Take A Ryder: With Serena

Feb. 26 2010, Published 11:38 a.m. ET

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Serena Ryder has always been in love with music. At just five years old, she saw The Labyrinth and decided she wanted to marry David Bowie.

Later on, she was later inspired by fellow Canadian Alanis Morissette, an influence that is easily detectable in her strong vocals and even stronger sense of self.

On her American debut, which has already topped the Billboard Heatseekers charts, Serena belts out her catchy tunes in her Alanis-meets-Melissa-Etheridge throaty alto and asks the question: Is It O.K.?

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“It’s about being self-introspective,” Serena tells about the album title. “It was an intense and emotional time in my life and I just needed to look inside myself, and check in with myself, and that internal question how am I doing inside?”

Through her songs, Serna shared the pain and devastation of losing one of her best friends. “There was a lot of heartache, but not the kind of heartache people think it is on the record,” she explains. “It’s all one big long story. Heartache was what I was going through and that’s how I was relating.”

Serena’s brave and honest songs couldn’t have been easy to put out there for public consumption, but the genuineness of her words is apparent. “True art is about surrendering,” she says. “I want other people understand where I’m coming from. You want to share it, not feel like you’re an alien in the feeling.”

This summer Serena will hit the road as part of Lilith Fair, and before that you can see her on tour with Howie Day and then the Barenaked Ladies — tour dates below.


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