Nicole Sumerlyn’s Emotions Are Holding Her “Hostage”

Photo by: Georgia Dion

North Vancouver-based singer-songwriter and country recording artist Nicole Sumerlyn holds our ears "Hostage" with her powerful third single and debut Canadian country radio release.

The talented recording artist has spent the last decade opening for acts like Brett Kisel, performing at renowned venues like the Bluebird Café, and taking the stage at festivals like the Calgary Stampede and SunFest Country Music Festival. Never failing to keep her audience captivated with her fiery and energetic performances, Sumerlyn is continuously proving that she's here to stay.

Now showcasing a more emotional and mature side of her artistry through singles like "Hostage," Nicole Sumerlyn mentioned that the song is about being "trapped by your own emotions and being afraid to show your deepest feelings in a relationship that's out of balance." Co-written with Chard Morrison and produced by Taylor Allum, let's begin our venture into this gripping single.

Hitting play on "Hostage," the experience begins with Nicole Sumerlyn's powerful and warm vocals alongside downtempo percussion and melancholy electric guitar melodies. As she begins expanding on the inner turmoil she's experienced and the difficulties of being trapped in her mind, the song's instrumentals enhance those emotional scenes with rich and cathartic country tones that allow Sumerlyn to shine in the spotlight.

As we continue traveling through Nicole Sumerlyn's deepest emotions alongside the high-energy and sweltering instrumentals, the entire experience develops into this powerful and stimulating space that's bound to make you feel something deep inside. There's no doubt that Nicole Sumerlyn's lyrics will tug on the heartstrings of any listener, especially with such relatable words that move stagnant inner mountains.

Free yourself from the mind's trap with Nicole Sumerlyn's new gripping single, "Hostage," now available on all streaming platforms.

Welcome to BuzzMusic, Nicole Sumerlyn. We adore the deeply relatable and emotional theme within your recent single, "Hostage." What experiences led you to create this piece?

Hey BuzzMusic! Thanks so much for chatting with me and for the kind words! "Hostage" was written back in 2017. During that time, I was just starting out in the whole casual dating world. I saw someone who simply wasn't putting in the kind of effort that I wanted. He wanted something casual, and I wanted more. I didn't want to lose him, so I lied and said I was okay with what we were doing when really, it was really hurting me. This person probably assumed that it didn't affect me as much as it did, furthering the struggle. "Hostage" came from an emotion of feeling trapped in what I wanted to say but not being able to act on it. I felt like I was being suffocated in a loop of lies that was making everything worse.

We truly appreciate your powerful lyrical content within "Hostage." How did you and co-writer Chard Morrison go about the songwriting process? Was this a therapeutic experience?

Thanks! Chard is a great friend and an amazing writer. I've known him for many, many years; however, this particular song was one of our first writes. I'm an open book, so I started venting about this relationship thing that I was going through when we were catching up before our write. I kept talking and talking, and eventually, I clued in that he was typing the whole time. He had been writing down little things I was ranting about and putting them into song ideas. 10 minutes later. We had the bones for "Hostage." The song came naturally for both of us in the best way.

What was it like working alongside producer Taylor Allum again for "Hostage?" How did Taylor make your experience easier and more enjoyable?

Taylor is the best. We have been bandmates and buddies for so long. So us 'working together' hardly feels like work. It just feels like a hang. He really knows my sound and how to work with it. He understands my story and is willing to do creative and cool things to push both of our boundaries when creating a song. With "Hostage," we tried to pull more unique and different sounds that we normally wouldn't gravitate towards in a country song. We were taking some vocal inspiration from artists like Billie Eilish and musicality inspiration from the original Alicia Keys stuff. So it was fun blending everything together to make "Hostage" what it is.

How is "Hostage" different than your previous two singles? What makes this song stand out?

"Hostage" is the first ballad that I've released. My first two singles were light, fun, and more upbeat. I've branded myself throughout the years of being kinda this 'party girl' energy. As much as I love that style, life ain't all beer drinking and big city dating. I thought It was important to share a deeper side to my songwriting and show that vulnerable side of me as well. From a musicality and vocal standpoint, this song shows more of my vocal versatility and range, which I don't show often. I feel like everyone has their own "Hostage" type of story. Unfortunately, I think at one point or another, everyone has felt this way. I think some may interpret it differently than others. However, I think that at the end of the day, we have all been on the losing end of a relationship that wasn't going anywhere good. I want people to scream out their feelings when they hear this song, just as much as I do when I sing it.

What's next for you?

I am letting "Hostage" have its time to shine, with a Canadian radio release (my first), a really exciting music video, as well as an acoustic version possibly! Additionally, I'm, of course, always working away! We are starting to book live shows again. In preparation for a full-length album, I'm hoping to get my butt back down south once more before making a move to Nashville in the next year. Exciting times are ahead for sure!