Renowned Canadian multi-platform powerhouse Bif Naked has been rockin’ the world for over 25 years; as an alternative rocker, prolific author, motivational speaker, cancer survivor, and humanitarian.
Bif is known for her purposeful passion and determined spirit in everything she tackles, from championing women’s health and rights and mentoring new music artists to writing her memoir I, Bificus and creating relevant and potent music.
Bif’s upcoming album Champion is slated for release this fall (if all goes as planned), with the hard-hitting single “Jim” and its accompanying video out now. Rebel Noise is stoked that Bif graciously took some time out of her busy schedule to reveal some details about her new album and also give her uplifting and empowering view of the world.
Hello Bif! I'm so excited to have the chance to touch base with you. You're such a strong and positive musical/humanistic force in the world that especially today is overrun with much negativity. How do you keep up your spirits in the face of adversity? What advice do you have for the rest of us folks dealing with this 'new abnormal' world?
Hi, Jen. Thanks for saying that! I feel humbled, but very grateful. I try with 100% determination, every single day, to be positive and "bring that PMA" ever since I was a young person, and just starting out in bands. I suppose my parents were academics and very positive, idealistic, socialist people. They marched on Washington, D.C. with Dr. Martin Luther King. They adopted my older sister and me in India and then had a hard time getting back to America. They moved us to The Pas instead of The Congo, and had to start over time and time again. This was my primary example of always staying grateful and always seeing the best in everything and everyone.
As an adolescent I survived sexual trafficking and being a runaway. I survived sexual assault when I was a teen. I survived things that made me a stronger individual. The fact that I was able to write songs about my adversities and sing them to an audience was the greatest therapy I could have as a young person. I felt heard, seen, and understood. How could I harbor ill-will toward my past or anyone in it? I kept moving forward.
As I became an adult and a touring recording artist, there were many obstacles and heartaches, but the show was there and people depended on me, so I never really allowed myself to get down (lest I set a bad example, or whatever). This sense of responsibility kept me positive even if I wasn't and I would always feel better sooner, knowing I had a job of "keeping my chin up".
By the time I was diagnosed with breast cancer (at 36 years old) I was The Class Clown in those chemo wards and hospital waiting rooms. I just refused to be anything less than absolutely, completely optimistic. Not just for myself, but for everyone else too. Now, in a time of COVID-19, I simply refuse to be negative for one minute. I feel like I need to be the positive voice for my own family and friends, and I am happy to do that. If the fans and good kids that read my social media can gain some optimism from me or my posts then I am very happy.
Can you tell us more about your upcoming album Champion – the sound/style, the themes, and when it will be released?
My upcoming record CHAMPION is definitely the album I have been dreaming of making. We wrote songs that pushed my boundaries, lyrically, and I poured my whole soul into the record. It's the record that I will die happy about. It's a feeling of falling in mad love and a feeling of my take on the world. There are songs about love and rage, about aching for someone, about stupidity, and even a song about refugees. I feel the songs with every cell of my being and I can't wait to play it on tour, live. I am still hoping to put it out by fall.
You recently released the single "Jim" and its accompanying video. Can you elaborate on the meaning of the song and if it's an indicator of the direction of your entire album?
I have been very lucky, in my career, to have been able to always make extremely eccentric and eclectic records, and always providing fans with a vast variety of styles each time. This is something I believe every Gen X kid was into as our musical tastes were all over the map: reggae, metal, hardcore punk, pop music, dance music, world music; I mean, anything was great!
Now I follow that same theme and the first single, “JIM,” was very deliberate. I wanted that song to be the first introduction for everyone because it was a sweeping arrangement and sound, with a story and vocals to match; very dramatic, really, and very surprising.
The second and third singles, and their order, has been planned since day one, as well. I am dying to make a video for my second single, but with the social distancing (and what we were leaning toward, as far as the concept of the video) we can't film it yet. I hope we can accomplish this by summer.
What is/are the main personal, national, and/or international issue(s) concerning you the most these days?
There are SEVERAL issues that are on my mind, a lot of the time. Almost too many to list. Right now, with the global COVID-19 situation and coronavirus pandemic continuing, I am very distraught over the inequity and inequalities that are really becoming glaringly obvious.
The governments are certainly tasked with a daunting job of healthcare for everyone, but the lack of focus on the marginalized and disenfranchised, the people experiencing homelessness, or folks with disabilities, folks in rural areas, and people of all races with barriers are just not able to access the health care and support they need, in way too many cases, places, and countries. It is simply unacceptable. The racism is rampant and the classism is unbelievable.
It is hard to know how to help and how to be of support or try and be some kind of ally. I aim to shut up and listen, and basically help where I can be of help. I also have an ongoing hope to help animals and speak for animals in a variety of ways. There are a few different rescue organizations I like to support and I try and use my social media as a platform to amplify those voices. There are so many voices that need to be heard, more than mine.
What song, video, or lyrics quote of yours best represents your current viewpoint on this/these important topic(s)?
There are a few songs in the past albums that I have tried to address a few issues close to my heart:
The song "Tell On You" was a song highlighting my own sexual assault:
The song "Violence" was to bring attention to anti-violence activism.
The song "Stolen Sidewalk" was about homelessness.
The song "Everyday" was about dying and being alone:
The song 'Sick" was about chemotherapy and cancer battles:
The song "Intellectual" was a charity song for World AIDS Day.
On my new record there are a couple songs I would like to partner with some charities as well, so stay tuned.
What's your favorite song, video, or lyrics quote by another act or artist that best exemplifies, or at least partly relates to, your current viewpoint?
I am a massive music fan! There are too many songs to list!!!
What other forms of protest, besides through your music, are you involved with to get your message across?
I think that writing and doing public speaking is the best way to show and share solidarity. I am a big believer in volunteering and I do like to volunteer for organizations or persons who need my voice (specifically). A lot of the larger orgs have enough people; they do not need me chiming in or they have celebrity supporters and they don't need me as much as some, say, smaller non-profit might.
I suppose my calling is by and for supporting what I believe in and where I feel I can help, other than just protesting about what people do not like; again - they don't need me at the protest march; they need people to babysit their older parents while they go to the march. That's more of where my calling lies a lot of the time.
I get asked to do so many things, that I believe it gets lost in the quantity if I say yes to all of them, so I am very particular. I believe in walking the walk, not just talking the talk. That could look like a lot of different things, like doing peer volunteering (my favorite) with cancer patients, or donating blood or stem cells, or doing a volunteer day at an animal shelter.
It's easy to judge and criticize others, especially in these unsettling times of overt intolerance, ignorance, and insults, but the fact remains that we need to work together to ensure that positive change occurs. Name an action to take, or a campaign/charity that would be worthwhile to contribute to, for your cause.
There are so many important charities that are always working for change.
A few I would like to mention are:
What gives you hope for the future?
Everything gives me hope for the future. No matter what is going on in the world, I always try to remain very hopeful.
Where can we purchase/stream your music and find out more about you?
My website is https://herroyalmajestys.com/bif-naked/ and I can be found across all social media and all of my music can also be found there.