Introduction | From Sarah
Tenille Arts is Blue Bandana Country’s favorite find of 2018.
Our team came across Tenille through social media and immediately became eager to reach out to her after hearing her sing. With her sultry style and blossoming career we knew that she would be an artist that Megan and I both could relate to but also a female artist that we know is on the horizon of breaking into the industry. So naturally when we found out that we were going to be able to interview her for our Back Pocket Talk we were ecstatic.
From her all black attire (channeling her inner Johnny Cash) to her debut album Rebel Child we just couldn’t get enough of her. Post interview and hearing what she had to say to all of our off-the-wall questions we realized what a genuine and positive women she is. I encourage, no actually I insist that you give Tenille a listen. From being an outstanding vocalist and admirable role model, we know that she is an influencer in the making.
Canadian born Tenille Arts grew up in a small town where she dreamed of performing from the age of 8. She worked hard over the years on her singing, learned to play the guitar and advanced her song writing skills to become the full package she is today. She made the move to Nashville and released her first EP in 2016.
In 2017 she released her first full length album Rebel Child and it debuted at #34 in the United States and has helped to launch her as one of Popculture.com’s 2018 Artists to Watch. She made her national tv debut when she performed on NBC’s The Bachelor (keep reading to hear all about the behind the scenes action!)
BACK POCKET TALK WITH TENILLE ARTS
BBC S: Sarah
BBC M: Megan
TA: Tenille Arts
BBC S: Tell us about your album title track – Rebel Child
TA: Rebel Child was one of the first songs that I have ever written with Adam Wheeler. Since then, Adam has become a songwriter that I write with all of the time and he co-produced with Matt Roby.
Rebel Child was a song that came from an original idea that I had back in Canada in my bedroom. I had a chorus and shared it with my mom, in which I was telling her the lyrics “wild and free and the air that raised me” related so closely to the way I was raised and my hometown and how I grew up. But the whole song was about leaving my hometown and making it to Nashville and when I wrote it with Adam we wanted it to be about taking the road less traveled and being a rebel child. When people tell you that you can’t do something you tell them “no I can do it and here is why.” You just have to set your sights on something and make it happen. So that is what that song is really about.
BBC S: Canada feels like the Wild West to us as far as country music, tell us some differences and similarities between the two markets?
TA: Honestly there is so many differences but also a lot of things that are very similar. In Canada, a lot of country music on the radio is all the different kinds of country music; bro country, celtic country, pop country… it is kinda all over the map. Which I think that is really cool and I love that about Canada and a lot of it is song writer driven. The more that I listen to the Canadian music I realize that the American market is very similar.
BBC M: You are a part of Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival this year – tell us about that event for those that have not heard of it before.
TA: I love Tin Pan South. It is pretty much my favorite songwriter’s festival. First of all, the round I am playing is with songwriters that I write with all of the time. So everyone knows each other and jumps in so it turns out really cool.
You are able to go out with your pass to all of these different songwriter rounds with hit song writers and my favorite part about that is to hear the stories behind their hit songs. Sometimes they have these big elaborate stories and other times it’s really simple. I like to hear the two different sides of songs. It is one of my favorite festivals.
BBC M: How many years have you gone to Tin Pan South and do you think that Tin Pan South has gotten more attention from music tourists since there is this new trend of paying attention to that side of the music industry?
TA: This will be my third year being a part of it. There is definitely a lot more people who when they visit Nashville are aware of how great songwriter rounds are. So it definitely is no longer just industry people that are coming. So many people I know are coming that week just for that festival.
BBC M: Favorite song on the radio right now? It can be any genre US or Canada.
TA: For the U.S. one of my favorite songs out right now is Women, Amen by Dierks Bentley and then Parallel Lines by Keith Urban.
In Canada, actually my producer is the writer on this song that just went #1 called 8th Day by Dean Brody.
BBC M: I have to say that within the Canada market I am a big James Barker Band fan and really hope to see them out in Northern California soon.
TS: That’s awesome! I actually met them a couple of years ago. We did the same emerging artists showcases and at the time, I don’t think they had music out yet and now they are just blowing up. Which it is super cool to see that.
BBC S: We are Bachelor Nation Fans… tell us about that experience as well as your thoughts on this whole last season.
