During Canadian Music Week

During Canadian Music Week

Local singer coming back to Island

Hometown sensation Stef Lang always loves a trip back to the Island.

This one is especially exciting as the Ladysmith ex-pat is warming up the crowd and opening the show for Fefe Dobson in Nanaimo.

“I’m very excited about it. I’m a huge Fefe Dobson fan,” said Lang from her new home in Vancouver.

She always relishes the chance to play in front of her friends and family.

“It’s nice to see familiar faces and come home.”

Lang graduated from Ladysmith Secondary in 2006 and moved Mainland shortly after to pursue her music career.

During the last year, Lang has been on the road a lot, travelling across Canada and down into the U.S. to sing her distinct brand of pop/rock.

While she is excited about opening for Dobson, Lang was also in for a thrill when she shared the stage with one of her idols this month in Toronto.

In Hogtown for Canadian Music Week, Lang had just performed a set with Feldman Agency, one of the biggest agencies in Canada, when she found out she was being followed by a surprise guest — Ron Sexsmith.

“He is one of my favourite singer/songwriters and I was totally starstruck when he came on stage. I said ‘Whoo, I technically opened for Ron Sexsmith,’ ” said the still-excited Lang.

But it hasn’t been all big stages and stars for Lang, who described her music career as a ‘long, steady, growing process.’

“Nothing ever happens over night. I think a lot of people have this illusion that you’re going to get discovered then, all of a sudden, you’re going to be playing stadiums.’ ”

The music industry, said Lang, is changing, but believes those changes are giving musicians more power by letting them do more on their own.

“For example, you can record your own music, you can do your own marketing online with Facebook and Twitter, you can do all these things.”

While it may not be glamorous, not being attached to a label gives Lang the freedom to do as she pleases creatively.

“It’s taken me a long time to grow into the songwriter I am and figure out who I am.

“And I’m grateful to have that space to grow.”

For any future high school students dreaming about being a music star, Lang has a suggestion — don’t wait, make it happen.

“People don’t realize how much they can do for themselves.”

But, Lang noted, there needs to be a passion and love for the music.

“You’re not just doing it to be rich and famous, because that motivation is going to steer you in the wrong direction.”

And you can’t be afraid to work at it, she added.

Lang plays with Fefe Dobson at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo on April 12.