What do you call someone who can play guitar, drums, harmonica, and clarinet, who can sing, sculpt, and paint (and who's paintings have been sold to benefit several international charities such as the Climate Justice Campaign), AND who has been dubbed a teenage Aretha Franklin? You call her Serena Ryder.
Image from directcurrentmusic.com
Ryder is a Toronto born, Juno-Award winning singer/songwriter who, by the tender age of 18, was an accomplished live performer and well on her way to making a mark in the recording industry. Between 2005 and 2006, Ryder made waves across Canada with her first two albums, Unlikely Emergency and If Your Memory Serves You Well. Three years later, rock and pop icons of mainstream music began to take note of the talented artist. In 2009 Ryder was featured on Bruce Springsteen's website for her electrifying cover of "Racing in the Street," and not long after embarked on a tour with Melissa Etheridge.
With bold vocals and an approach to music that many critics have described as "fierce" and "fearless," Ryder straddles the blues, alt, folk-pop lines. She has attributed her style to influences that range from Michael Jackson and Stevie Nicks to Ella Fitzgerald and Leonard Cohen. Music legends aside, Ryder attributes a basic, yet ancient, factor for influencing her recent album, Harmony: love.
Writing about the single "Stompa" from this disc on her website, Ryder states: “It’s about how magic music is. How music is one of the most powerful medicines in the world. That’s what I want to sing about, how powerful music is in itself. It can take you to a whole other place, shoot you out of your body and into your heart. I wanted something that would make you move, forget your lousy day, forget your awful job or car or disease. Music can do that. I forget that sometimes, even though I’m a musician. You know, it’s that simple!”
Check out "Stompa" and don't forget to visit all the amazing tunes on our I AM THAT GIRL Music Mondays Playlist, updated each week!