Sunday, January 25, 2015

Love and Sobriety have given Semko new life

Love and Sobriety have given Semko new life
Simon Hiatt - Metro Saskatoon

In a career that has taken him across the country and garner­ed international acclaim, both as a member of the Northern Pikes and as a solo artist, Saskatoon’s Jay Semko admits there is still some trepidation when it comes to the hometown gig.

“It’s always different than anywhere else,” said Semko, while laughing. “Partly because people here can also see me at Superstore.”

Fans who aren’t lucky enough to see him in the produce section will get their chance when he performs an acoustic set at The Refinery next week (May 17). He says the shows at home are easier on him now than they once were.

“I still can get a little bit nervous,” said Semko. “But there’s more of a confidence fac­tor now.” That feeling stems from some big changes in his lifestyle.

“I cleaned up a few years ago, I’ve been sober for five years now and that’s been a big part of getting my confidence back,” said Semko.

Success has also played a role in building Semko’s confidence. He recently received the Roots Album of the Year Award from the Saskatchewan Country Music Association for Force of Horses and his gospel song Drop You in the Water has been nominated for an International Independent Music Award.

But one only has to press play on his latest CD Sending Love to discover which change in his life has had the greatest impact. “Being in love adds a whole new dimension to your life,” said Semko. “I feel completely rejuvenated.”

Semko describes the CD of love songs as “pouring out of him quickly” inspired by his partner, Colli Christante, whom he met two years ago. The partnership has taken off on all fronts as she now also manages his career.

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