Canadian singer-songwriter, Serena Ryder has always been compelled to write songs. It’s not just for her love of music either, she has learned that music is a type of medicine. The idea that music can heal you inside and out, or be the reason to keep going, is what Ryder focuses her creativity on and through.  

“It’s that spark that you can’t explain,” Ryder says. “It’s so alive and it’s such a blessing to experience it.”

She performs at the Flato Markham Theatre on Oct 12.

As a teenager, Ryder started writing songs almost as soon as she started playing guitar. To date, she has released six full length records, six EPs and four live records. She also has six Juno awards under her belt and has had songs placed in more than 50 TV shows and commercials, including Grey’s Anatomy, VEEP and Suits.

Her growing popularity has now led her to split her time between Toronto and Los Angelos. She’s definitely ready to do what it takes to bring her emotionally driven music powered by her impressive, five-octave vocal range to a wider audience.

“There’s this pressure of being able to match yourself and your past successes,” Ryder says. “I wasn’t really familiar with that feeling before this. But when I went to LA I realized, ‘Actually I love my job. I love writing.’”

Her 2017 album, Utopia, affirms this sentiment. The release features twelve tracks that range from anthemic pop to quiet acoustic pieces. The stark difference with this release is that the songs were written over a long period of time. As a result, the songs track a variety of emotional tones and styles.

“Those songs are amazing because they weren’t done over the period of a few weeks or months like I’ve done in the past,” she says. “The album is really a spectrum for me; of emotion in my life.”

Of course, when she brings her band to Markham in October, the show will feature music that spans her entire career. Backed by electric bass, drums, keys, electric guitar, as well as backing vocalists, Ryder’s shows have been earning excellent reviews across the country.

It seems her audiences experience the same sort of healing in the music as Ryder does when she writes it. For all her growth as artist though, Ryder remains sure there is much more to do.

“I know nothing, really,” says Ryder. “To live in the mystery is more exciting than anything.”

Serena Ryder plays the Flato Markham Theatre on Oct. 12. Tickets are available by calling 905-305-7469 or by clicking here.