Having friends in the industry and in Nashville, you get an insight into artists and songwriters that really excite people and one name that you have heard time and time again is Tigirlily Gold! Kendra and Krista Slaubaugh from Hazen in North Dakota decided to become a duo in high school and after extensively touring the mid-west, eventually found their way to Nashville, where they initially found a new home performing on Lower Broadway at Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row.
The origins of the duo’s name is from Tigirlily (broken down to be pronounced as Tie-Girl-Lilly) as a symbol to the wildflowers growing in their childhood garden and Gold which represents the sunrises at home was an update to the band name in late 2022 to ensure that fans could easily find their music due to a lot of similar named brands and artists.
Back in 2021 the sisters hit the top spot with “Somebody Does” on both the iTunes Country Songs and iTunes All Genre Songs charts in the United States then signed a record deal with Monument Records and global publishing deal with SMACKSongs/Kobalt. After grafting hard with performing, writing, performing and touring for over a decade, Tigirlily Gold are set for big things in 2023 with their first single now at country radio. Off the back of the immediate success of “Shoot Tequila” (available HERE) not just impacting in North America, Krista and Kendra found their way to this side of the Atlantic to perform at the tenth anniversary of C2C: Country to Country in London which they just about manged to arrive in time for (even if all of their bags didn’t). After their first performance at the festival and debut performance in the UK, Jamie sat down with the girls to hear how excited they were about this first trip across the pond, the reaction to “Shoot Tequila” and their upcoming EP “Blonde”.
It’s so awesome to have you both here, I’m really excited that you’re here to play and so glad that you actually made it even though you will probably get back home to the States before your luggage arrives in the UK. “That’s what I was saying on stage, I’m not going to get that skirt and those boots back to my house for a while, I don’t think.” (Kendra) Well, the important thing is YOU both made it, it’s your first time over here and you girls have been working hard in Nashville for a long time. I know a lot of people that first came across you both playing at Whiskey Row but now you’re not just in another continent, but you’ve now got your first song at country radio. “Yeah, wow when you say it like that. We’re extremely grateful and a dream of ours for a really long time and ten years into doing Tigirlily Gold having that first song at country radio just shows to keep going as you never know what’s around the corner. Three years ago, we didn’t have any sort of deal, we were playing Broadway three days a week making money through tips and things like that so it’s crazy how much can change in a short amount of time.” (Kendra)
It’s not just with radio back at home but “Shoot Tequila” is really starting to take off over here too. That room was packed up there today and I’m sure it will be even more filled out tomorrow (which it absolutely was) where there is a bit more space for more people to come and see you so it must feel so cool to see that your music really is travelling over here. “It’s one thing seeing somebody singing our song in America but when you are over in the UK, in London and you see people singing along, this is wild, and this is crazy that this music can translate across the world in places that we have never even been before, but people know our music. It’s so crazy but we’re so happy that people have found it. We noticed right away when Shoot Tequila came out that the UK love on that song was very strong.” (Kendra) “That’s why we got booked for C2C because of Shoot Tequila!” (Krista)
With the point on the whole crowd singing along, it’s so regular you hear people say this about songs that they haven’t even put out yet. Something that you may have just been playing about with on your socials or shared on YouTube, there are people that have gone out of their way to listen and learn the words to those songs too. “They’re very invested fans which is so cool. We did a couple of shows with Ashley McBryde back in the States and she was saying how amazing the UK fans are, so we did have a little bit of preparation. Even though we had talked to Ashley, the crowd even exceeded our expectations, they are so polite and really care about the music which is so awesome for us because we are artists but also songwriters, so we really care about the songs.” (Kendra)
