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Indigenous artist gaining recognition through country music

Jerry Sereda is nominated for this year’s Manitoba Country Music Awards for Male Artist of the Year, which will be announced on Nov. 5, 2022.  

Jerry Sereda is a multi-award winning Indigenous Country Singer who was born and raised in Manitoba. He holds a bachelor degree in computer science and a master’s degree in education from the University of Manitoba.  

In addition, Sereda has lived in Alberta and Manitoba and has been an educator for 17 years. 

His grandmother taught him his first couple of guitar chords so when he started his high school he knew how to play a few chords and sing songs. After his graduation, he started working at a summer job out on the road and stayed in hotels where he played his guitar and sang songs in the evenings.  

He also entered contests like Canadian Idol and Nashville Star, but, these contests didn’t work well for him. Then he got involved in an Indigenous program where he was paid along with other participants. It was his first experience to visit a studio, to record an original song and witness the whole process.   

Sereda said, it was the Indigenous organization who promoted them for a year to bring them onto the stage to play for people all across Manitoba and Canada.  

“It was a really great experience, and that was when I knew I was hooked. And, the next bit of recordings that I did, I found ways to find funding to continue to go into the studio and to continue to put my stories into music and work at a professional level. That's basically where I started and I've never really stopped ever since then,” the multi-award Indigenous artist added. 

Sereda uses his music to share the stories about himself and the Indigenous community. 

So far he has released four albums and the fifth album only single song was released on Aug.12, with the full version to be released later this year. The albums are Campground Cowboy (2009), Turn the Country On (2011), Don't Mind If I Do (2019), Classic Country Couple (2021), and Backroad Therapy (2022).

In 2010, 40 year-old Sereda was awarded Indigenous Music Awards for best new artist giving him hope that he could be in the Canadian Country music scene. He has also won the North American Indigenous Image Award for “Best Music Video,” and three times was nominated for the Manitoba Country Music Awards.

As well, he has been recognized by Indigenous Music Awards, Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Awards, and Western Canadian Awards. In June 2021, he won the Summer Solstice Indigenous Music Awards for Country Album of the Year for the “Don’t Mind If I Do” album.  

In addition, he is nominated for this year’s Manitoba Country Music Awards for Male Artist of the Year, which will be announced on Nov. 5.  

He added, “It’s been great I'm so appreciative of the people who followed me through my journey, right from the beginning…I think our music is getting stronger and we're being more consistent with the type of sound that we're producing,” 

“I like to put on live high energy shows for a visual experience and a (special) moment for the people watching as well.  So it's not just about the music, it's about being an entertainer. And, I always want people to leave our show saying that was really cool,” Sereda said.  “Music has always been therapy to me and, and I feel that that's that connection of sharing your stories with people.”  

“Because I grew up with a family that was always there for me and always finding ways to help me when I needed the help, I wanted to show that's how I grew up, with a sense of wanting to help others.

“So I actually applied to the faculty of education…and I chose education because that's an investment in our future,” Sereda continued.    

He said that he is working to develop a course, which will help the Indigenous communities or Indigenous youth who may not have access to the same supports.  
“And it's really a course about the music business, everything from playing music, to writing songs, to producing songs, to marketing your music, publicity, booking a tour, creating music, videos, and content.  I have my master's in curriculum design. So if I can create content, it's going to be valuable to show youth across Manitoba and maybe all of Canada.  

“I know, how to get into the music, business and different aspects of the music business.”

The multi-award winning Country singer advises youth to always follow their dreams and passions and never give up.

“There's always going to be people that tell you can't do it, that it's impossible.  But I am a firm believer, that if you want to do something and you have the driving passion, ignore the people who tell you that you can't do it,” he added. “Because if you find the right person, they will not only tell you that you can do it, but they will help you do it. They will open up those doors and those channels for you and work with you to achieve (your dreams).”

All music and videos are free to listen or watch on Sereda’s official website or social media pages.  Also, a form is available on his website if anyone wants to reach out to him. You can follow him on Twitter @JerrySereda, Instagram, @JerrySereda, Facebook and YouTube.

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