Noah Derksen, a solo musician based out of Vancouver, BC, is stopping in Fernie on Sept. 4 to promote his album Man That I Am. He is set to play at Infinitea Bistro at 8 p.m.
Derksen, like most teens toeing their way into adulthood, faced many unknown challenges and questions. But unlike most young adults, he turned his uncertainties into a six-song album, titled Man That I Am, as it encapsulates transitioning from a teen to an independent man, and moving across the country to pursue an education.
“All the songs were written during a time of education for me. It came from a time of being put in a different position. I moved out to Vancouver from my hometown of Winnipeg,” said Derksen, who turned 22 in mid-August. “Who I am and what I believe in and what the different priorities are and what’s important to me.”
The songs were written in an 18-month period, recorded in the fall of 2014, and released in January of this year. Derksen said that all the elements of making an album came together quickly for Man That I Am. “It was all kind of an expatiated process. It wasn’t rushed, but it happened fairly quickly and the timing of things. Everything kind of moved forward at the same time, what with recording and doing the CD artwork, the mixing and the mastering, planning shows and what not.”
While he is a solo artist and the focus of the songs is on him, he did get some help from other musicians on certain tracks. And now, he is embarking on a 15-stop tour spanning over 22 days, starting in his hometown of Winnipeg and ending in Nelson in early September, just in time to return to Vancouver for his last year of university.
“It’s all new, even just the booking of it, and now just the getting ready and the promoting of it. It’s all a tremendously new and exciting and challenging experience,” he said, “I bought a little Subaru Outback, so a station wagon. That’s going to be my mode of transportation. The seats fold down flat, so I’m going to set up a little bed in there. I’m about to install some curtains to allow a little bit less light through in the mornings.”
While not writing music and performing, Derksen is a science student at the University of British Columbia, specializing in neuroscience. He originally attended UBC to play varsity volleyball, but slowly transitioned his focus more to music over the years. After graduating next April, Derksen hopes to take some time to pursue music full time before returning to academia.
“My thought is to graduate in April and then take some time off from school and pursue music wholeheartedly, whatever that translates to or however that looks. But I would like to take some time, just do that as best I can before potentially going back to the academic realm either fully or continue to do music on the side,” he said.