Ndidi Onukwulu

How does a blues singer from Britannia Beach, B.C., end up working in Paris? I was with Jericho Beach Music and I had this record coming out, No I Never. Jack Schuller, head of Jericho, sent it to many people. Two years later, he got this phone call from France, from my current manager. I happened to be finishing up my second record, The Contradictor, so Jack sent her some of the new songs. She wanted to hear more, so she came all the way to Comox to see me.

Was that a stressful show? Shows are never stressful. You just go out and play. Showcases are more annoying because they’re not real—an audience wants to hear music, wants feeling, but businesspeople don’t really know shit. They just pretend they do. When my label signed me, they’d never even seen me play. So I showed up in Paris and did a showcase just so they could see what I did. Next is a hybrid version of No I Never and The Contradictor. That’s what I’ll be performing at the jazz fest in Vancouver.

How long have you been performing? I grew up in the ’80s in small towns in rural B.C—hell on Earth. Beautiful country, but the racism and ignorance and bullshit is unreal. All I wanted was to escape. I discovered that if you enter talent contests, you can actually leave town. So I entered these retarded contests, singing really depressing songs about death. One, called “Goodbye Dear Friends,” was my main repertoire. I was such a sad little eight-year-old.

Can a Canadian musician make a decent living? Our country is so big, it’s hard. Even getting people to come to your shows. And then records—nobody buys them anymore. I say, if you have a computer, buy one song from iTunes and download some more—I won’t be mad! But come out to my show.

How important are politics to you? It’s my whole reason for doing this. If I do play this game enough, with all its weirdness, I can move into an area where I can substantially help people. I’m going to try to be prime minister one day, that’s my goal. I’ll definitely be an MP at the least. I would be a very good spokesperson for strong government and for this country. Not like the douche bag we have in charge now.