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Singer Martin Kerr set to perform in Ponoka

Singer Martin Kerr is bringing his engaging set of tunes to Ponoka on June 7
Singer Martin Kerr performs at the Ponoka United Church on June 7.

Edmonton-based singer Martin Kerr's music breathes richly from extensive - and international - life experiences.

He performs at the Ponoka United Church on June 7, starting at 7 p.m.

"I was raised in a small town in England, and I was always around music," he recalled.

"My family loved music, and I was given opportunities to explore it, too. My parents aren't musicians themselves, but I was always encouraged to sing and perform. I had a natural love for doing so from an early age.

"It did come naturally to me, and I was lucky enough to have the support of family and teachers, and to also have lots of opportunities to explore my creativity."

Kerr started penning his tunes at 13, and it wasn't long, as mentioned, that he was sharing them with audiences.

"I inherited my sister's guitar which she gave up after just two weeks from buying it," he added with a laugh.

Over the next few years, he would learn from fellow musicians as he was also carving out his own identity as an indie-folk-oriented singer/songwriter.

"That's what I loved so much about the guitar, was that you could always learn a song or a chord from somebody and just run with it. Singing was always my first love, and I wanted to express myself and sing my songs, as well as songs that I loved from others. So the guitar made sense to me - you could just learn a few chords and then perform a song that you loved.

"So I did that from the very beginning. As soon as I had three chords under my fingers, I was writing and performing with the guitar."

After he graduated from high school, he didn't particularly want to dive into academics, so he hit the road.

"At that point, I wanted to see the world and to explore things from a different perspective. So I went traveling around the world, and I ended up spending three years in China as a backpacker, a teacher, and as a student," he explained.

And that was just the start.

He has since visited some 36 countries - soaking up the cultural richness and the stories of each one along the way.

"It was also while I was in China that I met a girl from Edmonton. We kept in touch long distance, and then we ended up falling in love and getting married a few years later. I was in university in Virginia for a couple of years and while I was there, things got more serious with us, so I dropped out. Up to that point, I also hadn't really taken the plunge into believing I could be a professional musician.

"I had been studying education and had dipped my toe a little bit into being a teacher. I was interested in many things, and I was always told I had better have a back-up plan because being a professional musician was almost impossible," he said.

It was around this time, that he realized that he wanted to go 'all in' with plan A - that of being a full-time musician.

"I felt that if I divided my focus and my energies, I would be less likely to succeed. So I moved to Canada to be with my sweetheart and started my new career by busking on the streets of Edmonton."

This was back in 2005, so Kerr noted that Canada truly feels like home now.

"England was a lovely place to grow up, but I was always raised to see the world as my home," he said.

"My parents raised me to be outward looking, and to see that world as a place to be explored. So they supported me on my travels and moving to the other side of the world. That was liberating for me, and those themes come through a lot in my songwriting. I have a lot of songs about travel and adventure, and seeing new places."

Projects include 2017's Better than Brand New, 2020's Everything is Under Control, and Grateful which was released in 2021.

Several singles have been released through the years as well, including the beautifully-crafted Moonlight, and the image-laden sensibilities of An Old Prayer. 

His latest EP, After the Apocalypse, was released this year as well.

"I've always loved the more acoustic tracks, and it's more what I focus on in my shows. They are very intimate, story-telling experiences. I want to give people insight into where these songs have come from and how they might relate them to their own lives. There is always lots of audience participation as well - they can expect to laugh, cry, and sing along. It's the emotional experience that I am focused on.

"I feel at home on the stage, and it always reminds me that I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing with my life," he said.

“When you listen to my songs, I (also) hope you feel acceptance for yourself,” he said.

“There’s power in continuing to determinedly love yourself and one another despite all of our shortcomings and the chaos around us. I hope you sing along and feel like you’re not the only one.”

Tickets for his show are $25 and are available online at or through the church office.

For more details, call 403-783-4087.



Mark Weber

About the Author: Mark Weber

I've been a part of the Black Press Media family for about a dozen years now, with stints at the Red Deer Express, the Stettler Independent, and now the Lacombe Express.
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