Five Questions With Kurtis Adamus

Ottawa, ON-based artist, Kurtis Adamus has unveiled his new emotionally charged single, “Testing Your Luck”.

Born in his parent’s garage during the dead of winter, “Testing Your Luck” features a light electronic keyboard, nostalgic synth lead, a simple drum machine beat, and Adamus’ heart-wrenching lyrics. Adamus sings like a guy with a wealth of knowledge about the many missteps of life—and he’s only in his mid-20s.

“Testing Your Luck,”is reminiscent in tone and feel to a Phil Collins track from his “Face Value” days. The song feels quiet and small, but explodes with burning emotion during the “Time is Testing Your Luck,” chorus and the following bright ’80s synth solo. Adamus uses his three characters in the track to convey the desperation, rejection, and sorrow many of us go through at some point in our lives.

“I’m definitely a music first kind of artist, but after getting down those first few chords, I thought about the narrative and parallels of three people having awful nights at the same time,” Adamus says.

The “sirens singing while the town tries to sleep” in the track are inspired by actual sirens Adamus hears frequently, as he lives close to a hospital.

“I like to think of sirens as a town crying for all to hear, reminding you that life goes on and things happen,” he says.

Check out “Testing Your Luck” below, and find out more about Kurtis via our Five Questions With segment.

Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Kurtis, I am from Ottawa, Ontario and I have just completed my Bachelor of Music degree at Carleton University. I grew up in a house that was constantly filled with music and it has always been a huge part of my life. It was very important to me that music remains a part of my life after high school. By then I had already started singing and writing my own songs on the piano so I figured a music degree would help me write and perform better. Aside from music I work in the Aquatics Industry managing teams and facilities which is another passion of mine. I am a textbook extrovert which means I absolutely love working with people even though it can be quite challenging at times. These two parts of my life have complemented each other well. The creativity of being a songwriter has helped me become a good problem solver and thrive in the innovative environment of working at a start-up. On the other hand, being a leader and a manager has given me the tools to lead a band as well as handle the business side of being an artist that music school doesn’t necessarily prepare you for.

Tell us a bit about your music and writing style.

I want to make music that I enjoy listening to. If other people like it as well, then that’s a bonus! When I sit down to write a song it’s usually because I have a melody in my head. Music always comes first and then I ask myself “what words would sound good here? What am I trying to say?”. From there I string together some thoughts or a narrative. If a melody isn’t already there a song will come to me while I am playing something else entirely. Sometimes it’s while I am learning a cover song or even rehearsing my own music. Even though a lot of my music has to do with my own experiences I try to keep the lyrics open-ended so that others can identify with it. I want people to insert themselves into a song that I’ve written and create their own meaning out of it. That’s what I do when I listening to music and I love the idea that one song may mean something totally different to two different people.

How have you been keeping creative during the Pandemic?

The best form of inspiration for me is listening to new music. Hearing something fresh that excites me is enough to make me run to my piano and make something of my own. There is also a lot of time to think during a pandemic. You can’t do anything and so there is no sense of urgency. We’re all on island time right now. When I have a lot of time on my hands I tend to just sit there and think, reflecting on what is going on around me and how that makes me feel. While I might not write about anything I am thinking about, it certainly sparks the creative side of my brain.

If you were asked to suggest only one of your songs for someone to hear, which would it be?

At this point, it would be my latest release “Testing You Luck”. Musically, lyrically and production-wise I think it’s the best we’ve done. I say we because there is no way that I could have done any of it without my team.

Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so who are your current favourite Canadian bands/ artists?

A Canadian band that has never failed to impress me is the Arkells. I love that they love what they’re doing and it comes across in their music. There this sort of confidence that Max Kerman exudes in his voice that totally rocks. They almost have their own genre. I can’t ever seem to fit them into any of my playlists yet their songs are awesome. Another Canadian band that I have a soft spot for is Blue Rodeo. I remember listening to “Bad Timing” as a kid and falling in love with the song. It’s the sort of easy laid-back country ballad vibe that I grew up with. And the message behind it is so simple and so quintessentially human, it’s awesome. Other Canadian bands/artists that I love are The Tragically Hip, Bryan Adams, Carly Rae Jepsen (I think she is very underrated), and William Prince.

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