Nikita Afonso is returning to Penticton.
The born-and-raised musician is bringing her band back from Vancouver, where she now lives, to perform at the Sunshine Cabaret concert series at Gyro Park on Aug. 19.
After leaving home and taking a music and technology program in Nelson, Afonso followed her dreams to Vancouver to try and become a professional musician. No easy task for anyone.
“The first couple of months were definitely the hardest,” Afonso said.
Paying the not-so-cheap Vancouver rent was the first thing on her priority list, landing a job at a coffee shop, then months later working at a music store.
She performed with her band, solo and is now part of a jazz duo. She started getting enough gigs to cut her hours down to part time at the music store.
“I’m basically just performing now it’s awesome. That’s the whole reason why I moved here, it’s what I wanted to do and even more if I can,” Afonso said.
She’s currently working on releasing an as-of-yet untitled EP. The six-song offering was recorded at the iconic Warehouse Studio in Vancouver.
“I’m really excited for that,” Afonso said.
It’s the first follow-up to her full-length album in 2012.
“I never toured that one, I never had a proper release party for it. This next one coming out I really want to do it properly,” Afonso said.
She said she’s got her feet more steadily underneath her this time around. She had the itch to make something new, but with a little patience she found the right team of musicians and the right producer to make it all fit.
Some of it came together quickly, though.
“There’s a song on there called Mild, I wrote it in like an hour. It just kind of flew together. From that moment I was like, OK, this song is going to be on the EP. I feel like if something happens that quick it’s kind of meant to be and deserves to be recorded and heard,” Afonso said.
Some of the new songs can be heard at Gyro Park when Afonso comes to town.
“Since I grew up in Penticton I have a lot of supporters and they’ve continuously, even since I moved away, support me. I don’t really get a lot of chances to go back to Penticton to perform so I wanted to pick one date, go back and play as much as I can,” said Afonso who will also play at the Farmers’ Market on Aug. 20.
“I’m really excited. I used to play at the Farmers’ Market every single Saturday in high school,” Afonso said. “I haven’t had a chance to ever since I moved out of town. I love busking, I can’t wait to get back to it.”