Global LGBTQ+ icon k.d. lang’s music has taken center stage in millions of homes, cars and lesbian bars for over 30 years. Still, the deeply personal, quiet, self-professed “boring” star has struck a chord of balance out of the spotlight in recent years.
As the 25th anniversary of lang’s super chart topper Ingénue once again outstretches to the masses, the 56-year-old sits comfortably rested in her Canadian fortress with her close-knit circle of family and friends.
“I’m spending a lot of time in Canada,” lang says. “I’m very family oriented and very low key. I have very nice dog and I do a lot of the cooking for my family. I’m lucky enough to spend a lot of time with my mom these days.”
One thing has certainly changed over the past 25 years since the original release of Ingénue.
“…my drive, probably, has changed the most,” she says. “Attaining a certain level of success has shifted things for me and now life is also a priority for me, not just music, and touring, but balancing my life a little better.”
Songwriting has never been lang’s preferred creative outlet. In fact, she’s quite vocal in the love/hate relationship she shares with the “arduous task,” as she calls it.
“My relationship with songwriting is kind of a difficult one,” lang says. “I don’t find songwriting that easy. I find it a rather arduous task. Although I still like to do it, I’m definitely not a prolific songwriter. I’m kind of lazy that way.”
She admits her music still holds original meaning to her – as well as many new associations.
“They [the songs] pretty much all retain the original essence and emphasis of why I wrote them, but of course performing them for so many years, they definitely garner a few other experiences,” she recognizes. “If anything they have increased in meaning and experience.”
New experiences and memories will be made Friday, February 23 and Saturday, February 24 when lang sets sail (figuratively of course) for Vashon Island in Washington state. Her manager lives there part-time and she adores the relaxed, woodsy island with sandy beaches and plenty of art galleries. She’ll kick off her Ingénue 25th Anniversary tour at Vashon Center for the Arts.
“I have good friends there and I’ve spent quite a bit of time on Vashon Island,” lang says. “It just seemed like a nice, chill place to rehearse and get ready for the American tour. Plus, I just love the island.”
The double-night shows will serve as a fundraiser for the Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust and Vashon Center for the Arts. According to the Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust website, “The Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust was founded in 1990 (informally in 1989) by a dedicated group of islanders who were concerned about preserving Vashon and Maury. Since that time, the Land Trust has been instrumental in the acquisition and permanent preservation of over two thousand acres of carefully chosen property on Vashon and Maury.”
“The Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust is very important to me because Vashon is a beautiful part of the world and I’d like to make sure it stays fertile and productive and continues to grow beautiful things, like vegetables, and maintains that certain type of integrity it has that is important to me,” she says. “And the Vashon Center for the Arts is the other beneficiary and it’s important to me because great venues are imperative to great performances, plus it supports the local artists. I’m looking forward to setting foot on stage there because I haven’t been there yet, but I’ve seen it being built and I’m excited to get up there and sing for the people of Vashon.”
Vashon Center for the Arts is “a collaborative and community-based organization,” that “provides a center for the arts on Vashon Island, initiates quality arts experiences for all ages and creates opportunities for artists to perform and exhibit their work.”
Fans hoping to meet lang at one or both of the concerts have an option this time around. The meet and greet ticket runs for $499 and includes seating in the first two rows.
“It’s something that’s relatively new for me,” lang explains about the meet and greet process. “I experienced it in Australia and I very much liked meeting my fans and having a moment with them. So it’s kind of new, I’m kind of a newbie with it, but I look forward to meeting some of my great supporters.”
lang, ever the adventurer, reveals next: “There [are] a lot of silly things that have happened to me. Let’s just keep it to on stage – I remember way back at the very beginning of my career probably about 33 or 34 years ago, I was performing in Toronto back in my cow-punk days, and I was dancing and I fell and hit my head on the corner of the monitors. I was starting to pass out and I thought, “If you don’t get up you’ll probably pass out right now” so I got up, but I had this huge goose egg on my forehead.”
Being openly gay and of a certain celebrity status certainly means your life is on full display. Still, lang asserts fans might not be too amused at what she’s hiding. Which is, kind of, not much.
“I don’t know, I think there’s probably not many surprises left,” she says. “I’ve been pretty open about a lot of my life. I’m pretty low key, pretty boring, and I think that would be a little surprising to some people.”
She claims she has “too many hidden talents to even dig into,” and that her favorite spot to tour is “generally Asia.”
On that note, there’s been some “Constant Craving” for lang right here in the Seattle region and we can’t wait to welcome her back!
Find out more about lang’s two upcoming Vashon Island performances and support her Pacific Northwest nonprofits of choice right here.