Artist Spencer Sutherland will perform at WNCI’s Summer In The City concert. Credit: Courtesy of Sonny Alvarez

Singer-songwriter Spencer Sutherland had dreamt of making it big in music since he was a child, but knew making a name for himself in Ohio might be difficult. This week, the Pickerington, Ohio, native will perform his music in front of thousands. 

“I love when people sing back the lyrics. It’s something that I still haven’t gotten used to,” Sutherland said. 

Sutherland is set to perform for the WNCI’s sold out Summer In The City concert this week. Lizzo, whose latest album titled “Cuz I Love You” ranked No. 6 on the Billboard 200 record chart, will headline the show.

Sutherland has released two EPs and called his music a blend of alternative pop and soul. The latest EP, “NONE of this has been about you,” was influenced by artists like Marvin Gaye, Bruno Mars, Elvis, Prince and The Temptations, according to a press release. 

“It’s definitely got some sound, but I think it’s super vocal too and definitely sort of its own vibe, with really conversational lyrics,” he said. 

Sutherland, who now lives in Los Angeles, said he started his career “the old fashioned way” by playing small shows in different restaurants around his town, some with only a handful of people in attendance. Sutherland said he was determined to pursue music. 

“No matter what, I just knew that I wanted to do it,” Sutherland said. “I would do whatever it takes.”

Since then, Sutherland has been awarded the Today Show’s Artist of the Month by iHeartRadio’s Elvis Duran in 2017 for his single “Selfish,” which put him in the top five finalists for the Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Star competition, according to a press release.

To prepare for each show, Sutherland said he does some vocal warm-ups, but ultimately tries to relax rather than take the process too seriously. He added that focusing too much before a performance can be a big roadblock for artists and can affect them negatively. 

“I really try to let loose, because I gotta remember that I’m doing this because I love music and I don’t want to ever turn it into any sort of work,” Sutherland said. 

The WNCI Summer In The City concert featuring Lizzo, Spencer Sutherland, Ghost Soul Train and Ally Brooke will take place Sunday at Express Live at 6 p.m. Tickets are still available on StubHub for varying prices.