I love Ashley too and I guess that hearing what she had experienced over here, as she has been over here a lot, it does prepare you for it being so different. That first time you play, and the entire room is staring at you fully is really alien in a way to what your used to so, if you aren’t ready for that, I mean I’ve heard people say that their initial thoughts on stage was like why are they just looking at me, do they think we suck? “I think we were prepared for it because we did have the heads up from Ashley and a few other artist friends, but I think it’s so awesome how intently everyone is listening. As an artist that is a dream come true to have people in an audience listening to every word that you’re singing and really caring about the lyrics, the songwriting and the melodies, it’s just incredible.” (Kendra)
When you were on stage earlier, you mentioned that this is more new music on the way so is this building up towards a fully extended project? “Well, we have an EP coming called “Blonde” which really is only the first part because it’s going to turn into “Blonde” the album so yes definitely extended on the way.” (Krista) “We’re not hiding that too much, we’ve been talking about it a little bit.” (Kendra) “We’re kind of just releasing bits and pieces of it at a time, kind of keeping it going throughout the year.” (Krista) “With that it is because we took so much time making the record, we really want to make sure every song has its own time to live.” (Kendra) “Yeah, we don’t want any songs to get lost. So, it’s “Blonde” EP then “Blonde” album coming out later, not sure of a date for the album yet but we’re going to roll out a lot of music this year.” (Krista)
That is the thing with consumers, the market and DSP’s right now where you have to keep hitting those playlists and like Krista said you don’t want songs you worked hard on and are proud of to get lost because when you put seven or eight tracks out in one go you can only really push one of them. “Exactly, whilst Shoot Tequila is at country radio which takes weeks and weeks and weeks to do what it does, so whilst we’re working that we can release other songs which might not go to radio, but we still care deeply about them, fans can learn them and sing them at our shows.” (Krista) I know this is obviously a very brief trip but from what you are saying, it won’t be the last and you definitely want to come back but has it always been up there as something that you wanted to do? “I can’t believe we’re here still!” (Krista) “It’s a bucket list, dreams come true thing. We’re small-town girls from North Dakota, this doesn’t happen, this is a true-life experience that we’re very grateful for and I hope it’s not the only time we get to come over here, we’d love to come back and maybe do our own headlining tour eventually, that would be amazing, or to come back again for C2C next year obviously. All we’ve wanted to do is play music for a living and travel whilst doing this so it’s two for two right now.” (Kendra) “I am coming in a day earlier though next time, I’m not cutting it this close again.” (Krista)
You literally landed this morning and you had to rush for your set so I’m guessing the whole jetlag mess hasn’t even kicked in yet. “I haven’t slept for twenty-four hours.” (Kendra) “We’re kind of running on adrenaline right now, the high of the audience helped us out but later we’ll be crashing pretty hard.” (Krista)
I’m sure it will be a really good night’s sleep and probably the best you will have had in ages. Going back home you will both be fine, but everyone says that the first time you come this way is a killer and we are exactly the same heading to the States having no worries but going forward in time isn’t fun for your body. “Someone was saying that you have to stay awake all day, so your body almost gets used to it?” (Kendra)
That’s what I’ve heard from a lot of people, the idea of staying up late and as most people grab the direct flight overnight from BNA which is an absolute game changer rather than the days of old trying to change at Miami, Chicago or New York. It seems to be stay up late and if you have that real life superpower of being able to sleep on a plane, make the most of it and crash on the flight then be ready to go the next day. Anyway, appreciate you both being here so much. “Oh my gosh, thanks for talking with us, this has been really fun.” (Krista)
The current single “Shoot Tequila” from Tigirlily Gold is out now through Monument Records and available HERE whilst the title track from their upcoming EP “Blonde” is to be released on March 24th and you can Pre-Save/Add it HERE. You can keep up to date with Kendra and Krista socially to get all the updates on the forthcoming EP and future tour plans through INSTAGRAMTIKTOKTWITTER & FACEBOOK. C2C: Country to Country will return to the O2 Arena in London and OVO Hydro in Glasgow on 8th to 10th March 2024 where the festival will also head to Belfast at the SSE Arena for the first time. Early Bird tickets were released on Friday March 17th where full ticket information is available on the WEBSITE and socials (INSTAGRAM / TWITTER / FACEBOOK)
True country music is honesty, sincerity, and real life to the hilt. Garth Brooks