Artist Rachelle van Zanten has released a single showcasing her music, her mountain bike coach and the beautiful mountain biking trails of Burns Lake.
“I write what I know. I learned that a long time ago. Certain things in life really resonate or inspire me to stay there and form words and grooves that paint the picture of what I see. I love taking the listener there. I do my best to take them to the place and to feel the emotion,” said van Zanten.
Her latest single called “Kelli Likes to Ride” was inspired by her mountain bike coach, Kelli Sherbinin. When Sherbinin came to Burns Lake in 2015 to teach a level 1 PMBI course, van Zanten was inspired by her and when she came back a second time to workshop more skills, van Zanten was truly blown away by her ability to teach and her flawless riding.
“I just felt that I needed to write about it,” she said.
Van Zanten who was raised in the Lakes District, got an early musical start right from Kindergarten. She started off playing trumpet and drums and then took up guitar in high school. Once in high school they had a jazz band, choir, and concert band which helped her at music theory. After Grade 12 she attended the University of Alberta and studied agricultural sciences while also playing for the varsity basketball team where she met her soon to be band mate Daisy Blue Groff.
“During year three of university we would drop out, start a band, make a “cassette” (for real)and start touring. We founded the foursome female rock band, Painting Daises, which toured the globe for 10 years, making four albums in the process and winning numerous awards,” she said.
In 2004 when the band broke up, van Zanten went solo and recorded “Back to Francois” with producer Joby Baker and went back out on the rock ‘n roll highway touring all over Europe, United Kingdom, United States of America, India, Nepal, and Canada.
“After five albums and another 12 years on the road, I decided to slow it down a little. I developed a cough which would not go away, most likely from the smokey bars I played in all through my 20s. I also started craving my home roots at Francois Lake again,” she said.
Her dad helped her rebuild their old family cabin and she planted her roots in Burns Lake. Van Zanten has two daughters with her partner, Chris Paulson, and for a while kept playing shows while raising kids.
Van Zanten is now an almost full time coach for Spirit North in the Lakes District.
“With the pandemic, the music scene has truly vanished. There are no more shows and because of streaming and it’s damaging effects on artist income and survival I am very grateful for my Spirit North gig. I am seeing so many of my artist friends suffer!” she said, adding that after touring, being able to share her passion for sport, connection to land with children here and being able to raise her kids without being away for long periods is what her spirit needed.
The pandemic has also hit the mountain bike industry hard and according to van Zanten, this song was timely even for Sherbinin.
Before this single, van Zanten had released a Christmas EP back in 2018. The album consisted of all originals except for one Mark Perry tune, David and Louie.
“The next release is in the future somewhere. I never know when that time comes. For now I am grateful for this,” she said, adding that this single itself had been made possible through Creative BC’s financing for the production of the music and the video and the Lakes District Arts Council’s support.