Photography by Louisa Nicolaou
Kevin Brereton, or k-os, is a Toronto music legend. Since his first single released back in 1993, he’s been making an impact on both the Canadian and global music scenes ever since. He’s also been a pal of ours at The Drake for a long time: the video for the 2005 winner of Best Pop Video at the MMVAs and one of the catchiest tunes ever “Crabbuckit” was filmed at The Drake Hotel in the Drake Underground during our first year around the sun. In case you haven’t seen the video in a while, here it is:
We invited Kevin to come for a little sneak peek of our brand new Artist Loft at The Drake Hotel – a 4-bed apartment that’s privately accessible and perfect for you and 7 other people in your bubble’s get-outta-the-house-but-stay-safe staycation. Then we asked him a few q’s for our 5 Questions With series, to learn a little more about his creative process and how he’s getting through the times of COVID.
So much of the music industry is about bringing people together, and we’re all desperately missing shows. How have you been filling some of this void since March?
A friend of mine asked me to do a virtual performance at Swangard Stadium in B.C. this month. It was just my guitar player and me – alone in the middle of the field doing about 7 songs. It was fun and symbolic of these times: an empty stadium, with musicians playing to no one but themselves. “There are no separate events in nature”: if that zen proverb is true, I guess this is exactly the void we need right now to host a new way of making art. Trying to keep it liquid is the goal. Liquid fills in the gaps.
What is your creative process like? Has it changed?
I’ve always been a weird, nerdy guy making music in my bedroom, so that hasn’t changed much. More than anything I realize how career driven I have become over the years, how music has become my job. With COVID attacking the world we have no choice as musicians to start thinking collectively. Like…wondering what’s best for everyone and maybe pause on blatant career moves. My process or job at this moment is to help people escape, make them smile and help them transcend the gloom and doom.
What artists have you been particularly loving lately?
The Beaches, Kari Faux, Mariah the Scientist, and Ejjie Smith.
What advice would you give other artists or creatives who are feeling uninspired during this time?
Pick an artist not of your colour, creed or culture who makes art different or opposite to yours and try to emulate as close as you can.
What’s your favourite memory of The Drake?
Besides shooting my breakthrough video Crabukkit here? Hmmmmmm…that’s tough. Maybe seeing Jason Momoa having breakfast in March…calling up a mutual friend and asking her to introduce us and her saying no. looooool. Also patio drinks with Ola.