Biawanna is excited to film their first music video, thanks to a grant from Amplify BC.
Biawanna is an emerging vocalist, songwriter, multi instrumentalist and producer. The driving force behind their music is their identity as a non-binary, queer person of colour. “There’s just not a lot of representation out there. Our stories are told, but not necessarily heard.”
That desire to share their story drove the Vancouver artist to independently produce a solo project, Care, this year with an innovative mix of soul, R&B and pop. “I have a lot of sad songs,” they laugh. “I write out of necessity, therapeutically. And then to see the response to Care. It feels good.”
The response has been huge. Their independently released single Care debuted at #9 on iTunes Sweden’s R&B/Soul charts and garnered 148,000 streams. The single placed on Spotify’s New Music Friday Canada three times. Just last month, Biawanna performed a showcase at Vancouver International Film Festival’s AMP, a music industry conference.
In this digital era, it is vital to have videos to expand reach. That is where Amplify BC comes in. Biawanna received a provincial grant through Creative BC to produce their first music video with Vancouver’s Nancy Lee Productions. The video for Care is set as a dark, sci-fi Cinderella story.
“I knew I wanted a queer director for this video and Nancy is just on the same wavelength. So there’s a comfort level there,” says Biawanna. “In fact, the first time she heard the song, she was like, 'they don’t know it yet, but I’m going to make that music video.' ”
Biawanna is just one of 84 artists to receive a grant through Creative BC for career development this month. In total, B.C. artists, musicians and music studios will receive over $860,000 in Amplify BC grants to help them reach the next level in their careers.
When it comes to career development, Biawanna is motivated. “It’s amazing to be heard and validated. I want to keep making music that makes people lean in,” they said.
Stay tuned for the music video for Care coming in 2020.
- In British Columbia, 6,600 people work in the music industry.
- The music industry generates over $690 million in economic activity in B.C. each year.
- British Columbia is Canada’s third-largest music centre, with over 280 music companies, 160 recording studios and more than 200 music festivals throughout the province.
- In 2018, the Province provided $7.5 million through Amplify BC after extensive consultations with the music industry.
- Last year, 337 musicians, recording professionals and companies were able to get vital funding to create, collaborate and succeed in the music industry.
- The Amplify BC program focuses on four funding areas:
- Career Development – supports the careers of emerging and established artists in B.C., funding sound recordings, music videos and marketing initiatives, as well as attracting national and international business to B.C. recording studios.
- Live Music – supports B.C.-based live music events, creating engagement opportunities for audiences, artists and youth, and enhancing music tourism throughout B.C.
- Music Company Development – supports the sustainability, growth and capacity of B.C.’s music companies.
- Music Industry Initiatives – support the development of B.C.’s music industry, including training, skills development, research and up-and-coming talent.
See the list of recipients for Amplify BC’s summer intake of Career Development: https://www.creativebc.com/programs/amplify-bc#recipients
Amplify BC: https://www.creativebc.com/programs/amplify-bc