Victoria singer Sachika had plenty to be grateful for last Thanksgiving, the next day however, she was sure she was about to die.
“I had a serious accident on the Malahat six months ago. I almost died. After, I was sitting on the side of the road thinking, ‘I’m not doing what I love. I really have to try again with music,’” she said.
Sachika’s 1995 BMW hydroplaned off the highway and hit a concrete barrier, pushing it over the cliff.
“I swerved into oncoming traffic … I took a chance and went between two cars and hit the barrier. … I said to (my passenger Bruce Cookson) ‘we’re going to die’ – I was that scared, and he said, ‘No we’re not.’”
The car was obliterated but Sachika and Cookson suffered no serious injuries.
After a trip to the hospital, she went directly to the recording studio and sang for four hours.
“It solidified in my mind that life is too short to not do what you love,” she said.
She decided to take her ICBC settlement, and a leap of faith and head to Montreal’s Piccolo studio to record her single Not Gunna Play.
“It was amazing. I feel so blessed, so grateful. You always have to balance making a living with doing your dream, your art, whatever it is for an artist. I felt so supported (by friends and family).”
Prior to the crash, Sachika, 32, was close to giving up on her dream. Her last CD was recorded nine years ago and “paying the bills” left her little time to concentrate on singing.
“You don’t realize how a car accident really messes you up mentally,” she said. “The situation could have gone so many ways. I’m really blessed it went the way it did.”
Director Michael Worth, who produced the music video for Cole Grifter’s Habit, convinced her to make a video to go along with her single.
“It’s been wild. I recorded the single at Christmas and Michael said ‘Let’s do a video,’ and so many people donated their time and we did it for $2,000 … it’s just wild,” she said.
Worth partnered with local artist/body painter Kristin Grant and choreographer Jessica Hickman to set the scene.
“Set designer Eva Yager, a designer and wedding planner bridged Worth and Sachika’s concept into the third dimension,” said assistant director Mia Bailly. “(They) created a visually stunning and cutting-edge experience that will captivate the audience.”
The video is a stylish and avant-garde period piece. Cinevic, the artist-run cooperative, also loaned its support to the project.
“It’s really the vision of the director Michael Worth and Sachika – it’s their vision,” said Bailly. “It’s quite neat the way everything came together.”
Bailly said assistance from dozens of volunteers gave the work “a great community feel.”
Many Canadian College of Performing Arts students provided assistance as extras during the shoot, and set materials were provided by the Belfry Theatre.
“I don’t think I knew what I was getting myself into,” said Sachika. “Michael has grown so much in his craft and so have I. It was great to network and get people on board.
“I just reviewed the footage, I was worried about what it would look like, I have such high ambitions for it, Much Music and the Ellen Show. For it to be a contender, it has to really be special.”
So far, she is enthusiastic about the results and with the addition of editor Denver Jackson, she is sure it will be a success. “For me it’s an empowerment song,” she said.