While Toronto is renowned for its growing number of chart-topping artists, it has always been loved first for its status as a cultural melting pot.
Distinguishable among the individuals behind the phenomenon is Adrian X, one of Toronto’s best kept secrets. Defying the boundaries of genre through his far-reaching brand of Psychedelic RnB, his eclecticism seamlessly traverses reggae grooves, metal riffs and hip hop rhythms to stir up a textured, alternative flavour. Born Adrian Eccleston, the guitarist proudly represents his roots and the best of the city’s diversity.
Encouraged by a musical family, Adrian has been finessing fretboards since the age of nine, and his stylistic fervour is imprinted with the echoes of Prince, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix and U2’s The Edge, whose dynamism fueled the fires of Adrian’s creative consciousness and highlighted the UK’s guitar culture for him as he grew up playing in RnB bands. The tipping point, however, was the image of Living Colour’s Vernon Reid on the cover of Guitar Player Magazine and the discovery of his spitfire licks that introduced Adrian to a new, ferocious style of rock n’ roll playing which blended with those of his classic influences. Endorsements with the legendary Gibson guitar company and UK-based Victory Amps are a testament to Adrian X’s technical prowess, but what places him in a league of his own are that his music seems to exist in a state of timelessness, and his signature laid-back-yet-fiery sound that blossoms like fine wine and courses with fluid ease.
One of the unique creatives unabashedly servicing rock n’ roll music locally, Adrian is a do-er whose time off the road is spent invigorating his gigging community by creating opportunities for musicians to showcase and collaborate. On the road, he is known as a consummate professional, and the go-to guitarist for international runs. Over the last twelve years, Adrian X has collaborated with the likes of Doc McKinney, Drake and The Weeknd, and circled the globe as a hand-picked guitarist for those titans of RnB, as well as the cream of the pop crop, including Nelly Furtado, Kylie Minogue, and most recently, PARTYNEXTDOOR.
As the pendulum of mainstream taste swings back toward the distorted rock styles of heavier guitarists past, and Adrian’s touring schedule lightens up, his time is mostly spent honing the production and songwriting skills that saw him contribute to the Grammy award winning team behind Drake’s Take Care, in his studio, endearingly known to a large number of musicians as “The Grotto”. He is gearing up for the 2020 release of Soulgazer Deluxe, a relaunch of his electrifying 2014 debut album, which played to audiences at Guelph’s popular Hillside Community Festival and Toronto’s preeminent Luminato Festival, stating success for his first release, and showcasing the range of Adrian’s massive appeal. With the first single slated to drop in the spring of 2020, and a handful of new tracks to look forward to, the cherry on top of Adrian X’s inimitable style and undeniable talent, is an understated competitiveness that only sees him continue to reach new heights in an already soaring career.