TS: The actual experience was so incredible. I was honestly pinching myself the entire time because I am a huge fan of the show too. I never thought in a million years that I would be performing and that it would be my national television debut. I had no clue that this was going to happen! Even when I was there I kept thinking in my mind that they were going to cut me out!
I was able to meet Arie and Chelsie, who were the ones on the date. It was a really special moment to play on a show like that.
BBC M: So did you just play the one song or were you able to a few songs for the staff?
TS: We just played a Moment of Weakness. We played it a few times because the band I brought with me was only thrown together a few days before the show (because we found out about it so quickly). So we decided we wanted a cello player, nylon string and piano so we had to put it together very quickly. We played it for them and they wanted us to play it again.
BBCM: So did you like Arie?
TS: He was so nice! Seeing how everything played out, I could never imagine being in that situation so I don’t want to judge too harshly. People were so on the fence on this season but they all still watched it!
BBC S: So speaking of TV shows, we heard you were a huge American Idol fan so who was favorite judge and why?
TS: I love Simon! I know a lot of people didn’t but I really liked him. He was always the one to correct the artists. I feel like if I was on the show I would have wanted his approval. He was mean but it was necessary sometimes. So I really liked him.
BBC M: Canadian Country artists – we are aware of Shania but who else has been an inspiration for you?
TS: Dean Brody has definitely been one of my biggest inspirations. His songwriting is so incredible and I have heard him talk about how he writes songs and it is really cool to see his creative process. I am now even more obsessed with his music.
TS: Kalie is amazing. It has been so great knowing her ever since I joined the Song Suffragettes. That entire group of women is so supportive. They all write together and everybody is trying to help each other to get to the next level.
I try not to focus on the negativity around women in country music, “that they aren’t getting played” but obviously its a conversation and I LOVE that people are talking about it. I think that the more we discuss it, the more aware people become and it is really great that there is focus on female music.
Things are changing and it is undeniable that we have to play these amazing songs by these women.
The songs are out there they are just not getting played. So it is just great to be a part of the Song Suffragettes and they are changing that. It has created a whole movement.
BBC M: How did that start? Did they see you sing somewhere and invite you? I am just curious what that process looks like.
TS: I actually auditioned. Janelle Arthur, who I have written with, said to me “you are new in town and you should definitely audition and you’ll start playing these shows, it would be good for you.” So the day I auditioned they called me back and asked me to play the show that Monday night and immediately the next morning there was another women of country event. So within the first week of living in Nashville, I got to meet all of those women. So I had a really great foundation of female country artists very early into my move to have support but also grow musically with.
BBC M: We are finding out that they are quite the support system. It feels as though we have opened Pandora’s box by initially discovering them especially all the way out here in California. I’m sure everyone in Nashville and nearby is well aware of the Monday night shows but as we’re growing as an all female-run blog we quickly realized that we wanted to know anything and everything about this because we want to influence people to stick around Nashville through a Monday night to be able to go when they visit.
BBC S: I have to admit I did some instastalking of you. Your make up always looks great and you always have the best lipstick colors. So what is your favorite lipstick color and name?
TS: It’s funny that you ask that because after I performed on the Bachelor I pretty much always wear the same red lipstick. Which I think that was the most common questions asked after the show.
I’m really obsessed with Diva from Mac. It is the perfect red because it is dark but it doesn’t look black in photos.
BBC M: We have to ask being that you are from Canada… Tim Horton’s or Krispy Kreme?
TS: Tim Hortons all the way. Krispy Kreme donuts are really really good but there is just something about Tim Hortons. Literally when I visit home I go could go every morning to get coffee.
BBC M: You kinda give us a Devin Dawson vibe, is there any new country artists right now that you would want to do a duet with?
TS: I honestly think Lauren Alaina is incredible. I love her. I guess it would be a female duet! I feel like she would challenge me vocally.
BBC M: What is one misconception that people have about female artists?
TS: Sometimes people think that our concerts won’t be as fun and that they think we have a lot of slow songs. Which is not true. Some of my absolute favorite country concerts that I have been to have been female artists. They just seem to think that it won’t be a fun drinking concert and I like to convince them that YES it will be. Those girls are rockin out on stage just as much as any other band.
BBC M: What was one of your favorite concerts that you mentioned?
