Attawapiskat musician releases second solo song

·3 min read

Adrian Sutherland’s new song aims to bring positive vibes to the listeners during these challenging times.

Sutherland, who is from Attawapiskat First Nation, is a songwriter and the frontman of Midnight Shine.

His second solo single, Respect the Gift, was released today. It is an upbeat rock tune, co-written with Chris Gormley and Matt Gormley. The Gormley brothers already collaborated with Sutherland in 2019 when he released his debut single Politician Man.

Respect the Gift was finished a year ago, in January 2020. The song is being released now, as people are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was about everything going on in the world today, about people coming together and respecting everything that we have, some of the things we take for granted in life and we realize how important those things are now today,” Sutherland said.

“Whatever gifts we have, we use them to the best of our abilities to help people, help one another, to lift each other up. To rise up from everything going on in the world today and come out of this even stronger as humans.”

The dance music video, directed by Justin Stephenson, will be released next week. Stephenson also worked on animation for Politician Man.

Although Sutherland does not appear in the video, he is excited and can’t wait for everyone to see it.

“We couldn’t film the music video like we normally would. We hired five dancers from the Winnipeg area and they were able to go and shoot in Manitoba, this place called Chromaranch. It’s a green screen facility,” he said. “It’s really, really cool what we were able to do.”

His favourite part of the new song is the bridge section where he repeatedly sings, “Rise up, rise up, only one shot, you’ve got to give it all you’ve got.”

“It’s like a rally song, get people up, come together,” Sutherland said. “I really, really enjoy that part of it.”

Respect the Gift features vocals from the Gormley brothers and Carl Jennings, who produced and mixed the song. It was mastered by João Carvalho and engineered by Darren Magierowski and Jill Zimmermann. The single’s artwork was designed by Nick Perreault.

Sutherland is also working on his first book. He landed a book deal with Penguin Random House Canada to write a memoir about his experiences growing up in Attawapiskat, issues that exist in the community and Cree values and beliefs.

“It’s starting to ramp up now. Things are starting to move, to unfold. So far, it’s been a very comfortable process for me and I’m really excited to get started on it,” Sutherland said.

In addition, Sutherland has been working on his debut solo album which is expected to be released this summer. He said the album will be different from anything he’s done before.

“It’s something for me that’s going to have deeper meaning. I want people to feel very moved not only the music but the lyrics as well,” he said. “I’m trying to go somewhere deep, somewhere I’ve never gone before with my writing … Going deep down and finding those words for the record is certainly going to be more challenging.”

Listen to Respect the Gift here:

Adrian Sutherland & Midnight Shine · Respect the Gift


Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,