Nick Kizer has a dream of creating the biggest Arizona music compilation ever, and he’s inviting musicians statewide to participate. There’s just one rule: Each submission has to be a cover of another Arizona artist’s song.
Kizer and his team will accept tracks from any genre and time period, recorded anywhere, and even remixes or loose interpretations of the original material. Each song simply has to capture a specific moment in the state’s musical history. Entries are due Halloween night.
Kizer’s When in AZ project launched in 2009 with a collection of 55 tracks, all from different artists. With covers of and by musicians like Black Carl, Dry River Yacht Club, and What Laura Says, Volume 1 captured a fleeting point in time for the local scene. Now, Kizer has decided to release a second edition, and he hopes it will be just as extensive.
He’d also like to see more diversity, he tells New Times in an email interview.
“My real priority is to have a wider variety of genres submit," Kizer says. "I would like to see more Latin, country, jazz, hip-hop, electronic ... I would also like to see more female participation because it is leaning a bit male-heavy.”
So far, the growing roster includes avant-garde group Treasure Mammal, country ensemble The Blood Feud Family Singers, and garage rockers No Volcano, among others.
In addition to nurturing Arizona-based artists and serving as a time capsule of sorts, When in AZ has a philanthropic purpose. Volume 2 will be available for free online, but listeners will be able to make an optional donation, with all proceeds benefiting Ryan House, an end-of-life care facility for children and infants in metro Phoenix.
Kizer is also planning a festival or showcase concert series for participating musicians to raise additional funds for the charity. “It really is an amazing place that helps families in the hardest time of their lives,” he says. “I know from experience because my newborn son Theo lived and passed away under the care of the Ryan House family in 2014. We were able to stay there nearly a month expense free.”
Once all the songs are in, Kizer and his partners, including producer Jalipaz Nelson at Audioconfusion studio in Mesa, will master everything and release the compilation in early 2018. Expect more information around the beginning of the year, including details on the shows planned for venues throughout the Valley such as Modified Arts, The Trunk Space, Rhythm Room, and Yucca Tap Room.
Listen to Volume 1 online and visit the When in AZ website to learn more. Send questions and unmastered WAV files (including home recordings) to [email protected] by Tuesday, October 31, to participate.