Vancouver hip hop group Swollen Members is coming to Nanaimo’s Evolve Nightclub on Saturday, Jan. 20. (Photo courtesy Battle Axe Records)

Vancouver hip hop group Swollen Members is coming to Nanaimo’s Evolve Nightclub on Saturday, Jan. 20. (Photo courtesy Battle Axe Records)

Swollen Members perform two Island dates on brief B.C. tour

Vancouver hip hop group hits Nanaimo and Victoria on 20th anniversary of 1999 debut, ‘Balance’

One week before Swollen Members kicks off their January tour, Prevail is pacing around his Vancouver apartment, trying to curate his art collection and sifting through career memorabilia, while listing to old Swollen Members tracks in the background and “basically lip-syncing and karaoke-ing to my own stuff.”

“If only you could see what is laid out on my floor, brother. It’s quite funny,” he said.

“I get my cues not only from things like movies and books, but also visual art, sculpture and things like that. So I’ve spent quite a lot of time putting together what I consider a pretty awesome collection of art and sculpture and hand-blown glass and things of that nature, but there’s only so much room that one has in their domicile.”

Prevail, a founding member of the Vancouver-based rap group, is in the middle of some early spring cleaning, and it’s bringing back memories.

As he prepares for this month’s brief provincial tour that beings Swollen Members to Vancouver Island for a pair of dates, the past has been on Prevail’s mind. In the fall the group got together during an Australian tour to discuss how to commemorate the release of their 1999 debut album, Balance.

“Although it sounds odd considering it’s only the first couple weeks of 2018, we’re really gearing up for a 20-year anniversary of Balance in 2019 and making sure that we can do a big worldwide run there,” he said, adding that a new record may be in the works as well.

“The concept amongst the crew is that we’ve been very lucky, we’ve been very blessed, our friends and family have been just tremendous to us. So we feel that if we were to do one album with a concentrated effort … that would be pretty powerful and provocative, so I think that’s where our focus is.”

Back in his apartment, Prevail is flipping through a stack of paper when he notices an old German train ticket and comments on how these scraps of the past are jogging his memory.

“I’m finding old laminates and everything,” said Prevail, glancing at a tour booklet from when Swollen Members opened up for the Black Eyed Peas and Rihanna on a Canadian tour.

“It’s kind of cool looking back and flashing back though all that stuff. What is the year on this? 2006? Wow,” he said with a laugh.

“It’s pretty awesome, man. I’ve got to say, looking back, it’s been very rewarding.”

Swollen Members playes Nanaimo’s Evolve Nightclub on Saturday, Jan. 20 and Victoria’s Upstairs cabaret on Monday, June 22.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

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