Soaking up the sun and strumming her guitar, Karly Summers is in her element.
Whether it is in a coffee shop, busking in markets or playing on stage at a festival, the 20-year-old Langford-based musician is just happy performing for others and making the music she loves to make. Especially, she added, if the sun is shining.
“A lot of people think that playing in markets and busking is not a real gig, but I beg to differ,” she said. “I meet people every day and sell a lot of CD’s and play music and I really, really love it. It is my number one thing this summer.”
Fresh off the release of her self-produced EP How it Goes, Summers looks forward to getting back into performing mode and continuing to craft her self-described “pop-folk singer songwriter” style.
“Singer songwriter is kind of emerging as its own genre, which is really awesome. It is vague, but it is like truthful, raw, meaningful music that comes directly from the singer songwriter, so it is pretty personal,” she said.
“This EP is all about life lessons. I try to incorporate my own lessons in life and turn them into a song. Hopefully people can relate to them.”
Those connections started early on for Summers, who started writing music at 12 and making music videos with her father through her teens. During high school at Belmont, her song “Not Giving In” was selected as the class’s graduation song. Two years later she continues to work to build on a skill Stuart Morse, a former music festival curator who has worked with her in the past, said comes honestly through her.
“The thing that really jumps out is … she doesn’t do it to sell records or make money. She wants to express herself in a way that feels real, and that, to me, is a great positive for her,” Morse said.
He believes there is a market for her style of music and the grassroots connections she is making without compromising her music or personality.
Summers, who counts Michelle Branch, Sarah McLachlan and Imogen Heap among her many musical inspirations, said staying true to herself is her goal, along with making a living from her music either through performing, producing, teaching or some hybrid. Everything else is gravy.
For now, she is more than happy to continue her musical journey on the streets of Greater Victoria.
Summers performs at Bastion Square, the Sidney Market, the Ship Point Night market and anywhere else she can strum her guitar, doing so just as passionately for a dozen people as she would for a single person who stops to listen along the way.
“There is nothing better than singing in the sun with people that are really happy.” For more info., visit karlysummers.com