We often look upon those who surrender as being weak or lacking the will to push their way through something that’s challenging. Sometimes that line of reasoning is justifiable, sometimes we just need to find a way to rise to the occasion. But it’s often the case that surrendering can do us benefit by helping us come to a realization that assists us in changing our course and head in the right direction. Take, for example, musician Brad Lee Curtis.
Like so many others, the COVID-19 pandemic was really starting to get to the singer-songwriter. He had a batch of brand new songs that he was in the middle of recording, but the pandemic had made just getting into a recording studio a near impossibility. With a bunch of songs halfway done, Curtis wasn’t sure whether he’d ever be able to release them. Rather than wallow and grumble, the optimist in him won out and he surrendered to the obstacles that the pandemic had presented him with by listening to the voice in his head to push on through.
The result of Curtis’ perseverance is his debut solo single and music video for “Surrender.” Musically, the song fits in a place somewhere in between Fleetwood Mac and The War On Drugs. There’s a heavy emphasis on strength, will, and determination to follow your desires and remain focused on your destiny.
Explaining the desert backdrop of the music video and the motivation behind it, Curtis shared, “When I wrote ‘Surrender,’ I was picturing these desolate desert scenes in my mind and how unforgiving yet beautiful the road to your dreams can be. It just made sense to me that the American Southwest would be the perfect backdrop for this video. So, late last year my wife Hilary and I set out on a two-week-long road trip throughout New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada. We stopped and filmed everywhere we could; alongside the highway, on railroad tracks, while riding the Sandia Peak Tramway in Albuquerque and even while searching for a vortex in Sedona.”
Curtis spent his childhood growing up in Wisconsin before relocating to Milwaukee in his 20s where he first began to break into the music scene. He became a regular in the local bars and outdoor festivals while also writing and recording with the band Low Down Sound. Eventually, he realized that Milwaukee wasn’t the proper place for him to fully embrace his career, so he relocated to Nashville where he learned engineering and gathered experience working as a producer and studio engineer for as many local artists as he had time for. It was through working with other musicians that reinvigorated Curtis’ interest in songwriting so he shifted his focus back to his own music which began to take on a more personal tone. Although he had initial regrets, the move to Nashville has started to pay dividends for Curtis, aided in large part by “Surrender.”
With his debut single now behind him, Curtis is preparing to unleash the rest of the material he’s been working on, more enthusiastic than ever in his pursuit of musical greatness.