Adrian Sutherland: Crafting Melodies and Connecting Cultures Through Music – Pow Wow Life 97

Adrian Sutherland: Crafting Melodies and Connecting Cultures Through Music – Pow Wow Life 97

Join us for an insightful interview with Adrian Sutherland, a talented native musician from Canada's far north. Discover his unique blend of roots, rock, folk, and blues, influenced by his Cree culture and deep connection to the land. Learn about his recent Cree-language song and his commitment to raising awareness about issues such as contaminated water and food insecurity. Adrian shares his musical journey and the challenges faced by artists in the streaming era. Stay tuned for his upcoming shows and visit for more on this incredible artist.

Early Musical Influences and Beginnings

Adrian reflects on the roots of his musical passion, tracing it back to the age of seven when he was captivated by Brian Adams' “Run to You” music video. This initial spark ignited his desire to create music, leading him to experiment with an old guitar, even with just three strings. Growing up surrounded by a family of musicians, Adrian drew inspiration from his mother and uncles, who played rock and roll, shaping his musical taste and aspirations.

A Journey Interrupted

As he delved into various genres like hip-hop, heavy metal, and country during his early adulthood, Adrian found himself taking a hiatus from music while raising a family. However, the call of music persisted, and in 2011, he made a significant decision to return to his passion professionally. This marked the beginning of his remarkable journey as a recording artist.

The Importance of Cultural Roots

Adrian acknowledges the influence of his cultural background, with his mother playing a pivotal role in introducing him to the guitar. As the conversation unfolds, he shares how his Cree heritage has become a crucial part of his musical expression. In particular, he discusses the significance of his latest song in Cree, revealing that it was inspired by the loss of his father and the collective grief experienced by those who have lost their parents.

Writing in Cree

A Challenging Yet Rewarding Experience: Expressing himself in Cree presented a unique challenge for Adrian, who found the language's nuances and syllables more complex to navigate compared to English. Nevertheless, he emphasizes the importance of connecting with a broader audience, particularly within the diverse Cree-speaking communities across Canada and beyond. The positive reception from fans has been overwhelming, with many expressing gratitude for a song that resonates with their experiences.

Navigating the Evolving Music Industry

As the conversation shifts to the current music landscape, Adrian shares insights into the challenges artists face, especially with the advent of streaming platforms like Spotify. While acknowledging the limited revenue from streaming, he emphasizes the significance of community radio, merch sales, and physical music formats like CDs and vinyl in supporting artists.

Upcoming Releases and Future Performances

Adrian concludes the podcast by sharing details about his recent double release of singles, “Precious” and “Diamonds,” each offering a unique musical perspective. Although he currently faces a transitional period in terms of live performances, he assures fans that shows are in the works, with details available on his website,

Adrian Sutherland's musical journey encapsulates resilience, cultural pride, and a commitment to sharing stories through his art. As he continues to navigate the ever-evolving music industry, his dedication to connecting with audiences and preserving his cultural roots remains at the forefront of his creative endeavors. Stay tuned for more from this extraordinary artist, whose music is a bridge between tradition and contemporary expression.

About Paul G

Paul G is the founder, who wears many hats as a business coach, photographer, and collector of quirky shirts. Paul started in 1996 while pursuing his graduate degree. With a passion for travel, he and his family hav  traveled the world, capturing unforgettable memories and photos. When he's not coaching or clicking, he's indulging in the magic of Disney.

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