Canadian Serena Ryder sang at legions and motor hotels at the age of 7. She grew up listening to the Beatles and Leonard Cohan records that she found in her parents’ collection, and began playing guitar at the age of 13. Serena says she started writing when she was 11. “I wasn’t writing diary entries; I needed to express something a little deeper than that, which I couldn’t express in conversation,” she says. “When I got my guitar, a whole other world opened up to me. I realized I could put the poetry I was writing to song and bring 2 very separate things together.”
In 2008 Serena received the Juno Award for Best New Artist of the Year. She has put out 5 studio albums – her latest titled, Harmony, released in 2012. Aside from performing music, Serena is a visual artist, including drawing, painting, sculpting and making collages. Some of her paintings have sold for charity events such as the Kidney Foundation of Canada. She has also actively supports many other charity organizations inside and outside Canada, such as Young Artists for Haiti.
Serena’s a relatable influence to young women, with lyrics about falling in love and finding yourself written into catchy hooks and powerful beats that make a gurl feel empowered and strong. But unlike many singer-songwriters, she has been described as the teenaged Aretha Franklin and it has been pointed out that she has a range and vocal maturity of someone twice her age. Serena became the first Canadian artist to be number 1 on the CBC top 20 chart days after the release of Harmony.
Listen to Harmony on iTunes.