Interview – Lydia Sutherland

Many artists can’t say they’ve written over 800 songs in their entire career let alone in their first couple of years! That is until 22-year-old Lydia Sutherland hit the scene. The Montreal-based artist has written for fellow Canadians as well as artists throughout the US and Australia, but has since stepped into the spotlight with her own country-pop flavoured vocals, including on her new single “Date a Friend”.

Your “Date A Friend” brought an instant smile to my face, even if it has a taste of heartache included in it. When it comes to writing about such close-to-home scenarios, is there any topic you’d hold back on, or is it “the more personal, the better” to relate to the listener?

I wouldn’t say I hold back on any topic, I just wait to release the songs until I’m ready to talk about them. Writing is how I process feelings so I don’t think I’d ever be able to release something that isn’t my story. I think fans need someone to relate to, who’s willing to talk about things, no filter. So I always go for the most personal.

Your musicality definitely fits in with some of today’s new(er) country and pop artists. Who are some that you admire on the scene now? Any older artists that have inspired you over the years?

I grew up performing and listening to so many classics. My grandparents would play a lot of Johnny Cash, Shania Twain, Patsy Cline, Willy Nelson. Johnny Cash is still one of my favorite artists to this day. Over the past few years, my influences shifted a bit. For my own stuff, I love mixing pop and country. So I listen to a lot of Julia Michaels and JP Saxe for their storytelling and hooky melodies. I also love Carly Pearce, Maddie & Tae, and Kelsea Ballerini for their new country flair.

Besides performing songs that you’ve written, you’ve also written hundreds of others, including for other artists. What’s your favourite part of writing for someone else or having your song chosen by another artist?

My favorite part of songwriting is definitely piecing the artists’ thoughts together and helping them bring their stories to life. I always find It’s such a privilege when someone asks you to be part of their project and trust you with something so personal.

As a performer, writer, and all-around artist, what was the hardest part of the pandemic for you?

At the start of the pandemic, music was a really lonely journey. I would say the hardest part was being new to the country music scene and not knowing many people in the industry. I spent most of my days overthinking my artistry and trusting everyone’s opinion but mine. I felt a huge disconnect with music for a few months until I met my friends and started co-writing.

What are your plans for the next six months?

Over the next few months, I’ll be dropping a few more singles all while recording the last few songs for the EP in Calgary. I’ll also be writing for other artists’ projects over zoom and in person and starting to plan a move to Nashville! Staying busy and happy as always!

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