Artist Spotlight: Martin Kerr

Artist Spotlight: Martin Kerr

Martin Kerr started his career on the streets, one passer-by at a time. Since then Martin Kerr has built a devoted fanbase of thousands and has performed all over the world and with the likes of Sarah McLachlan.

Although he has his own unique sound, he is often compared to James Taylor and more recently Ed Sheeran (although that might have more to do with his ginger hair and charming English accent) Kerr’s storytelling spans the whole spectrum of emotions. His powerful voice and songwriting have earned him high praise from legends like Sarah McLachlan and Bruce Cockburn.

Kerr explains, “You have to make people laugh before you have a licence to make them cry. To see people experience such a range of feelings with me at my live shows is my favourite thing about being a musician. There’s something beautiful about sharing both happiness and sadness and then happiness again with a stranger. I always try to send people home with a happy heart”

In 2017 he went from busking on street corners to selling out his first major theatre show, then opening for Sarah McLachlan at a 20,000 seat stadium, and landing his album in the Canadian Top 10. It was an arrival of sorts for this globe-trotting singer-songwriter, having racked up passport stamps from 35 countries on his musical travels.

Martin, a 2019 Edmonton Music Award winner is now receiving recognition as one of the Best of the West in the Pop Artist of the Year category as a 2020 Western Canadian Music Award nominee.

Since that breakout success, Martin has been creating a fresh sound with producer Ryan Stewart who has worked with Carly Rae Jepsen, Owl City and Victoria Duffield, just to metion a few. The result is the new album ‘Everything is Under Control’, combining elements of Kerr’s intimate singer-songwriter approach with Stewart’s contemporary pop sensibilities. Martin fits with the current wave of young confessional singer-songwriters, yet the tone of his voice can also take you back to the 70s.

For release day the entire album was re-arranged and performed live with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in front of live audience. Equally comfortable going solo or fronting a philharmonic, Martin finds himself traveling all over North America performing for communities large and small, old and young.

Most of them go home singing ‘You’re Amazing’, the carefree, toe-tapping first single and most lighthearted track of the album. It’s earned radio play across Canada, the UK and the Netherlands and climbed to #4 on the Spotify Viral Chart.

‘Enemy’, another track on the album, is a stadium pop power-ballad, that wouldn’t sound out of place in a Coldplay set. It seems on the surface to be about a relationship gone wrong, but on second listen you hear the layers of social commentary, a lament to the divisive times we’re living in. Its the 4th track from this album to be picked up by CBC for national airplay, along with major playlists on Stingray, Sirius XM, Spotify and Amazon Music. You’ve probably heard it somewhere.

Kerr kicks it up a notch with the follow-up single, Reason a track with echoes of Cool Kids and Pumped-Up Kicks. “You can tell me anything you want, anything you want, I will believe it” goes the singalong chorus, an ironic dig at the death of decency in the post-truth age. Not everyone will get it, even as it gets stuck in their head. It’s a timely tune for the current election season. is happy to play many cuts from his current album along with his other original works, like “The Update” and “You Feel like Home.” Another favorite of ours is his cover of “Into the Mystic.”

With the onslaught of the pandemic Martin has gone back to the streets to sing and inspire those that have to stay at home. How does he do that? He sets up in the street and families come out of their homes, pull up a lawn chair in their front yard and enjoy. It is a way for Martin to stay connected to his old and new fans. congratulates Martin Kerr for his nomination and looks forward to many more insightful, positive and uplifting songs to come rolling off his guitar. Find out more about Martin Kerr at Martin Kerr Music.