For the Columbus, OH - based singer-songwriter, Spencer Sutherland, 2013 was a momentous year, filled with significant achievements. From releasing his cover of Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift's song "Everything Has Changed" with Stefanie Scott (of Disney Channel) to being featured on USA Today and ETOnline.com, Sutherland watched his career catapult, but he doesn't intend to stop with the success he achieved in the past year. In Examiner.com's exclusive interview, Sutherland revealed that he thinks that "this is the year that a lot of things are going to start really happening."
Alexa Spieler: Going back to the beginning, I know you’re a self-taught singer and songwriter. Was there one artist or album that made you pick up teaching yourself?
Spencer Sutherland: Well, with music in general, I have so many inspirations that got me to do what I’m doing. From anyone like Elvis or the Temptations and Marvin Gaye - all those soulful guys - to present day like Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift. The person that really made me pick up a guitar and start playing was Elvis, because, you know, he’s the total package: singer, dancer, actor, guitar-player...race-car driver.
AS: So..are you implying you’d like to be a race-car driver, too?
SS: Oh, yeah. That’s my next dream. I’m really hoping to come out in the Nascar world [laughs].
AS: But now, present day - you’re doing really well. “Heartstrings” is getting radio play. Do you remember the first time you heard it on the radio?
SS: Yeah! It was actually like...three weeks ago [laughs]. But, it’ll be a moment that I’ll never forget, because I went out to dinner with my manager, her family, my family, and two of my first fans - ever - and we went to this diner. As soon as they announced it, they played it all over the speakers, and it was crazy. I mean, even now when I hear it, it’s unreal. It’s just crazy.
AS: How do you even adjust to that feeling, like realizing that “this is me” on the radio? This is what you’ve been chasing after since you started...
SS: I don’t even know if I’ll ever be able to adjust to it - it’s that crazy. But, it’s so awesome. It feels unreal every single time.
AS: As the success continues, and you continue to get bigger and bigger, do you feel like you have a solid support system around you that’ll keep you level-headed?
SS: Oh, yeah. My family and my friends are all great. My parents are really great people and raised me to be the same way. But also, my manager and my team around me are all really, really supportive and have been really great to me. I feel like I have a great support system.
AS: Well, I can tell that you’re definitely staying level-headed. Before, you mentioned Taylor Swift and I know that the video (Sutherland’s cover of “Everything Has Changed”) just hit 100,000 views. Were you expecting that or anticipating that, when you posted the cover?
SS: I don’t think anybody was expecting that...that awesome outcome. I think that we were really happy with how it came out. On USA Today, it was premiered, and then Entertainment Tonight picked it up, and I wasn’t expecting that. It’s so crazy. To see a video, that you’re a part of, and then you see 100,000 views...that’s nuts too.
AS: How did the collaboration come about with Stefanie [Scott]?
SS: Stefanie’s manager heard me sing and asked if I wanted to sing with Stefanie, and then, we did the video. Now, Stefanie and I are really great friends. It’s a great situation.
AS: Does this mean potential collaborations, again, in the future?
SS: Definitely! For sure.
AS: I know that you’ve been in the studio. When do you think we’ll hear new, original music?
SS: We’re actually unsure, right now. I’m really focused on “Heartstrings” and it doing really well. But, with that being said, definitely soon.
AS: What is it about “Heartstrings” that made you select it as your first single?
SS: Well, “Heartstrings” is a true story, and it comes from real-life experience. I also think that it’s a subject that really anyone can relate to. It’s about being with someone that’s hot and cold. One day, they love you; one day, they’re leaving. It’s something that everybody goes through, and I think it’s really relatable.
AS: Considering that, would you say that that’s your goal with making music? Making this type of music that everyone can relate to?
SS: I think that’s really important for the listener to be able to relate to it. But also, with my music, I love more than anything to make people happy. I know it sounds kinda cheesy, but it’s the best feeling in the world to be able to inspire someone and literally see a smile on someone’s face and know that you had part in that. It’s just...it’s powerful.