Ian Locke is a True Creative Original

Ian Locke is a multi-faceted creative with a gift for collaboration — he continues to lead the way with his trend-setting creative endeavours.

By Athena McKenzie // Photo by Belle White

Ian Locke in his apartment in the Cowichan Valley.

“Originality is the biggest inspiration for me because it’s a bit of a paradox,” says Ian Locke. “The actual nature of it can be seen in so many different lights and can be questioned and scrutinized. What is truly original? We all strive to be original, but at the same time there’s nothing really new.”

In striving to be an original, Locke has carved out a unique life for himself, as a musician, composer, director and producer. His mix of skills came about by “necessity.” As a lifelong musician — who currently plays solo, and with local band Modern Thought — his desire to take his music as far as it could go started him down his creative path. 

“Friends in college who were making videos needed music for their projects, and they came to me,” Locke says. “Back then access to music licensing was not very easy and it was expensive, and so I ended up making a couple of soundtrack videos. And then, out of that, I ended up doing more things, like creative-directing the whole shoot, along with the soundtrack. As projects kept going, I knew I was going to have to get behind the camera to make more things that I wanted to see.”

A current film project, Perfect Song, came out of a vision Locke had with friends he met while in college in Australia. The group wrote the entire script over a series of Skype calls using Google Docs for the collaborative script. After raising $30,000 on Kickstarter for filming and production, they shot in London and Berlin. Locke also did the wardrobe, styling, direction and producing.  

“I’m currently finishing up the soundtrack,” he says. “We are trying to get it into as many festivals as we can and get some attention for it that way. It’s a story of self-actualization, within the context of writing songs in the music industry, and I think it’s a relevant topic for now — especially because the central figure in the movie is a female finding her own path.” 

Where Locke has really found professional and financial success in the past few years is through licensing his original music through a stock agency. 

“Some of my stuff has been in big corporate commercials, like for a Canadian energy company,” he says with a laugh. “One song was used for an audiobook in the Netherlands. My music has been in corporate training videos and travel vlogs and people’s private projects. I don’t even know all the places it’s been used. That’s the crazy thing.” 

This “strange development” is just another aspect of Locke’s multi-faceted artistic journey. 

Recently, Locke launched a creative media company called CNCLZ with Ian Smith, the proprietor of Victory Barber North. The endeavor will consolidate all the areas of Locke’s expertise, including creative design, video and marketing.  

“To be an independent artist in Canada, having profitable outlets for your artistic expression is massive,” Locke says. “I’m just going to use every resource I have to build my creative output. All of these things are affirmations.”


This article is from the September/October 2019 issue of YAM.