The singer gets real about finding himself, his confidence quest, and more.
Spencer Sutherland is living the dream right now — and he knows it! After years of getting to know his personal musical style, the singer is putting out some of his most authentic songs to date. He is about to release a new EP that captures his personal journey, encompassing both his life and career. And of what fans have already heard, there’s a lot to be excited about.
YSBnow exclusively caught up with Spencer backstage at his New York City show at Mercury Lounge — the last stop of his milestone, first-ever headlining tour. Be sure to check out our interview below.
YSBnow: How do you feel your current music represents where you’ve been and where you’re going?
Spencer Sutherland: I feel like the music I’m putting out now is so representative of me as a person, more than anything I’ve ever put out. I think that’s just because I’ve been through a lot as far as this journey: I’ve gone through a lot of different stages of artistry. I finally found something that connects to me and connects to my fans that I’m seeing happen for the first time ever.
YSBnow: If you could have gone back and told your younger self that this is what you’d be up to now, would he believe you?
Spencer Sutherland: If I told myself two years ago that I could headline these shows… that’s all I ever wanted to do. It’s still what I want to do. I’d definitely play arenas and stuff, but it doesn’t have to be that. When you have that energy of it being your own show, it’s super special, and I’d be out of my mind stoked [to hear I’m doing it] for sure.
YSBnow: Would you give any advice to your younger self? Or let him figure it out all over again?
Spencer Sutherland: Probably figure it out. Because I wouldn’t have wanted this stuff that’s happening right now to have happened 2-3 years ago because I didn’t know who I was as an artist. I literally wore different clothes and had a different haircut. Everything was like, “Spencer’s trying to be a pop artist” kind of vibe.
Now I’m just letting everything come to me, as far as the clothes I wear, the music, the way that I move onstage. I don’t try to do anything anymore, I just let myself go crazy. I think I’d let it be the way that it is.
YSBnow: Is there something you’re particularly proud of right now, top of the list?
Spencer Sutherland: I have a new single coming out on Friday that I’m really excited about. I think my newest thing is what I’m most excited about. I’m just really stoked to have a catalog instead of just a single, because I put out three songs last year and one in January this year, “Sweater.” I’m excited to have a bunch of music for people to know out.
YSBnow: How do you think the songs all work together to tell a story?
Spencer Sutherland: They all definitely do. I’m releasing an EP in March, called “None of This Has Been About You.” I don’t want to give all the titles away yet, but all of these songs together tell stories about me, relationship I’ve been in and am in, just they way I feel on a daily basis, and poking fun of serious things. All together in the story of me — but I didn’t want to call it “The Story of Me” because I’ve heard that EP name so many times.
YSBnow: Is the writing part of your process too, in making something your own from start to finish?
Spencer Sutherland: 100% yeah. For a long time, like I was talking about before, we’d make a lot of super pop-y music, and try to make a song like Maroon 5 for that to be my single. It just wasn’t connecting, it didn’t feel good. It was always like, “sick, we’ve got a smash!” and a really good song with really cool melodies, but it wasn’t me. Making it “me” is a big part of the process. I have a really cool crew of two producers and a co-writer, we actually go out to the desert and write for a big. Get a house for 3-4 days and just write. Those are my people because they just get who I am and what I want to be. They’re also not too scared to tell me that something’s not good. They’re real people.
YSBnow: How do you factor in fans’ reactions to stuff?
Spencer Sutherland: That’s a big one. We were on the road and I wrote the song “Sweater” right before I left for tour this fall. I started singing it, and after like three shows, everyone was singing it the rest of the tour. I was like, “oh, this is a special thing!” So that’s why the label made it the first single, because the fans are never wrong. The fans are always right, I always trust them.
YSBnow: Do you do things specifically for the fans? Like if you know there’s a song they’re going to want, or do you bring back an old song just for them?
Spencer Sutherland: On this tour, we’re doing an older song because we get so many requests for it. And the fans are never wrong. All the originals that everybody’s always singing back, I’m really excited for.
YSBnow: Do you have any confidence-boosting tips you could share?
Spencer Sutherland: One of the biggest parts about finding out who I was, artistically and as a person, was kind of letting go of caring what people thought. Because at the end of the day, it literally doesn’t matter. And also, if you think people are staring at or talking about you, 99.9% of the time they’re not. They don’t even care, they’re not even looking. It’s just in the back of your head. Everyone is insecure, and I am, 100%. But if you can let go of that, it’s pretty powerful — not caring what people think.
It takes a lot of self-love, and talking to your friends about it, and just unapologetically being you. Wearing the shoes and pants that you like and not caring. Like if you’re a guy and want to wear bright pink pants, wear ’em!
Written by Kristine Hope Kowalski