Spencer Sutherland, a self taught singer/songwriter and Ohio native is making waves in pop music with his new single “Heartstrings.” After big tours with X Factor’s Emblem 3 and pop sensation Ariana Grande, the 20 year old is ready to take the spotlight all on his own. Spencer spoke with Joonbug about his new single, his cover of Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran’s hit "Everything has changed," and our mutual respect for Taylor, and what’s next in his career:
First off, congratulations on the release of your first single, “Heartstrings.” How does it feel now that it’s out and the world can hear it?
First let me just say thank you for your interest, I appreciate the interview so much! As for my first single ... It feels so crazy that I can say check my song out on iTunes! It's literally a dream come true.
How much do you draw from your own experiences for your songs? Do you prefer to write in a more general tone to ensure it’s relatable to everyone?
All of the songs I write come directly from real life experiences! The lyrics stem from something I have FELT. Most of my songs are about relationships--- heartbreak, being in love, wanting someone to feel the same way you do about them. Although my songs are introspective I haven't gotten very specific - I want to write about experiences in a way that hopefully everyone can relate to.
You recently released a cover of Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran’s “Everything Has Changed” with Stefanie Scott... how did you two connect and decide to work together?
Well Stef and her manager heard me sing and asked if I was interested in teaming up for a duet. I was into it -- not something I had done before!
Weird thing is our managers asked us both to pick a couple of songs to cover. I chose only one. My manager sent in my pick and it turns out we both chose the same song!
Love Taylor Swift -- more than a celeb crush :) I truly respect her -- great songwriter, relatable story teller, but she also delivers her songs in a believable way. And Her live performance -- forget about it! I don't think fans or industry people comprehend how much work she puts into her shows! And I really respect how dedicated she is to her fans.
With any luck maybe someday I can do a collab with her ;)
The video was featured on MTV’s Buzzworthy--how excited were you for that recognition?
Okay, well to be honest I was getting my hair cut when I found out and I actually jumped up from my chair and I'm pretty sure everyone thought I was nuts. But I really pumped about MTV recognition - that's something huge for me. It's like a validator of my music. I hope that that I get to do more with them in the near future.
You’ve been on huge tours with Emblem 3, Ariana Grande and Big Time Rush... now be honest, tell us who your favorite tour buddy/buddies were?
Everyone who I've performed with have been really cool! I would say I'm closest to the guys of Emblem3. We both share a love for fitness, so we worked out together! And we share a lot of similar taste in music! They're cool guys - fun and spontaneous! It's great to see their success continuing to blow up!
What’s it like touring with your peers? Any jam sessions that led to plans to work together in the future?
It's really awesome performing with people the same age as you because you know exactly what they're dealing with and going through!
Love doing collabs! Good energy! No plans yet... that I can say ;)
Who are some of your favorite artists that inspire you as a musician?
Some current inspirations...Bruno Mars is a huge inspiration to me because of his CRAZY vocals and range! He delivers his songs with such passion. Justin Timberlake also inspires me with his showmanship. He's the smoothest dude around! and I have already told you how Taylor influences me as well.
Any plans for the holidays?
I'm looking forward to Spending a lot of time with family because I don't see them as much as I used to. It's hectic with my single dropping right during the holidays so lots to do and lots of travel! But I love it all!
Also gearing up and rehearsing for 2014!
What can we except from you musically in 2014? Will this be the year of Spencer Sutherland?
I really think that it'll be my best year yet! The guys at our Clearchannel station WNCI have been so supportive! They are putting the single into rotation ! Radio is unbelievable for an unsigned artist!
So fingers crossed :)
I am also headed into the studio to work on new music with some amazing producers and I'm gearing up for some touring as well. I am really working hard to try to make this to be my break out year. Thanks to people like YOU guys! Again - Thanks so much for showing early interest in me -- appreciate it!