The Blue Dream girls. (Feature photo by Alli Hayes)
By Alli Hayes
Jenny Lea and Tee Krispil are both a collaborative bond and friendship. Having written high-improv IMUR track Blue Dream sampling Jenny’s parents music from the 1970s, the girls recall memories of herbal journeys.
Loose Lips met up with the women at Grandview Park to chat about their music, yoga, and Vancouver’s -ahem- greenery.
Perks of interviews in public: after a full day of ganja yoga (led by Krispil at Cannabis Culture), cold brew, a photo adventure, and Havana Sunday dinner, we tried to wrap our heads around a man wearing a t-shirt with his own face printed on it. All while eating cupcakes in the park.
“I almost left Vancouver because of the supposed lack of music scene,” said Krispil before we got interrupted by Napoleon Dynamite. Jenny Lea recalled coming to Vancouver in pursuit of music, her most recent move from a smaller town. She snagged an opportunity and came to work with producer/musician Mikey J Blige, forming future-soul music group IMUR.
It’s a damn good thing that these girls haven’t relocated, because they are a couple of the many emerging local female artists creating community avenues for themselves and for each other.
“Even though there is a music scene, I had yet to discover it,” reflects Tee Krispil, producer and songwriter/emcee, whose related acts include The People North West (formed with Mikey J Blige, Marleau, Creed Taylor, and Young Budda) and Something August (formed with Kerry Chambers).
“There’s so much sprouting right now, it’s exciting.”
After witnessing Krispil’s music take off first-hand, thrown in the deep end of multiple music projects, it’s hard to believe that she was ready to leave Vancouver.
“I was coming from Toronto, music began as a seed planted for me, I wasn’t actively pursuing it. I just liked doing it. I couldn’t deny my creative energy, I was making it. I only had one track when I moved here for yoga teacher training, my goal was to get that done and teach and focus on that the first year I was here. With my first EP, I wasn’t trying to get anything out of music, I just wanted to make it and collaborate with… and meet some people,” she explains.
“In the process, I realized, ‘Why am I trying to make yoga full time?’ when this is really what I want to do and like doing. With this manifesting, it led me to finding myself and my voice, now my goals are quite large with music.”
But let’s talk about their track, Blue Dream.
Lea gets soulful right off the bat. She sparks a light and giggles as Krispil puts down some lyrical reality to what we’re doing with our lives. A sample comes through at the end of the song, from former seven-piece band Shamash off their Rusty Heart album.
Initially, the girls met through Groundwerk, Vancouver’s own electronic music monthly meet-up and travelling party (they just hosted an amazing Oasis outdoor event at Vancouver Mural Fest if you missed it).
There was some back and forth between the coordinators of Groundwerk, Krispil and IMUR, and shortly thereafter, Krispil jumped on board to feature in Blue Dream.
The collaborative track is a stimulating, stuck-in-your-head occasion, featuring the smoothest vocals of Lea and Krispil’s upbeat poetry. The song explores how the grass has been a positive channel and element to their soul and creativity.
“There’s lots of gigging opportunity here if you want it,” Lea says. “I think Vancouver has a really cool beat scene right now. There’s lots of producers coming out of here. As a vocalist it’s a good place to be, and it’s so damn pretty.”
She sheds some more light on the festival- and show-scene in B.C.
“I came here with purpose to form IMUR, we [Jenny and Mikey] had been exchanging work on the internet, and we wanted to do live acts and create music and establish ourselves in the music community, and that’s what we’ve been doing for the past year.”
Lea has had her own compelling journey with music, having radio success with her solo track “Chasing the Sun” and a part in Nelson, B.C.’s six-piece cover band, Motherfucker Jones.
In a young city with roots of different sizes, Vancouver is a unique music community. There are multiple music production schools in the municipality, hundreds of (unofficial and official) students, artists, musicians, mentors and legends, all willing to learn from one another through art.
Lea reveals that she doesn’t find the scene to be competitive.
“I find people really supportive of each other. I think that’s what sets Vancouver apart a little bit,” she divulges.
“It’s important for everyone to collaborate; it’s dope when it happens because you’re learning from that person. Anytime we set foot in the studio with someone we haven’t worked with before, we’re learning their process and their flow. It’s so cool to learn and see where we go from that,” dishes Lea.
In a male dominated industry, Krispil and Lea agree it’s nice to take a moment to acknowledge and get it, girl.
“The energy women have to empower each other is dope.”
After the cupcakes were devoured, Loose Lips asked the girls if it’s important to feel grounded when trying to channel all of this energy and these messages to an audience.
Their music explores a lot of internal struggles as well as romantic triangles, and whether the lyrics are embellished or not, it could be a fine balance of emotion and composure on stage.
Lea feels “like a lot of inspiration comes from being in a state of disarray, but I’m not able to recognize it and express until I’m grounded. It’s easy to get carried away with distractions in life but you have to take the time to ground yourself, so you can realize your surroundings and stay present. In that moment you’re able to create.”
Krispil adds, “you get to a point where you’re like: ‘This is beyond me. This is just going through me, it’s not a part of me.’ That’s the attachment of the ego. If you’re not grounded or if you’re in a state of stress, the creative energy in me can’t get through. It’s easy to lose control of your thoughts, it puts you back into it, then it’s not about the art anymore.”
Catch Tee this weekend performing the KUSH CUP with the People Northwest at the Rickshaw Theatre. Looking to escape the city for the weekend? Check out Jenny in IMUR performing at the Summer Ender Bender.
Alli is a wildcard. Faux fur is her wingman. She is constantly moved by art, cool parties, and independent film, and continues to create her own projects. She wishes her photographic memory did her Instagram more justice. Check out her blog at http://www.thewildcardwins.com.