Sitting at a bar on West 2nd waiting for Bodhi Jones to show up, I look over my notes and think back to the last time we had a chance to talk. It was December 2009 and Jones was in his final stages of the Peak Performance Project's 2009 Competition. Unfortunately, he didn't place in the top 3, but what was to follow in the next few months none of us could have predicted.February came and with it brought the Olympics, but sadly, forgot the snow.
Bodhi, having gotten caught up with the scandal of the missing Olympic snow, sat down and wrote what was to become the Unofficial theme with "Hey El Nino". Appearing on newscasts and Youtube the song became a local hit to the surprise of Jones, who hadn't given much thought to the song other than the irony behind it.
Since then Bodhi Jones has picked up more steam,more fans and more exposure to once again enter the Peak Performance Project 2010. The Project, that includes top prize money of $100,500 as well as an industry showcase at Kelowna's Breakout West Festival, has had plenty of success in creating household names and lifelong connections for past artists and winners such as We Are The City, Bend Sinister and The Left.
Bodhi Jones eventually wanders in on time and orders a beer before we start our interview.He looks at my 3 pages of notes and gets a worried look on his face.
"It's ok,they are just notes,not three pages of questions."
JAX: Hey Bodhi, how's life since we last chatted?
BOJO: Pretty good, I've got a booking agency on board, I'm back in the PPP, and have just finished a new record, produced by Winston Hauschild!
JAX: Now he worked with Hanna Georges? She's doing pretty well. Did he work with you on your current album, Where Do We Go From Here?
BOJO: Yeah, he was awesome to work with! I finally feel like I'm releasing a proper record. I recorded my last album at home in my bedroom.
JAX: Really? It sounded pretty good but you can definitely hear the difference in sound with this one.
JAX: Here's a vast question for you,where do you think music is headed? Do you think Can-con is good thing for Canadian music? We are one of the only countries that has forced content.
BOJO: Wow. Well sometimes I think it's really beneficial to us indie artists but then you end up having to listen to stale old Lenny Kravitz tunes, simply because they were produced in Canada...
JAX: Like Kelly Clarkson and her Avril Lavigne written songs.
BOJO: Exactly. But I can't say it doesn't help, so I think it's a good thing.
JAX: So talking about the Peak Performance Project...last year was a tough year for competition. We Are The City took first,then you had uber talent like Bend Sinister. Solo singer/songwriters barely had a chance in that pool. Do you think it would be more beneficial if the Peak separated it into different genres?
BOJO: I think the PPP is geared toward taking emerging artists with a proven track record to the next level, through both online and media exposure, and of course for the top 5 bands a whole wack of cash!
JAX: Like Said The Whale?
BOJO: Yup. They've worked really hard to get where they've gotten to and could use a boost just like the rest of us.
JAX: And a lot of the people in these bands are still working day jobs, right?
BOJO: Yeah, all of us are.
JAX: So how was the Bootcamp? Any egos?
BOJO: It's gonna be so hard to beat last years experience, it was such an amazing time. All of the bands got along so well and a lot of life long friendships came out of it.
JAX: So are there any collaborations coming with this? Who,if so?
BOJO:I'd like to work with Kyprios, just because our musical styles are so different.
JAX:Like a K'naan/Keane thing? That's a big hit, I heard it in China last month. So if you had your choice...busking or live shows?
BOJO: I think it's something I'll always do, no matter how rich or famous I get. There's nothin better than standing out on a street corner pouring your heart out to a bunch of complete strangers goin about they're daily grind. You can sell a lot of Cd's this way too!
JAX: Speaking of success, if you never cracked the US market,would you be ok with that? Or are you the type of artists that doesn't see it as success until you do?
BOJO: No. This is what I do regardless of success. Of course we all want that, but look at Tragically Hip. They've been at this a long time and still haven't cracked that yet.
JAX: And Sam Roberts.
BOJO: Exactly. No, I think as long as I can make my music and have an audience. Dan Mangan came and spoke with us and said to us "Don't forget there is song you wrote out there that means something to someone."
JAX: So are we going to hear any of your music in other places besides radio? A lot of your music would be perfect for a soundtrack. The Sky Is Falling would be a huge hit.
BOJO: There is but I can't talk about it yet- it's Top Secret for now...you know I always wished I wrote that song better.
JAX: It's gotten a lot of people through some tough shit in their lives.
BOJO: Yeah, I've just always felt I could've expressed myself a bit more clearly...but I guess that's just my journey as an artist, keeps me striving to write a better song next time.
JAX: So what do you think of the internet and the music biz? You know a lot of people say it was the worst thing that ever happened to music when file sharing became the norm.
BOJO: Nah...It was just the worst thing that's ever happened to the suits at the top of the industries money making pyramid
JAX: Well put. Ok, something lighter...if we took a peak in your ipod,what would you be most embarrassed we'd find?
BOJO: Oh there is soooo much embarrassing stuff. I love pop music.
JAX: Do you really? Come on....
BOJO: I enjoyed the Spice Girls in grade 10.
JAX: Oh really?
BOJO: yup. I just really enjoy strong voices and good ballads. But I also like Elliot Smith and Ray Lamontagne.
JAX: Nice save. So any performances coming up?
BOJO: You bet. July 17 at Cafe Deux Soleils in Vancouver and July 20 The Backstage Lounge in Vancouver.
JAX: And people can check you out on The Peak 100.5 as well as www.bodhijones.com for upcoming info or to buy your album?
BOJO: Yes! Come check out a show. Or watch for busking on Robson/Howe!
JAX: Always a pleasure, Bodhi. Good luck going forward with the Peak Performance Project.
BOJO: Thanks a lot, that was awesome.