grant last winter to block off five days at Old Crow Recording Studio. There, she and producer Patrick Hamilton (who also plays in Soda Pony, which is touring with Pick in B.C. this fall) put the songs together.

She said the sound is a departure from the kind of music she had previously made with her band, Ukes of Hazard.

“I’d say it’s just more constructed,” she said. “It’s a new phase of my life or something. More mature. It’s definitely more soul. That’s kind of the new direction. Ukes of Hazard was a jam band, kind of Grateful Dead-like or something, where this is definitely got more structure, lots of tight parts, horn section.”

Partly, she said that was Hamilton’s influence. Soda Pony has been her backing band for a while, and she said Hamilton’s love of Motown seeped into her songwriting last winter, when she was waitressing at the Minto mine.

“Usually when I have a dull job like that it really just makes me want to create something fun and have like a new personality,” she said.

“When I was working my camp job, I was writing new songs but for whatever reason, since I had been working for four weeks at a time, it made me extra creative, or made me feel more from my heart or something.”

Maybe that’s why, if the record has a theme, she said it’s a general sense of love for the Yukon and everything that means to her.

“Being here and living here and getting the support from the community all the time just makes you constantly, I don’t know, appreciate your surroundings,” she said. “I have a song on there called ‘Yukon Bound,’ which is all about being here in the Yukon and how it’s like this is where we all want to be, for those who are here.”

She said other significant songs include “Dog House,” which is about being on the outs with your partner and trying to convince them that you’ll fix the mistakes that brought you to this point if they’ll just forgive you, and “Presence in this World.”

Pick said that one is about female empowerment, and being a woman in the world.

“I’m in my early 20s, so that song’s just about being confused and lost,” she said, laughing.

Across the album though, Pick said it’s a party record — the kind of thing you can put on in the car, crank, drive, and have a good time with.

Right now, Pick is waiting for copies of the record to arrive for her release at The Guild Hall on Nov. 16. In the meantime, she has 100 copies (with handmade covers) to take on the road with her when she plays Fort St. John, Duncan, Victoria, Port Alberni, Gabriola Island, and Cumberland’s Woodstove Festival.

Once she’s back, she’ll prepare for her launch at the Guild Hall on Nov. 16 (tickets are $15). She said it’s not a typical live music venue, but she hopes the small room, with its cabaret-style seating, will keep with the feel of what she calls her “Motown-modern” record.

“I’m hoping for velvet curtains,” she said.

Contact Amy Kenny at amy.kenny@yukon-news.com

New albumYukon

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Diane McLeod-McKay, Yukon’s Ombudsman and information and privacy commissioner, filed a petition on Dec. 11 after her office was barred from accessing documents related to a child and family services case. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon government rejects Ombudsman requests for documentation filed to Supreme Court

Diane McLeod-McKay filed a petition on Dec. 11 after requests for documents were barred

Buffalo Sabres center Dylan Cozens, left, celebrates his first NHL goal with defenceman Rasmus Ristolainen during the second period of a game against the Washington Capitals on Jan. 22 in Washington. (Nick Wass/AP)
Cozens notches first NHL goal in loss to Capitals

The Yukoner potted his first tally at 10:43 of the second period on Jan. 22

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Former CEO of Great Canadian Gaming, actress charged after flying to Beaver Creek for COVID-19 vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Are they coming?

One of COVID-19’s big economic questions is whether it will prompt a… Continue reading

Yukon MP Larry Bagnell, along with Yukon health and education delegates, announce a new medical research initiative via a Zoom conference on Jan. 21. (Screen shot)
New medical research unit at Yukon University launched

The SPOR SUPPORT Unit will implement patient-first research practices

The bus stop at the corner of Industrial and Jasper Road in Whitehorse on Jan. 25. The stop will be moved approximately 80 metres closer to Quartz Road. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
UPDATED: Industrial Road bus stop to be relocated

The city has postponed the move indefinitely

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in Faro photgraphed in 2016. Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old building currently accommodating officers. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Faro RCMP tagged for new detachment

Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old… Continue reading

In a Jan. 18 announcement, the Yukon government said the shingles vaccine is now being publicly funded for Yukoners between age 65 and 70, while the HPV vaccine program has been expanded to all Yukoners up to and including age 26. (1213rf.com)
Changes made to shingles, HPV vaccine programs

Pharmacists in the Yukon can now provide the shingles vaccine and the… Continue reading

Parking attendant Const. Ouellet puts a parking ticket on the windshield of a vehicle in downtown Whitehorse on Dec. 6, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is hoping to write of nearly $300,000 in outstanding fees, bylaw fines and court fees, $20,225 of which is attributed to parking fines issued to non-Yukon license plates. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City of Whitehorse could write off nearly $300,000

The City of Whitehorse could write off $294,345 in outstanding fees, bylaw… Continue reading

Grants available to address gender-based violence

Organizations could receive up to $200,000

In this illustration, artist-journalist Charles Fripp reveals the human side of tragedy on the Stikine trail to the Klondike in 1898. A man chases his partner around the tent with an axe, while a third man follows, attempting to intervene. (The Daily Graphic/July 27, 1898)
History Hunter: Charles Fripp — gold rush artist

The Alaskan coastal town of Wrangell was ill-equipped for the tide of… Continue reading

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. While Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis is now setting his sights on the upcoming territorial election, other members of council are still pondering their election plans for the coming year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillors undecided on election plans

Municipal vote set for Oct. 21

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decicions made by Whitehorse city council this week.

Most Read