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Aug 25, 2019 | 7:00 PM | Sunday
For Spencer Sutherland, the alt-soul singer whose brand of head-nodding, heart-rending, room-shaking pop songs is quickly establishing him as one of the big names to watch in the genre, the key to his success is in simply being himself.
Songbyrd and Live Nation - DC Present
with Justice Carradine
Sunday August 25, 2019
D: 7:00 // S: 8:00 PM
“What I’ve learned so far is to be a real person,” Sutherland says. “When I first started singing I tried to be something I wasn’t; I wore masks trying to be a pop star and it never connected. I was confused. But when I figured out who I was as a person, I figured out who I was as an artist. It was all about being genuine all the time. It’s really important to be yourself.”
Being true—to the music, to yourself—is a commandment above all else in the scene these days. In today’s hyper-savvy culture, audiences can tell a real smile from a fake or natural chill from a put-upon act just as easily as they can spot when an artist is actually comfortable in his own shoes—and for Sutherland, figuring out the latter helped him embrace his true vibe.
“I love fashion from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s—retro sweaters and big sneakers and funky color combinations,” he says. “I love to mix it all together. I realized I could start wearing the clothes I actually like to wear in real life while I’m onstage. And I like my music to live in the same way, all my favorite styles and genres mixed together, and without any kind of timestamp on it.”
The Ohio-born, Los Angeles-based singer’s ability to fuse his neo-soul falsetto crooning and biting, relatable lyrics with bombastic modern beats, swaggering electric licks and a retro, stripped-down production is making a splash across multiple airwaves. His debut EP, NONE of this has been about you, dropped in March and has gathered over five million global streams to date, with candid, charming videos for singles like “Sweater,” “Wallpaper,” and “Freaking Out” gathering hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. Sutherland first made a splash on the scene in 2017, having been selected by iHeart Radio’s Elvis Duran as The Today Show’s Artist of the Month and riding his smash “Selfish” to prime spots on Apple Music Pop Playlists, Sirius XM’s-Venus, Spotify, Pandora, and more. The first American to make it into the UK X Factor’s Top 12, he has also set sail on his own headlining club tours and recently returned from a slot on