In time, Lucy Locvan might not be the only full time DJ, music producer, video gamer and YouTube host to hang her headphones in Jasper.
But she’s definitely DA FIRST to do it.
Lucy Da First is Locvan’s handle for her creative art process, and it’s also how she’s been introduced recently—by hosts of the Jasper Folk Music Festival, the Jasper Dark Sky Festival and just this past January 19 at The BUZZ, the reception for the Jasper Artists’ Guild’s annual open-entry art exhibition. There, as the night’s music curator, Locvan was “sculpting space,” as JAG’s Greg Deagle put it. She was an artist, among artists. And she was loving it.
“I want to contribute more to culture,” Locvan said. “JAG’s vision is in-tune with what I’m exploring.”
Although she’s probably more spraypaint-on-brick than oil-on-canvas, the 28-year-old Locvan does have a fine art background. Before she earned a scholarship to audio engineering school in Edmonton, she studied classical music at the University of Alberta’s Augustana campus in Camrose, AB.
“I had aspirations to be a composer,” said Locvan.
As a classical music student, she was a trained pianist, but she was also a dedicate gamer, in love with the rich soundscapes of the multimedia experiences she played in. Combined with the fact that she had made electronic music since she was young (teaching herself on YouTube, accessed via her neighbourhood public library) she “dreamed of making music for video games.”
Then at 18 Locvan found DJ-ing. The money helped put her through school, but while she loved the craft, she didn’t love the “same copy and paste club feel” of her late-night workplaces. That feeling about the empty-calorie nightclub experience has stuck with her.
“DJ-ing is not just about drinking and partying at clubs,” she says. “Art can mean more than just getting people through the door.”
If she were curating, for example, it would be about the music’s ability to bloom—like it can and does online, where Locvan spends a lot of time making not just music but a wide spectrum of content.
Of course music blooms In Real Life (IRL), too—as she rediscovered this past November and December when she road-tripped to the U.S. on a self-assigned “musical study of the history of breakbeat.” Locvan stayed and hung out with people she’d only previously met on the internet. That took a bit of courage, she admitted. But like most things that do, it was worth it, she said. Around various barbecues, in various live music venues and over various turn tables, friendships were forged.
“I realized again how important music is to communities,” she said.
As she reflects on the musical circles she’s just spun through and continues to pump out electronic music for the various production labels she’s signed with, Locvan is establishing herself in a new (decidedly IRL) community. Having arrived in Jasper in 2021, she is steadily finding her footing here. The nature trails help. Locvan may be an online explorer, but she can also be an outdoor adventurer.
“Yes, I’ve winter camped,” she said. “And although I don’t know why, it’s so much fun.”
It could be that when winter camping, one has to find ways to keep moving.
After all, between DJ-ing, producing breakbeats for record labels, making cyberpunk videos, composing and generally creating with her various communities—those online and those IRL—Locvan is doing exactly that: finding ways to keep moving.
And in Jasper, at least, she might be Da First to do so.
Bob Covey // email@example.com