Canadian Artist Spotlight: Serena Ryder

Just last year I discovered a Canadian (can I underline that word enough times?) artist who is made of pure talent and is downright incredible. This 28-year-old singer/songwriter has wowed audiences all across Canada with her songs that echo with folk, country and blues vibes and her lyrics which speak with pure honesty. Such an artist in today’s society so rare and I just couldn’t get over the fact that despite her amazing 3-octave vocal range and her wisdom beyond her years, Serena Ryder is as down to earth as they come. Although, she is not relatively new to the Canadian music scene, I couldn’t believe how many people hadn’t heard of her!  So I did my own research and decided to provide you all with a mini biography of this excellent musician.

Early Years & Influences:

Serena Ryder was born in Toronto, Ontario on Dec. 8, 1983 and grew up just outside Millbrook, Ontario.  Right from the start, she was destined to be a musician – it ran in her blood (her father, mother and uncle were all musicians). Although she formally started singing at the early age of seven, her fondest recollection is of her two-year-old self singing “Beat It” by Michael Jackson at her sister-in law’s wedding. In her house, there was never a shortage of albums and records. To this day, her influences include all the “oldies” including The Beatles, Neil Young and Michael Jackson.  Some of her influences from today’s age include Supertramp and Fleetwood Mac. She was always encouraged by her parents to pursue her passions and after her father presented her with a guitar and at 13; she went on to produce her first Indie Record at 15.

Albums & Awards:

To this date, Serena Ryder has produced three of her own albums as well as numerous short EPs.  These include “If Your Memory Serves You Well” (an album covering songs of many famous Canadian Musicians) and her two originals: “Unlikely Emergency” and her newest addition “Is It OK.” It was her newest album, however, from which she gained the most recognition for and coincidently, was the one in which she went through a long emotional journey with.  After breaking off from her first serious relationship and losing her best friend/co-manager during its production, many of the songs on this album are inspired by those events.  When asked where her inspiration came for “Is It Ok”, she replied very honestly: “[from] living, being a human-being and living life… it’s very complicated and intense being alive.” It was shortly after the production of this album that she went on to win the Juno for “Best New Artist of the Year” in 2008 and further went on to win two more Junos the following year (including the prestigious Artist of the Year award).

Recent Activity:

Just last year, Serena paired up with her friends “The Beauties” to produce a small EP, one of the songs being a cover of the popular “The Funeral” originally by The Band of Horses. In early 2011, she completed a Canada Wide Tour with the acclaimed U.S. country-music artist Melissa Etheridge, visiting cities like Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Halifax. Together, they recorded their new duet entitled “Broken Heart Sun.”

I encourage you all to check Serena Ryder’s music out! Look her up on ITunes or visit her website: Even if you don’t consider yourself much of a country music fan, you may be surprised; after all, her music has struck a chord with (pardon my pun) all kinds of music fans.

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