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ThisIsWhatWeLiveFor - How the West Was One

by Derek Jory / Vancouver Canucks

Kyprios is man enough to admit he cried during Game 7.

The 33-year-old hip-hop artist from Vancouver was at Rogers Arena on April 26th to witness Alex Burrows slaying the dragon as the Canucks finally put the Chicago Blackhawks to rest, but it wasn’t the overtime goal that had this fan choked up.

You know how people freak out when the camera pans to them in the stands and they realize they’re on the jumbotron? Well, Kyprios not only saw himself in a video played in arena midway through the first period, he heard himself.

It was a dream come true.

The Canucks TV video, ‘How the West Was Won’, was set to the Canucks song he helped create a few weeks earlier, titled ‘How the West Was One.’

Kyprios, or David Coles as it says on his driver’s licence, performed the single at the Canucks Party on the Plaza outside Rogers Arena prior to Game 5 of the opening round series and clips from that were used to make an unofficial music video for the song fans are still buzzing about.

In late March, with the 2011 playoffs fast approaching and Kyrpios’ older brother Kevin departing before long to undertake missionary work with his girlfriend and her parents in Africa, the duo wanted to have a little fun.

When my brother and I get together to have fun, one of us gets hurt or something gets broken, or both – or worse.

Not the Coles brothers.

“I came up with the lyric ‘How the West Was One’ and we thought it would be an homage to old spaghetti westerns, like Sergio Leone and what not,” said Kyprios, former member of the Canadian hip-hop collective Sweatshop Union.

After the bug had been planted for a Canucks tribute song, Kyprios, the lyrics guy, did a show with T-Pain in Nanaimo and while riding the ferry back to Vancouver, things started to flow.

Remember that scene from 8 Mile when Eminem is riding the bus through a rough part of Detroit feverishly penning lyric after lyric after lyric after lyric while trying to connect all the dots? Kyprios looked something like that and the end result was the same for both: an unforgettable track.

Kevin, the melody guy, laid some guitar, base and side vocals to Kyprios’ main lyrics before Rob the Viking, from the hip-hop group Swollen Members, mixed it and mastered it. The song came together and was ready for download in less than 24 hours.

‘How the West Was One’ has been available on iTunes (with a portion of the proceeds going to Canuck Place) since April 5th; the song can also be heard on, and it's been played almost 20,000 times already.

“This is definitely the most media attention I’ve seen and I’ve had publicists and had people working it for me,” laughed Kyprios, winner of CKPK-FM’s Peak Performance Project, a contest for emerging musicians in Vancouver, in 2010.

“To have a release and do something just for fun on a squad that I love was a great affirmation for me that everything I do doesn’t necessarily need to be thought out so much, just do what you love.”

Kyprios’ love for the Canucks is clear from this year’s playoff anthem as 30 current or past players are mentioned in the lyrics, even the Green Men get a shout out.

It’s all in a day’s work for a proud Canucks fan rocking the mic, one who will be hard pressed to not follow up the single if beards in Vancouver get another month and a half of grizzly growth.

“We thought it might be fun to do every year, but maybe it needs to be remixed for the next round, who knows?”

If there is a follow up and it’s played during a future Canucks game that Kyprios is attending, he wants you to know in advance that he has a little bit of dust in his eye and/or he was cutting onions.

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