I love discovering new artists that I know will become faves in the long-term. Such is the case with Spencer Sutherland, who just put out his first EP, NONE of This Has Been About You, and embarks on his first headlining tour this summer. He’ll be in Denver at the Globe Hall on August 15th, and better get your tickets soon cause they are selling fast.
I was able to chat with Spencer today and I’ll admit, I was a bit intimidated before the call because someone with that good of a voice has to be at least a little conceited, right? Wrong. He was incredibly kind, funny, humble and excited to be figuring out who he is as an artist.
He will be all over the States in August, so catch him where you can.
Spencer Sutherland Interview
So, tell me a little bit about your musical journey.
Well, I’ve been singing all of my life, so it’s just actually part of me. I grew up in Pickerington, Ohio, which is a suburb just out of Columbus. It was a great place to grow up and I have an awesome family – but as a place for performing, not so much. I decided in second grade that I was going to be a singer. I actually wrote it down on one of those “what do you want to be when you grow up” questionnaires. I even drew a singer with the microphone in his hand.
When I was in high school, I thought, “how can I do this and cover the expenses I need” – which was like $20 a week for gas – so I called about 100 restaurants around town and found myself playing acoustically while people ate dinner at all these Greek and Mexican and pizza restaurants. I was singing every night, all kinds of different music. That’s how I learned how to perform. Everything from Elvis to Bruno Mars. I would see younger people walk in and I’d start playing Justin Bieber and then when it was an older crowd, it was definitely time for Elvis.
Eventually I started gaining fans and having shows of my own, and then opening for people, and then writing my own music. It was definitely average pop music at first and then about a year ago, it really struck a chord that I needed to write songs that were more real. Then things just took off from there! I’m going to have my first tour and I have my first EP and my own shows and I am super excited about it.
It sounds like you were trying to be more pop in the past but have settled into a style that is more you.
Yeah, I got to a point where I would look around and think, OK – I sing well but others are still miles ahead of me. I realized that I was trying so hard to be a “popstar” that I was turning myself into a fucking robot. I thought “this is not me.” So I took some time off and I wrote over 100 songs. I really was about trying to figure out who I was and at the end of that, I knew. This is who I am. I want to wear a turtleneck sweater and I don’t care what anybody thinks.
And I saw that you were on the X-Factor. How did that go?
It was 2017, I was there for about four months and made it to 12th place, which I am really proud of. I was still kind of in the middle of my pop genre mess, though. But that international travel was so good for me, I learned so much. Also, on the show there was a lot of them telling me to pick songs that “match you.” I sat down and realized I really didn’t know who I was – I had so much trouble picking the songs.
I have seen several of your videos. Seems like you have a sense of humor as well.
Not taking life too seriously is really important to me. Because pretty much every day, I have an existential crisis. I’ll get freaked out about something and then I’ll think, “Why am I stressing? Everyone I know is going to be dead in about 100 years.” So, why worry so much, right? It’s warped but that’s how I see it. So, yeah, I love to have fun in the videos. The next ones will be building on that. People just really need to realize that shit is not that serious.
What is your live show like?
We’re still working on it now since this will be my first headlining tour. But I want it to be more than a show. It’ll be a full band and then there also be broken-down parts. I want it to feel like a real experience.
What would you like fans to take away from the show?
Personally, every time I go to a good show, I walk away with a feeling. From Bruno Mars to Jon Bellion and even the Red Hot Chili Peppers, as examples – it’s more than the show – it’s a feeling that you get from being there. If you want to just hear the music, you can listen to the streams – but I like when an artist makes it more than that live.
If you weren’t a singer, what would you be doing right now?
Well, I also do a little acting so I would probably move in that direction. I am also really into fitness and food so that would definitely be an option.
Have you ever been to Denver?
You are so lucky to live in Denver! I was there for first time in April opening a show at the Gothic Theater. I think Denver is an amazing town. I was so nervous to put on a headlining show there. I figured no one would know who I was, but tickets have been selling really well and that’s such an honor. I can’t wait to get there and meet everyone. Because I’ve been doing this so long, I don’t ever take it for granted. It shocks me that I get to do this for a living.
Go see Spencer on August 15th at Globe Hall!
See my other posts from Globe Hall!