Curtis Labelle was sitting at the piano in the morning while waiting for the mail lady to come drop off something he was waiting for.
Then he looked out the window from where he was sitting and spoke.
“I don’t want to wait for the postman,” he said.
From there the rest of the lyrics for Labelle’s newest song fell into place.
Labelle then entered a contest from Rock 104.5 in Olds and the prize was to work with and record a single with JUNO nominated producer Mark Troyer.
And the single they recorded at Evergreen Sound Studios in Calgary was ‘Run Run Away’.
Since the song’s release and before with some of Labelle’s other songs people have been commenting how Labelle is like a Canadian Elton John or Billy Joel.
“When I first started hearing the comparison it was bittersweet because it’s great and a huge compliment to me but at the same time I wanted to try and find my own image, so it took me some time to appreciate that.”
Living in Sylvan Lake over the last year has been one of the influence’s for Labelle’s music.
“I have written some lyrics while sitting at the lake, and I’ve hummed a melody sitting on the pier while no one else was around. I think that the simplicity of what Sylvan Lake offers is the hidden beauty that you can really enjoy at any time of the year in any season.”
Labelle has been a singer songwriter for just over two and a half years, but he was a professional musician for a long time before that.
He started playing the piano when he was four after his parents bought him a little keyboard.
One day his dad came down and noticed that he was doing something on the piano and there was a sequence of notes that sounded musical.
Afterwards he started piano lessons and now Labelle has been playing the piano for 34 years.
When Labelle wrote his first song it was a scary and exciting experience.
“We have a lot of pride in our music and we have hope for it when we put something out. Sometimes it has a positive reception and sometimes it doesn’t but when Shade was released people were excited that I was finally doing me.”
So, over the past two years Labelle has seen a great deal of growth in his career with 15 songs written and six released.
Now during the pandemic, the world of virtual reality has really had to come to the forefront, said Labelle.
“There’s been a big challenge to the artists in the industry for performing arts and anything media in a sense to keep that art form out. We had to adapt very quickly with technology connections and increase our internet fan base.”
Many artists have also felt that there has been opportunities taken away, said Labelle.
“I think that’s one way of thinking but at the same time I believe as an artist that this is the time when you think there is no opportunity when it is the perfect time for opportunity.”
With the growing popularity of his music many people have asked Labelle if he would rather win a Grammy or a JUNO.
“I resonate more with the JUNO because Canada’s my home. I think the meaning of a JUNO, the history of it, and the associated members of our community are amazing.”
Currently Labelle is working on four singles and is hoping to release three more before the end of the year including his first Christmas single. The group that Labelle is part of is also hoping to release a ten-track album in April in time for their 2022 tour across Canada.
“Music is a gift, music is medicine, music is healing as an ailment music is most important that way. It’s the reason why I do music because it changes people’s lives.”