BIF NAKED INTERVIEW BY ROBERT MACNEIL

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As an artist, we are inspired by other artists as they stir something inside of us to create. Part of my creation process has always been music, during photoshoots and editing. Knowing Bif for a few years but being a fan for almost 20 years it made sense to interview a big source of personal inspiration with the hopes to inspire others. For those of you who don’t know Bif, she is a Rock Star, a Writer, a Humanitarian and so much more. This interview will just give fans a taste of who she is but if you really want to know more she wrote an amazing book and is currently on tour with it. She is an incredibly talented musician with 9 albums and compilations being played all over the world. (Currently I am listening to Spaceman, my favourite Bif song!!) But what truly endears her to me is the sheer volume of charities she supports and promotes from reducing poverty to saving animals. (More can be found at http://www.bifnaked.com/home.html. ). As I too wanted to inspire others with this interview I asked fellow Bif fans on my social media what they wanted to know and I have included these questions in my interview as well. So Bif, just a few questions for your fans, new and old….

You have such an amazing career: Musician, Writer, Poet, and Advocate: If you had to pick only one what has given you the most creative pleasure?

Thanks very much. I love volunteering and working with people. I always say I wish I could do it full time but the lucky thing about my job is that I get the opportunity to meet so many people through my performing and appearances. I suppose I really get to do it all.

As an artist myself (photographer) I surround myself with creative and artistic people, one major theme of this interview is inspiration. I have asked fellow artists and creatives what they wanted to ask you to help inspire them and others but I wanted to know who has inspired you the most and how?

The things that inspire me are endless! I find inspiration in everything from a cup of coffee to a senior animal to a prison window to a rain shower- name it! I can find something to write about.

(From Bianca Bee): What helps you draw inspiration when you’re feeling uninspired?

I am never feeling “uninspired” but sometimes if I am stuck for a feeling or theme I draw on my past. Whether it’s tragedy or joy, I will find a memory that still feels fresh, and then write about it.

During your treatment for Cancer several years ago (and we are glad you beat it!!) what did you discover about yourself that you didn’t know before the diagnosis?

The best things about my cancer treatments and the time in my life when I was sick and bald, and running around in baseball hats and wigs, were all the cool people I met fighting cancer right beside me. The other patients were my teachers, my blessings, and my friends. I never would have met those people if I was not in cancer treatments, so I will always be grateful for having cancer.

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(From Naddie Randazzo): What is your inspiration? Not only in her work but in life in general?

In life and everything else, I am inspired by EVERYTHING. My parents raised my sisters and I to be grateful for everything in life, and we are. I am inspired by being interviewed and that anyone asks my opinion about stuff, I am inspired by the fuzzy backs of the bees, I am thankful for every bite of the banana I eat. Everything is a gift. Everything is inspiring.

Just starting to read your new book, “I, Bificus” and wondering what you want the readers to walk away with knowing most about you?

I just hope that people feel like I am exactly the same as them. I am exactly like everybody else. We are all the same.

(From Kyana Patey): in all the places and things you’ve experienced what’s the one thing you would recommend to anyone wanting to find peace?

Finding peace is as easy as being grateful. I find that feeling grateful causes happiness, and causes a sense of peace and well-being. It really boils down to simply feeling thankful for everything happening in your life: being able to breathe, having something to eat, getting a bit of sleep without being in fear, etc. These things are so easy to think about and put into our minds.

As artists names go, yours is very interesting. Can you tell us how and why you changed your name and did you mentally become someone new afterwards?

My friend’s cousin mis-pronounced my name (Beth) in the junior high school, and he called me “Bef” which just became  Bif. “Naked” was my punkrock last name given to me by my first punk band. The name has stayed with me since before 1989.

(From Rachel Stephanie Purdy) ….Being a breast cancer survivor, how do you feel about genetic screening, would you have had the surgery prior to developing cancer, if you knew it was going to happen, as some other women have?

I was not eligible for genetic screening because,not only was I adopted, but my birthmom was adopted, and I had no medical history. I think if a person wants to get genetically tested and then take preventative action based on that result, it is their body and their life, and they should do what is right for them. Any answer is the right answer for that individual. For me? I think I still don’t know what’s coming up and I can’t worry about it or future surf. I just live each day to the fullest.

What inspired you to write the song tango shoes?

Tango shoes is a metaphor for whatever it takes to give a person courage. For me, I was in several abusive relationships in the past and needed some reason to leave that person as my own self-worth was never enough of a reason to leave and save myself. But if I could have some armour like new shoes or tattoos, maybe I could feel newfound confidence, etc.

As you have travelled extensively, excluding Canada where in the world would you recommend other creative and artistic people to visit at least once in their lives?

Anywhere you have a chance to travel, in this lifetime, you should go! Whether it’s just down the street or on the other side of the world- go! Enjoy!

What’s next for Bif Naked?

We are very excited to be in pre-production for our new rock record called, “HEAVY” at the moment. We are hoping to have it out by summer 2017

All the best Bif and thank you so much for taking the time out of you very busy schedule for me. If you are in Canada you must check out Bif’s book and acoustic tour, called “Songs and Stories Tour”  in Canada from November 2nd through November 27th and are coming to Ontario for several dates:

WATERLOO (Maxwell’s) November 11, 2016

HAMILTON (studio at Hamilton Place) November 12,2016

LONDON (London Music Hall) November 13, 2016

OSHAWA (Mustache club) November 15, 2016

CATHERINES (Warehouse) November 16, 2016

PETERBOROUGH (Red Dog tavern) November 17, 2016

Please follow Bif on her social media to find out more about her.

http://www.bifnaked.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheOneAndOnlyBif

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bifnaked

Photo’s by Karolina Turek

Robert MacNeil

Photographer/Interviewer

www.robmacneil.com

rob_macneil@hotmail.com