A Whitley Bay-based marine insurance claims manager who found his musical mojo during lockdown is gearing up to release his latest single.
Adam Curran – better known as indie electronic music producer Arcade Skies – has received plaudits via BBC Introducing as well as regional radio stations and arts and culture magazines, since he began channeling his creative talents to create his own music during the first Covid lockdown in 2020. Since then he has released two critically acclaimed EPs and a number of singles, with his latest offering, Sugar Sugar, set to hit the airwaves May 2nd.
Adam, 44, specializes in 80s-derived synth pop electronica under the guise of his alter ego, Arcade Skies. The name was inspired by both the amusement arcades of Whitley Bay and the spectacular sunrises and sunsets it has witnessed on lockdown walks.
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Adam describes the mostly instrumental Sugar Sugar as a “relaxing electronic pop synth folktronica” and said he enjoyed showing off his versatility as a musician who can play a range of instruments, from piano to saxophone, during of his latest musical project. He told ChronicleLive: “It was great to play clarinet again on a new song, this time for the lead riff. Sugar Sugar combines woodwinds and virtual instrumentation to produce a catchy lounge house duo with a vibe. uplifting.
Adam is into all genres of music, but explained the reason he turned to synth and electronics because “a lot of artists that I like are from the 1980s and that’s the kind of music which I tend to listen to. I thought it would be good to produce my own.
“Over time I also moved in an ambient and atmospheric direction. But I still like the folktronica element because it’s nice to bring real live instruments into the songs.”
Adam writes all of his own paperwork – which couldn’t be more different from his day-to-day job for Newcastle-based leading marine insurance company North P&I as a senior claims executive. A lawyer by training with a law degree from Northumbria University, he describes Arcade Skies as originally a ‘creative hobby’ spawned by the lockdown, a parallel interest his wife Clare has in art electronics and his cousin who has a band.
He said: “My cousin was promoting a new band and I was quite interested in what they were doing and wanted to know a bit more. I started researching music myself by searching the internet and YouTube and found out the basics of how I would start and what equipment I would need, and I got it really taken from there.
“In terms of music, throughout my life I have tried to play different instruments. I had piano lessons for a brief period when I was very young and I always had a keyboard and I I improved it every year. Then I did clarinet in school, which is very present in Sugar Sugar.
“At one point I had drums and some guitars and kind of messed around with the instruments just by ear, really. I recently bought a saxophone because I realized that if you can play the clarinet, you can also play the saxophone. The thing about the clarinet is that it sounds great, but it sounds cooler if you want to be in a band and play saxophone.
Arcade Skies is a solo project for Adam and it was successful almost from day one. He said: “It started pretty well as my first single was featured on BBC Introducing. Since then I’ve been getting regular radio broadcasts.
His fanbase is growing through Spotify, YouTube and Bandcamp, and while he’s not yet able to let go of his day job, Adam said: “One way to look at it is if something takes off. really or not. , is that it doesn’t matter to me to do my hobby because I will continue regardless. But whatever comes of it is a bonus. You sort of grow gradually, and the people discover you, and then all it takes is a small breakthrough and its exponential growth.