Buckman Coe: The art of conscious music

Buckman Coe and His band.| Photo by Eye of the Mind Photography.

Buckman Coe and His band.| Photo by Eye of the Mind Photography.

Combining conscious and uplifting lyricism from a melting pot of genres, including Folk, World Music, Roots Reggae, Motown, and Gospel (just to name a few), Buckman Coe brings positively good vibes, along with guests Adham Shaikh and Vince Vaccaro, to the Imperial on Oct. 10 for the release event of his latest album: “Malama Ka’Aina.”

I [do] hope that by putting some positive and conscious art into the world I am contributing to the forces of compassion, kindness, community, and justice,” says Coe.

A fusion of genres and styles

While most artists and music groups do draw from more than just a couple of artists or genres, not nearly as many can blend so many influences – let alone into a distinct, groovy and natural sound.

From Beatles to Bob Marley to Jeff Buckley, Coe can list the numerous genres and styles of music he’s listened to throughout his life – an amount of which being his parents’ generation’s music or his cousins’ favourite British rock bands, but sometimes it’s not so easy to discern who or what has actually influenced or impacted his music.

“I’ve basically listened to a lot of different music, and it’s all floating around me somewhere,” says Coe.

Growing as a musician has allowed him to be more intent on where he draws from; and while he says starting a song often looks like just “[exploring] a certain genre”, his creative process frequently involves pulling from different styles to accomplish certain musical goals. For example, an important characteristic of Coe’s music is its dance-ability.

“I started incorporating soul, funk, reggae and dub into my music four years ago – as a flavour alongside Americana, blues, and folk – as I began to want more danceable music in my sets,” says Coe.

Coe says his fans can expect a continual growth from him as an artist, as he explores colours and chords more akin to soul, R & B and psychedelia.

Malama Ka’Aina

Art and Nature.| Photo by Andrew Richard Hara.

Art and Nature.| Photo by Andrew Richard Hara.

While Coe describes himself as a musician/singer/songwriter, he also says another trending descriptor for him and fellow entertainers worth noting is “artivist” (a play on the words “activist” and “artist”).

“I feel a lot of my local musician peers are aware and involved in contemporary issues, and feel a social responsibility attached to their role as musician and culture makers,”
says Coe.

Coe, whose ancestry is three-fourth Chinese via Taiwan and Malaysia, and one-fourth Caucasian from England, says that being an artist and being socially aware are often one in the same. Outside the studio, Coe mentions participating in rallies and campaigns dealing with environmental and social justice issues. Unsurprisingly, many of his songs often address similar concerns. For example, “Malama Ka’Aina” (Hawaiian for “Respect the Land”) is the title track of his latest album and the song’s message includes lyrical motifs of human connection to nature.

Indeed, while groove, style and musicality are certainly a crucial part of most music, and though it is only one reason among many as to why and how he writes music (along with being able to travel and creating music that is fun to play), he notes the social importance of art in society and culture and of speaking out about social justice and the environment.

At the end of the day, Coe strives to add positivity and good vibes to the world, be that through his actions, words, or his soulful, groovy, and uplifting music.

“The purpose of any album is to give something concrete for people to take away with them at shows and to support you, and for you to create content that will open doors for you to travel further.”


For more information on the event, visitwww.imperialvancouver.com.

For more on Coe, visit www.buckmancoe.com.