Canadian rock star Bif Naked has nothing but fond memories of Lake Country.
At age 50 she’s still playing shows, producing music and living with unapologetic optimism, which she’ll be bringing to a sold-out crowd at the Creekside Theatre on Feb. 17.
The last time she was in Lake Country, back in 2016, her show was a precursor to a major life event.
“I played there with Snake, my guitar player, whom I married right after that show,” she told the Morning Star.
Born in New Dehli, India, as Beth Torbert, Bif Naked has done a bit of everything. She’s a platinum-selling singer-songwriter, producer, author, actress and former stand-up comic. She was among Canada’s 150 top-selling artists between 1996 and 2016.
Naked’s fourth full-length studio album, Champion, has been kept on the shelf a lot longer than expected. She had planned to release the album in 2020, but when the pandemic hit it just didn’t feel like the right time for an album release.
“There was so much going on in the world, there was a social uprising happening in North America that summer. There were things that were just too important, my record just felt very insignificant,” said Naked.
She released her latest single, Broke Into Your Car, in February 2021, again with the hope of releasing the album that summer. But with COVID-19 restrictions abounding, it once again felt like the wrong time.
“All we keep doing is adding songs to it and by the time we release the record, I’m telling you, it’s going to be a triple album.”
Now living in Ontario, Naked says she’s often homesick for B.C. What helps is that her birth mother lives in Ontario, and the two have been able to reconnect.
“Knowing my adoptive parents and then knowing my birth mom provides me with the unique opportunity of being able to discern what is genetic and what is environmental as far as my personality or coping techniques or all the weird idiosyncrasies that people have,” she said.
She first saw her birth mom when her adoptive parents bought her a flight to Winnipeg to meet her as a 21st birthday present.
“It was just amazing, and it was like looking in a mirror. We had so many parallels in our lives and still to this day we do,” she said. “There’s a lot of things that are so similar about she and I. It’s something that I take great pride in.”
Her music ranges from rock to metal to dance pop, but whatever the genre, her music is a means of escapism.
“I think for all of us music is really an escape,” she said. “It’s evocative and it can inspire us to either do something, like political songs, or it can soothe us, it can help us make sense of heartache.”
Attendees of the sold-out acoustic concert in Lake Country will get to see the natural performer in action.
“I think that being a performer more than anything else … that’s really what brings me to life,” she said. “I think there are people who are just born performers. I’m just one of them.
“We’re delighted to be coming,” she added. “It was one of our fondest, most memorable shows and we’re looking forward to playing there again.”