Martin Kerr has been building his career from the streets, one passer-by at a time, and now has following of thousands.
In the past year he sold out two nights at the 1700-seat Winspear Centre, opened for Sarah McLachlan at a 20,000-seat stadium, and saw his new album reach #2 on the iTunes album chart in Canada.
Often compared to James Taylor, John Denver and Jason Mraz, Martin’s anthemic modern-folk connects with listeners of all ages. With a growing list of major festival appearances, his brilliant storytelling and soaring voice are captivating audiences across North America and beyond.
While travelling in China as an 18-year-old, Martin briefly met a Canadian girl, who then wooed him from afar with poems and mixtapes, and sent him a plane ticket to Edmonton. They're now married with 3 children. The unique story of their long-distance courtship often forms a charming and hilarious part of his live show.
Building his career from the streets, one passer-by at a time, Martin Kerr has been able to make a living as an independent musician for the last 10 years. Kerr is no stranger to taking his guitar, along with his busking amp, and setting up his CD store anywhere he could gather an audience. “To connect with people who left the house that morning not expecting to hear live music in the street, for a song to stop them in their tracks on their way get groceries or run to the bank, is a really special thing.” says Kerr. It has been these connections that have enabled him to build a fan base of loyal supporters who he refers to as more of a family.
With their support he has been able to achieve things usually out of reach for an independent musician - such as selling out 2 nights at the 1700-seat Winspear Centre, and landing his latest album in the Canadian top 10.
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 is guaranteed to cover the whole spectrum of emotions. His powerful voice and intricate songwriting has earned him praise from the likes of Sarah McLachlan and Bruce Cockburn. “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.” Kerr explains. “I always try to send people home with a happy heart”
Kerr’s lighter side is something to look forward to in the music of his forthcoming ‘You’re Amazing’ EP. The song ‘You’re Amazing’ has been the soundtrack to a summer packed with festivals and outdoor performances which has seen the audience enthusiastically join in chorus for the line “I’m not bad myself but you’re amazing.”
“I never thought I would write a song that people would sing along to the first time they heard it, although that has always been my dream,” explains Kerr. “At the festivals this summer I could hear people singing that chorus to themselves and to each other as they were walking home which was such a great feeling.”
‘You’re Amazing’ was the result of a recent writing and recording session in Sydney, Australia with award winning producer Chris Vallejo. Chris is known for his work with Passenger and their hit “Let Her Go” which recently hit 2 BILLION YouTube views. Martin has also been co-writing with some of Canada’s best talent including Darryl James (Strumbellas) and Ryan Stewart (Carly Rae Jepsen, Hedley) to develop material for his next release.
"Martin Kerr..what a voice! Pristine, measured and beautiful." - Sarah McLachlan
"You had me in tears" - Bruce Cockburn
Vancouver Folk Fest 2018
Islands Folk Fest 2018
Bear Creek Folk Fest
Edmonton Folk Fest 2017
Kerrville TX Folk Fest 2017
Winspear Centre (self promoted, sold-out) May 24 2017 and May 15 2018
NERFA 2017, official showcase
FAR-West 2018, official showcase
Manager: Anthony Lovesey
Booking: Amanda Schweers, The Feldman Agency
Publicity: Samantha Pickard, Strut Entertainment