The Sound Cafe
Adrian Sutherland Releases Music Video Made From 1600 Selfies
What do you do when you live in an isolated location with no video crews, no video gear, and you need to make a music video? You spend six weeks shooting a shitload of selfies, handing them over to a talented filmmaker, and letting the magic happen… which is exactly what Adrian Sutherland did...
“Right Here is a song about being there for the people that you love and care about – and also having those people that you love and care about being there for you, too,” says Sutherland. “The music video gives a glimpse of my life in the North and shares with viewers some of the people and places that mean the most to me.”
With Sutherland isolated in Attawapiskat First Nation since the start of the pandemic, any visuals needed for the video had to be attainable by Sutherland himself. Filmmaker and animator Justin Stephenson came up with the clever concept.
“The video for Right Here draws inspiration from people’s travel selfies. I was struck by the idea of an ever-changing world around a steadfast and constant subject,” says Stephenson, who has worked with Sutherland before on music videos Politician Man and Respect The Gift.
“This idea evolved even further, though, as Adrian sent photos and we started to put them to the song. What started as an expression of personal presence became a story about relationships with family, friends, place, and the land. Being ‘right here’ is about being home. It's a perfect song for the times we are in.”
Sutherland loved the idea – even though he knew that capturing the selfies would be a big task. “I took over 1600 photos on my iPhone 12 over the course of six weeks,” says Sutherland. “At first it seemed overwhelming to have to shoot that many selfies, and to have to frame them all consistently, too. But once I got the hang of it, the pictures added up quickly. It turned out to be a fun project, and I’m looking forward to sharing it.”
“Some challenging moments were taking selfies while operating the boat, and making sure I didn’t crash into anything. Some of the fun moments were getting some of my family into the shots, and even one of my dogs. Also the great-horned owlet we rescued last month – we managed to get him in the video, too!”
Right Here is the first single from Adrian Sutherland’s debut solo album (to be released September 17, 2021). It was written by Sutherland with Tim Vesely and Colin Cripps. It was produced and engineered by Vesely at The Woodshed Studio in Toronto, who also plays guitar and bass on the track. Cripps can be heard on electric guitar, with Lyle Molzan on drums. The song was mastered by João Carvalho, with artwork by long-time artistic designer Nick Perreault.
Adrian Sutherland is a singer, songwriter, musician, speaker, advocate, and the fascinating frontman and founder of roots-rockers Midnight Shine. He’s also a father of four, grandfather to four, a traditional knowledge keeper, and respected cultural leader, fluent in Mushkegowuk Cree. Adrian is writing his first book for Penguin Random House Canada about growing up in the remote and sometimes-harsh place he still chooses to call home.
Sutherland began solo projects after releasing four albums with his band Midnight Shine. Acclaimed debut single Politician Man, a protest song for Canada, reached #1 on the Indigenous Music Countdown, and won Best Performing Arts & Entertainment at Canada’s oldest film festival. His next single Respect the Gift debuted in early 2021 on The Strombo Show in Canada and American Songwriter Magazine in the US, and reached #1 on the IMC in May.
Adrian cares deeply about many causes, and is using his music and voice to share first-hand perspective on issues facing First Nations like contaminated water, housing shortages, food insecurity, addiction, and mental health. At a time of growing awareness about Reconciliation, he is hopeful for Canadians to better understand one another, and take steps together.