Canadian punk-rocker Bif Naked is coming to Red Deer to perform a free concert at the 2019 Canada Winter Games Wednesday night, with rapper ko-s.
In another time-line or another universe Naked might have arrived here as a sports competitor.
“My parents put us in figure skating when I was a kid,” recalled the heavily tattooed singer. “Not hockey, not ringette, but figure skating…
“All I can remember are the sweaters my sweet mother knitted for us: Mine was blue, my sister’s was orange, my other sister’s was green… and we all had matching mitts!”
Skating practises for the three girls came to an abrupt end when their missionary parents moved them from The Pas, Man., to Lexington, Kentucky — which was not exactly winter sports country.
“By the time we moved back to Canada, we were already teenage girls with bad habits — which is why I always tell people, put your kids in sports and keep them out of trouble!” says Naked with a husky laugh.
The singer, actress and advocate is excited about performing during Canada’s largest sporting event in Red Deer, which she calls “a great little city… It’ll be so fun to be back.”
Her one regret is she won’t have enough time to visit local non-profits she has connections to, including the Red Deer Hospice and Central Alberta SPCA.
Besides her on-stage work, the breast cancer survivor has become known for her motivational talks and volunteerism. The latter started while she was undergoing chemotherapy and the nurses realized her positive attitude could help others who were more scared of the treatments.
“If I could, I would be a chemo surrogate for others,” Naked jokes.
What she can offer are words of encouragement and a pleasant diversion by reading to hospital patients. Naked says one of her favourite things is to meet “fellow patients” and talk with them “about books or recipes…”
Music is on her immediate agenda these days as she prepares a line-up of songs for the Red Deer show that will range from her biggest hit, I Love Myself Today to Tango Shoes and Spaceman. “Everybody request the songs they know… I’ll be bringing the whole rock band, so it’s going to be a boisterous show.”
Naked, who’s planning to release a new album of songs based on personal experiences and global issues later this year, said she’s looking forward to reconnecting with fans in central Alberta, where she hasn’t performed since 2016.
The free show in Red Deer will also feature k-os, (Kevin Brereton). The alternative rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer from Toronto incorporates a wide variety of genres in his music, including rap, funk, rock, and reggae. His lyrics tend to focus on promoting a “positive message” while sometimes criticizing of mainstream hip hop culture’s obsession with money, fame and violence.
The hip-hop artist received his first musical exposure with the single Musical Essence, released in 1993. His 2004 album Joyful Rebellion received platinum status in Canada as did his third, Atlantis: Hymns for Disco from 2006. He released his sixth album, Can’t Fly Without Gravity in 2015.
The show, part of the 52 Degrees North Music and Cultural festival, starts at 6:30 p.m. in the heated tent off Celebration Plaza (behind Central Middle School). Doors open at 6 p.m. (The tent has a 2,000 person capacity).