Meet Ziggy Alberts. Homeschooled. Independent. Australian. Fun. Enjoys sleep, long walks on the beach. But only when there aren’t any waves. Then, Ziggy Alberts enjoys surfing. He’s a little weird, left-handed, and he loves the environment.
Not only is he a genuine, socially-conscious, and thought-provoking singer/songwriter, he’s a ripper on the surfboard, an avid environmentalist, and a humble performer.
On Sep. 13, he brought his talents to a packed house at the Vogue Theatre where he headlined night two of the Westward Music Festival, alongside Quebec natives Busty and the Bass.
Though the dark, gloomy days have arrived in Vancouver, Ziggy had no problem bringing life to the rainy city. Veteran fans and newcomers alike danced the night away as he played songs from his latest EP, Laps Around The Sun.
Hailing from Australia’s East Coast, Ziggy taught himself to play the guitar in 2011. Growing up with an interest in freelance journalism, he learnt how to write about environmental and social justice issues in unorthodox ways, like lyricism.
“My goals as a songwriter are to observe, reflect, and present issues and challenges in ways that make people curious, opposed to dissonant,” he said, over email. “I aim to be honest in my writing; and make sure [my] songs have a real message, have feeling, and mean something to me.”
At the age of 18, Ziggy moved to Australia’s surf and tourist hub, Byron Bay, to pursue his music career.
Travelling around the country, playing small shows using only the energy gathered from the solar panel atop his van, organizing beach clean-ups after shows at the local coastline, and striving to cut down the use of plastics on his tours, he soon made a name for himself.
Since then, he has released 4 records, Feels like Home (2012), Made of Water (2013), Land & Sea (2014) and Four Feet in the Forest EP (2016).
Most recently, he released Laps Around The Sun, an album that focuses on pressing issues such as mental health awareness, and environmental issues.
“It’s been a cool breakthrough. The inspiration behind [the title track] was feeling really lost. Honestly, that says it all. Lost on where I belonged, and how to process the overwhelming impact we are having on our planet. That inspired me to write this song about learning, hope, and coming together.”
Ziggy’s songwriting blends passionate and heartfelt storytelling of personal experiences, with pressing messages, and his commitment to environmental and social justice is demonstrated through his lyrical compositions and touring practices.
Inspired by Jack Johnson and his team, Ziggy’s tours emphasize the reduction of single-use plastics and sell only responsible and eco-friendly merchandise. On Friday night he gave praise to the Vogue Theatre for withholding the use of plastic straws for the evening.
“From little things, big things grow, and everything we put into a bin ends up in the soil or the sea,” he said.
“I’m still learning, and I want to do even more, but it really depends on how ridiculous our schedule is… time is one of the biggest environmental challenges on tour.
“My pursuit of trying to be environmentally responsible, on and off tour, is entirely selfish. I want to be able to breathe clean air. I want an ocean and it to be filled with animals and less plastic because it truly sucks swimming in plastic and it rules swimming with whales and dolphins. I want to go places and there to be forests and clean rivers,” he said.
Originally a surfer, Ziggy says his passion for surfing has given him a lot of direction in life and feeds a lot of inspiration behind his songs.
But now, it’s less about surfing, and more about enjoying the ocean in all ways possible and sharing his experiences with others.