A firm favourite with me not only because of her incredible talent but also because she is genuinely so down to earth, appreciative of her fans and full of enthusiasm for her craft, it was great to catch up with Tenille over the telephone.
Having recently released her EP ” The Road To The Lemonade Stand” and with her first full length album due out later this year, of course those were hot topics but we covered much more including her return to this side of the pond to play the main stage at C2C Festival next month. I hope you enjoy what she had to tell me!
LH Hi there is that Tenille?
TT It is Tenille! How’s your day today?
LH Going great so far thanks, just had a lovely long walk with my dogs! What about yours, it must be pretty early Stateside, are you a morning person?
TT I am a morning person, it’s not too bad at all! It’s so nice to be talking to you, thanks for making the time!
LH No, thank YOU! Ive got 15-20 minutes I think so let’s get things rolling!
1. LH It’s only mid February but already 2020 has been crazy busy for you hasn’t it….including your amazing performance at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena this week where Keith Urban invited you to be part of the annual fundraiser ” All For The Hall”, something you attended as an eleven year old I gather! How crazy was that?
TT That really was crazy and wild! Being up there on the stage having been that kid in the seats. I was really grateful he invited me, he started singing and playing along with my song, and i was like “Am I awake?”
(artists performed one of their own songs and one which had influenced/inspired them…Tenillie’s choices were “Somebody’s Daughter” and U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”)
2. LH Looking at clips online you really did seem to own that massive stage, and then last night you played the exact opposite, a tiny show in New York for a few lucky fans…
TT Yeah that was really fun! It was a wonderful venue and really cool to get to sing some new songs and hang out with everybody at the show.
LH So did you get to sing some brand new songs that you hadn’t played before?
TT I did! I thought it would be fun to try that out , I also sang most of the songs from the EP. I got to bring my band which was really fun too.
3 LH So do you enjoy the variety of shows that you are getting the opportunity to perform these days? It’s a right mix!
TT It is, it’s so much fun to try songs out at different shows whether they be as an opening act or at one of my own, I love getting to mix it up, I enjoy playing whatever!
LH Yes that really seems to come across when you are on stage, your pure joy and energy is amazing.
TT Thank you
4. LH You just mentioned your EP, you must be thrilled with all the great reaction its getting?
TT Thanks for saying that, i really am so excited to have it out there and know people are listening and enjoying it. That means so very much to me.
LH You’re even getting comments from people like Miranda Lambert… how does it feel to have artists of that stature supporting upcoming artists like yourself?
TT It’s surreal! Kind of like one of those things when you get to meet one of your heroes, it really is a beautiful thing when they surpass the expectations of what you dream they will be …you find out that they are just more real and
encouraging . Especially Miranda, I’ve got to watch and learn from her having the opportunity to tour with her, she’s someone who’s already walked this line and been in this position.
5. LH. The EP included the wonderful brand new track ” Holding Out For The One”… can you tell me a bit about how that came to be written please?
TT Yeh certainly! I was hanging out in the writers room in Nashville with Daniel Tashian and Mark Beeson, and just talking about a song that would sound like an anthem about just being who you are and proud of what you stand for . Sometimes i think that means being a little different than the others, and I really loved the challenge of putting that in a song… as well as something that’s going to sound good in a big arena. I really love getting to play this song and to hear people say that it sounds like their anthem is really cool.
LH Well if that’s what you were looking to write I think you really nailed it and came up with the goods!
6. LH Having heard the EP I’m even more excited now about your forthcoming album ” The Lemonade Stand” as I’m sure all your fans are! You’ve been working with producer Jay Joyce, what was that like for you, I’ve heard him described by another artist as being like a ” mad professor” in the studio!
TT That’s exactly right! But Jay is such an interesting bird in the way he hears songs, gives the music space to breathe …its very much an exploring experience, he’ll try anything , jam the song and see what it feels like or what it’s meant to be. I really respect the way that Jay trusts that process, and very much builds an environment where you can just show up and be yourself . I had the most amazing time with him in the studio, it used to be an church in East Nashville and for me it was very much like a spiritual experience.
LH Oh that sounds great! Were you at all intimidated the first time you met him?
TT The intimidating bit came from how much I respect his work! He just loves to make music.
7. LH And did any of the album tracks end up sounding totally different to what you had in mind because of his input and creativity?
TT You know I think a lot of them did! We built them from the ground up, I would play them on my guitar and Jay would run around with all these different instruments sprinkling them on top and saying ” is this OK?” . It was all a bit of a surprise , I really didn’t have a specific expectation of how it was going to sound, i mean I knew how it felt when I played the song on my guitar and other than that i was excited to go wherever that exploring process would take us!
LH What fun that sounds like! I’d have loved to have been a fly on the wall!
8. LH And are there any of the tracks you are particularly excited to be putting out into the world?
TT Honestly, the rest of the songs that are coming, I just can’t wait to get out there! But ” When I Meet My Maker ” is a very special song to me…
LH Ah I remember you performing that in London last year, it’s the song your Grandmother inspired?
TT Yeah, that’s right!
9. LH And of course the burning question is, can you tell me the album release date? I’m sure you can’t but I’m asking anyway!
TT Ha no ….but its going to be an interesting way to release new music and I can’t wait to tell you more!
10. LH And you and your fans have got so much more to look forwards to this year, you’ve got your own acoustic tour Stateside, you’re going back out on the road with Alan Jackson and you just announced yesterday you’ll be playing some dates with Sugarland ….and of course, which I’m sure is going to be the highlight for you, you will be returning to Europe to play the main stage at this year’s C2C festival.
TT Yes I am and I can’t wait to go back and play and see everyone over there and be part of that festival for the first time. I’m so excited, i really am, I love making trips over there …and I hope and anticipate we’ll be back later in the year too.
LH Oh that was going to be my next question, whether we’ll be getting any headline shows!
TT. Yes we’ll be coming back after C2C at some point to get to share and celebrate the new music, I’m really looking forwards to it!
LH We are too!
11. LH You are so busy out on the road, are you finding any time to write these days?
TT A little bit, yeah, in between ….I find it hard to write at the same time as being on the road but I’m really enjoying on my days home stepping into that inner space and telling some stories and writing songs!
12 LH And finally, do you have any message you’d like to give to your fans via Belles and Gals?
TT I just want to say that I can’t wait to come to see everybody over there, and that I really appreciate you guys being on the road to the lemonade stand with me . I’m excited about the community we are getting to have together and I’m looking forwards to lots more adventures ahead.
LH That’s fantastic, thanks so much for your time Tenille, it’s been a real pleasure chatting to you and I hope to see you again soon.
“The Road To The Lemonade Stand” is available to download/ stream now wherever you normally access your music.
For further news about Tenille, including all her upcoming tour dates, go to tenilletownes.com
Interview conducted by Lesley Hastings (twitter.com/lesleyhastings)