Local musician Austin Diotte-Turner, who goes by ADT Music, began his music career in 2019 with an online music production course. Today he has an album and posts a cappella covers online that have even been noticed by a few celebrities.
The course Diotte-Turner took was by music producer Andrew Wong, and he said it was a great experience for him.
“It was like you got to collaborate with all these other people and feedback with each other. It was a good learning experience, and I’ve just been working on it,” he said. “I’ve always loved to just record stuff, and I’ve always had that drive to just make cool-sounding music.”
He said he’s played music most of his life, but only started taking it seriously within the last five or six years.
The a cappella work was inspired by the song Take A Picture by Filter when he heard the harmonies.
“I just love vocal harmony so much,” he noted. “I was like, what if you just make the whole song vocal harmony and just get rid of the instruments? And I’ve seen lots of people in the past have done a cappella stuff. I just tried it myself and I’ve just been really loving it.”
Not everything Diotte-Turner does is a cappella. Videos online show him playing with instruments at times, but the covers are all instrument free – the A cappella Builder Series.
Diotte-Turner said he can play a variety of instruments and loves playing each instrument for a different reason. However, if he had to pick a favourite, it would be piano.
“I think piano is honestly probably my go-to because I feel like most comfortable there and I can just get what’s in my head out, and that’s what I love about it. I love playing every instrument, but I think piano is home for me.”
When Diotte-Turner was a kid he was at his aunt’s house fiddling around on her piano. He said his aunt told him he sounded pretty good, but he never really thought about it after that – until he was a bit older.
“I was at school and playing marimba, and the teacher thought I was picking it up so quick, she’s like, ‘you should play the piano part along with this,’” he said. “I’m like, okay, I don’t play piano, but sure, because I still never really played at that point. But I managed to do that and she was like, ‘wow, that’s great. Just play accompaniment for us from now on.’ And that was like Grade 8 or Grade 7… I felt like, wow, this is the first time I feel like I’ve done something that’s good in my life.”
Now he posts covers and other musical content across TikTok, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram – something he’s always wanted to do.
“I felt like I’ve been searching for a way to make music my whole life, and I think one opportunity these days is the online scene. Content creation is becoming such a big thing and there are real jobs there, and it’s a really hard market, for sure, and really grindy. But I think I do really enjoy making videos.”
Diotte-Turner’s videos have garnered attention from some of his favourite bands – Def Leppard, Marianas Trench and Tears for Fears.
“Def Leppard posted me on their Instagram story, reposted my cover when they were doing a contest,” he said. “I did a cover of their song Armageddon. And I was like, ‘Holy smokes,’ that was an insane moment.’ And Marianas Trench also reposted my cover completely on their channel.”
Another one of Diotte-Turner’s favourite bands, Tears for Fears, also commented on one of his songs.
“It’s my three moments of fame. You’ve done a good job. I guess. So clearly, I’m glad that people enjoy it enough to share that. It’s very humbling.”
Diotte-Turner is also part of two choirs – Island Voices and Quarantones Male Chorus. He said between the choirs, his full-time job as a chef de partie and making covers he has to really find the time to work on his own music.
“I’ve been saying for a while I want to do singles for a bit to try that out,” he said. “It’s like, where do I put time for original music right now and surviving an adult life? I’m trying to figure all that out right now, see where I put what. But I would love to do some more original music.”
He said he would love to put out another album and ultimately would love to have a full-time music career.