Serena Ryder, Artist of the Week
Runs Apr. 7-11th.
Serena Ryder (born December 8, 1982) is a Juno Award-winning Canadian artist. Born in Toronto. Ryder gained national recognition with her ballad Weak in the Knees in 2007.
Ryder, who was raised just outside Peterborough in Millbrook, Ontario, grew up listening to old Beatles and Leonard Cohen records that she found in her parents’ collection. At 7, Ryder would sing at legions and motor hotels. Having received a guitar from her father, she began playing the instrument at the age of 13. Songwriting efforts followed. At 15, as Ryder was playing old classic and folk tunes with her piano teacher in coffee houses and legions.
Ryder has stated “I’d been writing a lot since I was maybe 11 years old. I wasn’t doing diary entries; I needed to express something a little deeper than that, which I couldn’t express in conversation. And I’d been singing since I was a little kid, doing cover songs at gigs. But 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 two very separate things together
At 17, Ryder left her home to go to Peterborough, Ontario and settled into a community of artists to make her dreams come true. Within a year, while working at a Cajun restaurant, attending the Integrated Arts Program at the Peterborough Collegiate and Vocational Institute, Ryder played solo and shared the stage with many bands
In 2005, backed by Workman and two other players, Ryder recorded her debut album with a major label, Unlikely Emergency. The album did well enough to earn Ryder a performance slot at the 2005 Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame press conference, after which it was suggested she cover songs written by Canadian musicians.
In April 2008, Ryder found herself receiving the 2008 Juno Award for “Best New Artist of the Year,” with the label EMI.
In February 2011, she toured with Melissa Etheridge across Canada. Ryder fell in love and it was the main inspiration for her new record, Harmony.
The first single “Stompa”, featured in an episode of ABC television’s Grey’s Anatomy, quickly climbed the charts and became certified platinum in January 2013.
She ranges musically between folk, roots, country, and adult contemporary music. An accomplished musician, Ryder can play the following musical instruments: guitar, piano, mandolin, ukulele, harmonica, banjo, clarinet, drums, bass.
According to various sources, Ryder possesses a three-octave vocal range. Ryder is considered a mezzo-soprano.
In addition to singing, Ryder is also an accomplished visual artist. She draws, paints, sculpts and does collage. Some of her paintings have been sold for charity events, such as The Kidney Foundation of Canada. Ryder is also well-known among her friends for her voice impressions, mimicking various accents
After three Juno Awards and two Gold Albums, Serena Ryder does it with Harmony. Serena won the 2013 Juno for the best Adult Alternative Album of the Year for Harmony, and it became Platinum earlier in 2013.
WINNER OF TWO 2014 JUNOS!
Not only did Serena co-host the 2014 Juno Awards with Classified and Johnny Reid – but she was won 2 out of her 5 Juno Award nominations!
Ryder is adored by fans, peers and critics alike due mainly in part to her immense natural songwriting talent and beautifully electric live performances.