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There are so many hidden gems of Baha’i-inspired music scattered around the world, and now hailing from “the land of the long white cloud” (New Zealand), I’m happy to introduce to everyone the wonderful musical works of Steve Lockie.
Steve Lockie has just released his fourth album titled Spirit of Life, and it’s clear from his music that he’s not only a seasoned singer and songwriter, but he’s a natural at it, and it’s great that he’s shared his talents with us by exploring the Baha’i revelation through the art of his music in the short seven years he’s been a Baha’i.
I decided to touch base with Steve about his music and his latest album:
Baha’i Blog: Hi Steve, can you tell us a little about yourself and your musical background?
I bought my first guitar when I was 15yrs old (I’m 65 now) and taught myself to play from tunes on the radio. My first gig was at a school prize giving when I did “Times are a changing” by Bob Dylan. I’ve been writing songs since then and formed a couple of country rock bands in the Far North of New Zealand where I still live and play.
Baha’i Blog: This is your fourth album. What’s been the idea behind this particular album (or all of your albums) and why was it important for you to make it?
Since I joined the Baha’i Faith in 2008, I became more and more impressed with the Writings and the power of the words. The first quote likening the soul to a soaring bird from studying Ruhi book 1, impelled me to work it into a song and then my first Baha’i album titled “Soaring Bird” came from that…. and what a great way to memorize those quotes! Since then other books and prayers and holy writings have produced albums “No Time To Lose”, “Broken Winged Bird”, and my recent one, “Spirit of Life”.
“Spirit of Life” was written while doing service at the House of Worship in Samoa. At the time we were teaching the Faith to many international visitors and the album came from the many beautiful quotes we were using.
Baha’i Blog: How have your musical journey and the Faith intertwined? Meaning, how has the Baha’i Faith influenced your music, and how has your music influenced your journey as a Baha’i?
At my first Ruhi book there were 3 other guitarist and when I came back with the song ‘Soaring Bird,” we played and played it and they loved it and encouraged me to go on and do more! I then came to realize through my Baha’i studies that music can be a “ladder for the soul” and that combining it with the Pure Word from the writings takes it to another level of inspiration for others and me. When I play my songs at 19 day Feasts, devotional gatherings and Holy Days people appreciate the live music as a way to lift their spirits. When asked to do a presentation on aspects of Baha’u’llah’s revelation, I have been blessed to use my music as a teaching tool.
Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little bit about how New Zealand has influenced your spiritual and musical journey as well?
In my first song, “Soaring Bird” my good friend Wikitoria naturally added a powerful and haunting “Karanga” Maori chant. I feel that my songs though are somehow universal because they arise from the universal teachings of Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha. I taught some of these songs to the Samoan Youth choir and they did a great job of them in 4 or 5 part harmonies!
Baha’i Blog: What’s the most important thing you want your listeners to walk away with after they’ve heard your music?
First of all I want my music to be pleasing to the ears, to stir some higher lofty feelings and draw the people to contemplate the beautiful words and powerful teachings that are in the lyrics. I’ve tried to be “unrestrained as the wind while carrying the message of Him who has caused the dawn of Divine Guidance to break”, and to use many different genres from reggae to folk. But it is the words and guidance from the Writings that I want people to take as their own.
Baha’i Blog: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
In order to produce my music the way I thought best, I got together my own studio and taught my self audio engineering and production skills. I invite other Baha’i musicians and songwriters to come and share my studio and skills and lay down some tracks of their own…who knows what we can achieve through “consultation”.
Baha’i Blog: Thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview Steve, and thanks so much for sharing the Baha’i Writings through your wonderful music.
You can buy copies of “Spirit of Life” and Steve’s other albums here: stevelockie.bandcamp.com
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