Gift sparks music career

Laryssa Campbell makes her first performance in Nanaimo at the Dinghy Dock Pub on March 5.  - Photo Contributed
Laryssa Campbell makes her first performance in Nanaimo at the Dinghy Dock Pub on March 5.
— image credit: Photo Contributed

It was a gift that sparked Laryssa Campbell’s musical interests and eventual endeavours.

“I didn't really have much growing up and somebody gave me a guitar when I was about 13 and I just picked it up and started playing,” Campbell said. “I started singing along to it and I wrote my first song within a week. I just kind of took off from there,””

Three years later Campbell found herself performing at various festivals and events in around the Maple Ridge area.

“I first really started performing when I was about 16 doing some festivals and weddings and things like that,” she said. “Once I turned 19 and I was of age that's when I got into the bar scene and started really picking it up.”

Campbell eventually released a three-track demo CD a year later. However, when she was 22-years-old she decided to take a break from her musical journey and moved to Alberta to focus more on her family life. 

After a couple of years of dedicating her life to raising her son, the Prince Rupert, B.C., native decided to relocate to Vancouver Island and restart her career. On Wednesday (March 5), she will be performing at the Dinghy Dock Pub. 

Campbell, who moved to Comox in 2012, said that she initially had trouble getting back into a songwriter mentality.

“I was definitely in a writer's block once I tried to get back into it. I couldn't write the songs that I used to write,” Campbell said. “Usually my originals tend to be very personal and emotional and in touch. I was able to relate my situations into the songs very easily. It did come naturally for a long time but definitely with that break, it took me awhile to get back into it.

“It just takes a lot of practice. It is not like riding a bike when you write music. You cannot just jump right back on the wagon. You gotta work at it,” Campbell added.

Campbell has also made adjustments to her sound and style since her decision.

“I was definitely playing blues, country, rock and kind of classic rock,” she said. “But once I moved here to the Island almost two years ago now ... I've been focusing on kind of an indie rock sound.”

Despite having trouble with song writing, Campbell had no problems finding her voice after a lengthy stretch of time off.

“The singing was constant, I never gave up the singing. I'll in the shower. I'll sing in the car. Music is around me 24/7. Just because I gave it up for a bit, writing it and playing it, doesn't mean I stopped singing. I am a natural singer,” Campbell said.

Campbell said if she was to release a demo CD now, it would be much different than the one recorded when she was 20.

“The style was definitely blues and country because that's what I was into at the moment. That's what I was surrounded by,” Campbell said. “If I were to do a demo CD now, which I am hoping to do with the available funds, it won't be anything like that CD. There is no way. You grow and you change.”

Campbell said she’s holding off on releasing more music at the moment because she wants to better establish herself on Vancouver Island.

“I am still working on originals. I think if I were to do another demo CD, I'd want to do more than three songs,” she said. “Right now I just want to focus on getting out there and playing live,” she said.  

In addition to her solo career, Campbell also lends her musical talents to a country cover band called Little Big Shot.

“I am in a country rock band. We do Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean covers and that kind of thing,” she said. “I really try not to limit myself to one genre. I love music and I love all types of music. I am in it just to play it.”


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