The New Year is off to a memorable start for Adrian Sutherland, whose been preparing for his first tour, writing for his second album, and releasing his next single. A soaring song about striving for better.
“We all have people in our lives that make us want to be better. For me, it’s my wife and family,” says Sutherland. “I live in a remote community in the North, and when I travel for music I have to be away from home for many days at a time. Even when it’s just one show, it’s always a far way to go. As the song goes… ‘If I had two wings, I would learn to fly’… then I would be able to be home to them sooner.”
“Better” was written by Adrian Sutherland and Tim Vesely, who co-wrote the song and produced the track out of The Woodshed Studio in Toronto.
The beautiful artwork is from Nick Perreault, Adrian’s long-time Art Director, with the following symbolism in the design:
The Northern Lights and starry sky represent Adrian’s Northern home.
The two circles are two wedding rings, representing his love for family.
The bird in flight reflects the “two wings” in the song lyrics.
The bird is a Canadian goose from an actual photograph captured by Adrian’s wife, Judy.
The goose represents the annual spring hunt on James Bay, the most important time of year for Adrian to be at home, on the land, with family.
March brings Adrian’s first theatre tour, with a run of shows in Southern Ontario. He’ll be performing as a duo with Chris Gormley, who – on top of being a multi-talented musician – is a friend, collaborator, and co-writer on some of Sutherland’s songs.
Adrian received his first nomination for the Canadian Folk Music Awards in the category of Indigenous Songwriter of the Year. He’ll be attending the awards in Vancouver on April 1 and 2 and performing at the Saturday afternoon Songwriters Showcase Concert. Tickets are available here.
Adrian is presently writing for his second solo album, with recording dates lining up for May. He’s still writing his first book for Penguin Random House Publishing about his life in the Far North.
Adrian Sutherland is a roots-rock recording artist with heart from Attawapiskat on James Bay. He’s a singer, songwriter, speaker, author, advocate, entrepreneur, and the fascinating founder and frontman of all-Cree rockers Midnight Shine. He’s also a traditional knowledge keeper and respected cultural leader, fluent in his native language, Mushkegowuk Cree.
After constructing his own recording studio inside a backyard shipping container out of necessity during the pandemic, Adrian worked remotely with producers Colin Linden (Nashville) and Tim Vesely (Toronto) to record When The Magic Hits. This debut solo album earned Sutherland his first-ever nominations at the 2022 JUNO Awards and the 2023 Canadian Folk Music Awards, and the Best Music Video award from the 47th American Indian Film Festival for the magical music video Magic Hits.
Adrian cares deeply about many causes, with first-hand perspective on issues like contaminated water, housing shortages, food insecurity, and mental health. At this time of growing awareness around reconciliation, Adrian is hopeful for Canadians to better understand one another, and continue to take further steps together.
March 2 – North Bay, ON – Capitol Centre
March 3 – Cobalt, ON – Classic Theatre
March 4 – Ottawa, ON – Richcraft Theatre
March 7 – Brantford, ON – Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts
March 9 – Richmond Hill, ON – Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts
March 10 – Oakville, ON – Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts
March 11 – Fergus, ON – Fergus Grand Theatre
Connect with Adrian Sutherland:
I grew up in Alberta, but spent most of my life in British Columbia – I also spent a lot of my summers in Britain as I was lucky enough to have immigrant parents with the capital to go visit our relatives. The amount of time I spent overseas makes it hard for me to say I feel fully Canadian, but it does make me feel typically Canadian as so many of us have mixed parentage. My parents defined another divide in me as I feel inexorably pulled to both science and the art; my father being a doctor and my mother being a school teacher. I studied both in university and now work on making healthcare software during the day, then write/read/draw/paint/dance in my evenings. My global wanderings, my education, and the fact that my appetite for media could be described as ‘voracious’ means my frame of reference is pretty varied. It’s hard to say that I have a favourite music genre, rather I am always seeking sounds that convey a sense earnestness an honesty.
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