TS: Carrie Underwood’s concert was incredible. How can she sing like that… for that long and then with all of those different costume changes. Literally, if I could model my dream tour it would be after hers.
BBC S: When was the first time you realized that you were pretty darn good at singing?
TS: Really the first time it became more than just a hobby was when I was 8 years old. My neighbor heard me singing outside in the backyard and she went and told my mom that I was really good. So then I went and had voice lessons and that’s when I really started to take it seriously. I knew I could progress and get that much better.
BBC S: Is that when you started songwriting?
TS: I started songwriting around 13-14 years old. I learned how to play the guitar so I could start songwriting. That was around the same time that Taylor Swift came out so I started around then.
BBC M: So what is your favorite Taylor Swift song?
TS: Mine is an album cut called “Last Kiss” which it is one of the most heartbreaking songs ever.
BBC M: This is Back Pocket Talk, do you have any back pocket local spots in your hometown that you like to get away to?
TS: Not really a specific spot but I do love going out to my family farm. It is the perfect escape from everything. I am able to clear my mind and it is just one of those spaces you can be really creative in because you are so comfortable.
BBC S: What is the most spontaneous thing you have ever done with a best friend?
TS: Okay so I am the least spontaneous person ever. But this one time my mom was visiting Nashville and we decided to go to Dollywood on a last-minute weekend trip. We packed up real quick and drove all the way out there to find out that it was closed! They were switching over from Halloween to Christmas decorations and so that is what I got for being spontaneous. But my mom and I were able to have a girls weekend anyway.
BBC S: We pride ourselves on being #bandanababes and rockin our favorite accessory as much as possible… what is your favorite accessory?
TS: On stage I always wear all black. It is kinda my thing but as accessories I could say with a simple outfit but a lot of rings. I just love the way rings look and I also love The Giving Key necklaces.
BBC M: Social media has opened up a world of positivism but also has its bullies; what is your message to young women building a following and how to handle that kind of ridicule?
TS: I think having a sense of humor and not taking those things so personally is important. Generally those people who are commenting such negative things think that no one is going to see them but they are.
My favorite reaction to when someone is being super terrible is to get back at it with something positive. Whether it is “don’t hate” or “spread positivity” it shows them that people do see it and you can kill it with kindness to not sink to their level. You should watch what you say and then everyone can also see that I responded to them, so it might make them stop.
BLUE BANDANA COUNTRY | SONG SELECTION
There’s this trend occurring where I’m having the hardest time narrowing down just one song for my favorite from the artists we’ve been interviewing (which definitely speaks to the unparalleled talent of these women) and Tenille was no exception.
From the title track Rebel Child to Good About It, Outta My Mind and her killer cover of Black Velvet I genuinely love this whole album. It’s one of the few I put on that I can play on a loop without skipping one song (and I mean on a loop for hours at a time). If I absolutely had to choose I would have to say Rebel Child edges out the rest. The melody and power of her voice shine through and the sentiment of the song sets the tone for the rest of the album. Seriously if you haven’t listened to it yet go listen! Now!
WHOA – A sappy cute love song?! Who would I thought I would have selected it, however this song just gives me all the warm feelings of a gorgeous sunny day with my hand sailing out the window in the spring breeze. This is the way I hope to talk about the guy I am falling in love with and the lyrics draw out an emotion that only driving around your hometown can. “Sweeter than honey, stronger than whiskey” is the kind of man any country loving girl would dream of. So soak up this song on a beautiful day and let the chorus help you sink further into the love of Alabama.
Savannah’s Choice | Wildfire & Whiskey | Written by Tenille Arts & Jason Massey
To Tenille From BBC
Tenille – Thank you for taking the time to connect with us and be a part of our movement of Back Pocket Talk. We are eager to see you live and we will continue to spread the word about your talent and positive outlook on the female movement in country music.
TO BBC FOLLOWING
Y’all, Tenille is the real deal. If you don’t believe me… check out our curated playlists based upon this interview. I have full faith you will be obsessed with this extremely talented Canadian who is on the rise in country music.
Apple Music – Back Pocket Talk with Tenille Arts
Spotify – Back Pocket Talk with Tenille Arts
Don’t forget to follow Tenille on social media and to check out her music!