Hailing from Godmanchester, QC, the 22-year-old singer-songwriter and former La Voix contestant Lydia Sutherland is quickly making a name for herself in the Canadian country music scene thanks to her powerful vocals that deliver raw and honest stories, which she shares through well-crafted lyrics and catching melodies.
Also a skillful songstress, she has penned over 500 songs to date and has written with some of the best talents across Canada, Australia and the U.S (Sutherland).
This past May, the young artist released her debut country single, “Love Me” — a song that speaks to someone who is learning to love the parts of themselves they didn’t, thanks to someone who came along and showed them how beautiful they truly are.
Recently I spoke with Sutherland about her path to pursuing country music, her debut country single, songwriting and her goals for this year.
Kyla Pearson: For those who are unfamiliar with your music, can you tell us a bit about your path to pursuing music? What made you want to become a country artist? What was it like performing and being a part of La Voix in 2018?
Lydia Sutherland: My grandparents are both musicians themselves so I was introduced to country music at a very young age. I don’t even remember when it clicked, I feel like country has always been there and has always been what I wanted to do. I started singing lessons when I was 7 and did competitions around Quebec for a few years until La Voix. La Voix was a very eye-opening experience. It definitely made me realize a lot of things about myself and really helped me pave the road I’m on today. It’s just this past year I really got into songwriting and wanted to be a writer just as much (if not more) than I wanted to be a singer.
Kyla Pearson: What would you say has been the most memorable part of this new journey for you so far?
Lydia Sutherland: This past year is when I really got into co-writing so I would say it’s been the most memorable. It’s been the year where I really got to explore my sound and meet people who challenged me in the best way. The songs and the friendships I’ve created have been unreal.
Kyla Pearson: Your debut country single, “Love Me” was released earlier this summer. The song speaks to someone who is learning to love the parts of themselves they didn’t, thanks to someone who came along and showed them how beautiful they truly are. Can you tell us a bit more about the inspiration behind the song?
Lydia Sutherland: I’ve been so self-conscious my whole life and was always so worried about how I looked around other people. I remember with this one guy I didn’t really overthink anything about myself. I didn’t change outfits 30 times or spend too much time in the mirror. I just felt good, like myself for the first time in a long time and loved who I was around him.
Kyla Pearson: Can you tell us a bit about the songwriting/recording process that went into making the song?
Lydia Sutherland: I came up with the idea for Love me on the plane on my way to Calgary for a writing retreat last November. I wrote it over the weekend with some of my favourite people (Justin Kudding, Chris Yurchuck & Spencer Clarke) at a friend’s Cabin! I had the most amazing team on it so it really wrote itself. The recording process was a dream! I recorded at OCL studios with Spencer Cheyne and Justin Kudding! I spent a week just sitting in the studio watching them work their magic. From the first take, they knew exactly where to take the song and had the most perfect vision. It was so much fun!
Kyla Pearson: What message do you hope to share with your fans with this song and your music in the years to come?
Lydia Sutherland: I hope to share my life, as messy as it can get. I want to normalize talking about struggles we often try to avoid. From body image to self-love, to breakups, to love, I just want to be real and honest. Show that we’re all in the same boat and growing as we go.
Kyla Pearson: Your musical sound leans more towards pop-country. What made you want to pursue this stylistic direction? Who/which artists would you say have influenced your sound?
Lydia Sutherland: I always knew I wanted to make country music but I’ve always naturally leaned towards pop melodies. The more I listened to artists like Lennon Stella, Julia Michaels I wondered what would happen if we put them on a Carly Pearce, Maddie & Tae kinda production. That’s how I pitched it to my producers and that’s how we landed that sound.
You’re also an avid songwriter, with over 500+ songs to your name and have co-written with many promising talents across North America. What have you learnt about your own songwriting style through your experiences? What advice would you give to someone who’s trying to find their “songwriting circle”?
Lydia Sutherland: I’ve learned that I write my best when I’m honest. I used to try to make stories something they weren’t. Make them bigger and better. But I’ve noticed that fans often click with honesty and simplicity and I was lucky enough to find people early on in my career who really get that. I think a circle creates itself unintentionally. If you write with everyone at least once, you’ll see who you gravitate towards. Often co-writers become some of your closest friends so find the ones you can trust, who understand you and keep the stories authentic. You’ll write the best songs with your friends.
Kyla Pearson: Moving forward in 2021, what is one goal you hope to achieve with your music by the end of the year? Do you plan on releasing new music other than “Love Me” ?
Lydia Sutherland: I definitely am! We’re planning to release another single in the Fall and I’ll be back in Calgary to record the next 2 songs in September. The goal is to write even more and release these next few singles. Reach as many people as I can and inspire them with these stories.
Listen to Love Me now:
Stay up to Date With Lydia Sutherland:
Apple Music: https://apple.co/3h6GReJ
Amazon Music: https://amzn.to/3qANrx4
Sutherland, Lydia. Interview. Conducted by Kyla Pearson, Jun 20 2021.
De melo, Charles William.“Featured: Singer-songwriter Lydia Sutherland.”. Photo courtesy of Lydia Sutherland. Accessed Jun 29 2021.
De melo, Charles William..“Featured: Singer-songwriter Lydia Sutherland.”. Photo courtesy of Lydia Sutherland. Accessed Jun 29 2021.