Interview & Photos: Spencer Sutherland

Interview & Photos by Christina Morgan

How’s tour so far? Have you gotten a chance to explore NYC a bit? Are there any spots you want to hit up while you’re here?

Tour’s literally amazing, I’m having so much fun. It’s really cool to meet and connect with a bunch of people that I’ve never met before. This is my first headline run ever, it’s super special to be able to have my own shows. This one has been extra amazing for sure. Honestly, just walking down the street in New York is super special, even if I’m not going anywhere, or doing anything, just being in New York in general is amazing. New York has this very weird, yet unique atmosphere that makes it so legendary. 

There are a lot of incredible artists who have come from Ohio, (twenty one pilots, The Black Keys, etc.) what do you think makes the music scene there so special? How is it different from other places? 

I think it’s because there’s really nothing else to do there,  (not really) it’s a really creative place, and I don’t think it got the love that it deserved for a long time, but it finally is. With artists like Twenty One Pilots, Walk The Moon, Machine Gun Kelly, other awesome rappers and artists like that make me super proud to be from there. It’s definitely a place that’s got its own unique vibe, and honestly, it is sort of the Midwest, and there isn’t a whole lot to do so people just tend to get really creative and they create music. 

Your music is very R&B laced, and bluesy-pop, why that specific genre, is there a reason why you chose to pursue a less common genre currently, rather than go the pop/indie route?

I would say that that genre came to me, just because I’ll take different things from different artists. For example, I’ll take inspiration from artists like Childish Gambino, and combining it with something from Elvis, Marvin Gaye, and Bruno Mars, that all came together and makes up my sound. But it’s cool because, I don’t try to sound like anybody necessarily, and then I think what comes out is something authentic. I love that my sound is so different from everything that’s out there right now, even if some people are like “I don’t love your music, but it is different,” I’m like, that’s always great. Literally all you want to do is stand out in a world where there’s ten thousand artists. 


The ‘NONE of this is about you’ EP just came out on March 15th, what has been the fan response to it, now that it’s been out for 5 months, what was the writing process like ?

It’s really cool to have my first project out, ever, my first grouping of songs. It’s been really incredible because the fans have been able to grasp who I am as an artist. With singles it’s harder because there’s only one song and it goes fast, with a project you're sort of able to tell more of a story. I think people are really starting to connect to me even more, and it’s really cool to have all these songs out so then when we’re touring, they sing all of the words back. On this tour, we’re doing the entire EP, and also some older songs, and some unreleased ones too. It’s an hour long set, which makes it so fun. 


With the success of songs like "Sweater" and Tell Me (1 mil. Views on YT) and with the tour last February, how does that tour compared to the current one (played mercury lounge last nyc date) ?

The February tour was only four dates, so it wasn’t quite a full-on tour, but they were my first headline shows ever. It’s just so magical to be able to have your own shows, it’s this kind of crazy thing I can’t really explain, so that’s super special. Having a million views on a music video is crazy, because I would always dream about what it would be like to have a million views on a cover, so to have a million views on an original song is mind-blowing. Just because it’s your art, and your blood sweat and tears that you put into that, in all aspects. To have people really connect with it, and view it over a million times, is insane, it’s so cool. A million is wild, like I can’t even fathom that many views, it’s so special. 

You were at iheartradio + dunkin sessions, do you prefer more acoustic gigs over more full production?

I think I prefer the fuller production ones, but every once in a while, there’s nothing like a good acoustic radio show. It just feels like a little lounge, I like those a lot because you can chill and sit back and don’t try to perform as much, you can just jam. But- I have enough of those sprinkled in with the tour that it’s a perfect combo.


If one of your songs could be featured in a film/tv show from any genre/era which would it be and why?

It would 100% have to be Friends. I would have to have a song in a funny montage of Friends where Joey’s doing something with a monkey, or dancing around, something funny. I think ‘Sweater’ would fit well for a scene like that, because it’s kind of an upbeat, more fun song. I could also do a sadder scene with ‘NONE of this has been about you.’ And have Rachel and Ross breaking up, that’d be perfect. 


What does a dream tour look like for you, dead or alive? 

Well, my own selfish vision would be me and Elvis on tour together. I would be the happiest person in the world. That’s if I could chose anyone, second is probably Bruno Mars. Not just because I’d want to tour with him because my vibe matches his a little bit, to be able to watch his show every night would be insane, because I’m the biggest fan. So, watching him front row, or side stage, would be crazy. His voice is just, I’ve never heard a voice like his in my life, it’s crazy. 


Is there a question you wish you were asked more in interviews?

People ask about the EP a lot, which is great and I do want to get it out there obviously, it’s what I want to talk about but sometimes it’s fun to talk about my favorite restaurants, and stuff like that. There’s this one place here (in NYC) called Ilili, and it’s really nice Mediterranean food, it’s so good. I also love Gregory’s coffee, which you guys only have here, yeah its cool, good vibes.


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