The key to having artists come to play shows in the UK is making that first trip and from there luckily people tend to want to come back regularly and this is definitely the case with Tenille Arts. Having first performed in the UK in 2019 as part of Country Music Week, Tenille has since returned twice, embarking on her first UK headline tour last summer, as well as playing the C2C: Country to Country music festival in London and Glasgow earlier in the year. Away from her UK visits 2022 was a landmark year for Tenille where she received recognition and nominations from the ACM Awards, iHeartRadio Music Awards, CMT, the CCMA Awards and Canada’s national JUNO Awards.
Since we last caught up with Tenille we have had the first new music since her 2021 record “Girl to Girl” starting with “Jealous of Myself”. The track which was written by Emily Weisband, John Byron and Trevor Rosen and produced by Nathan Chapman, is an introspective, unfiltered ballad that captures the thought processes after a breakup and marks Tenille’s first single to be released via Dreamcatcher Artists, a recent expansion of Dreamcatcher Entertainment Group. Ahead of a return to London in February for a show at Omeara on the 2nd, Tenille jumped on Zoom with us to tell us what is on the horizon for 2023.
Hey Tenille, how’s it going? “I’m good. I just got back to Nashville last night after lots of radio visits and a show the night before too.”
It’s great to see you again and you are going to come back and see us in person soon. “Yes, very soon. I’m so excited and happy to be coming back. Every time I leave, I’m thinking when’s the next time that I can get back there?” The venue for your headline show (Omeara) is somewhere I don’t think you have seen or played before but from someone that lives in London, for me it is probably my favourite venue. The sound, the lighting and the whole setting is perfect and so pretty, so it’s a really cool venue that I’m sure you will love everything about.
Then last week we found out that you are playing another show in town whilst you are here. You have obviously been involved with Song Suffragettes over in Nashville in the past so it must feel really cool to get involved over here too with what Todd (Cassetty) is building internationally. Looking at the line-up for that round, we’ve got Mia Morris playing too and she must have played more of those rounds in Nashville than anyone else and regularly one of the most fundamental parts of Monday nights at The listening Room. “Absolutely. I known her and I think she was like fifteen when she started playing with the Song Suffragettes. She’s so great and I’m definitely excited to be back and doing that. I actually live really close to The Listening Room and have had so many awesome times there so it’s cool to be a part of it over there too.”
Beyond the two shows, is it pretty much a fly-in visit with some meetings or will you have some free time to go back to Dishoom? “Going back to Dishoom is definitely the plan! We have some meetings so these shows are basically around that and it’s more meeting with people like BBC because we’ve never been able to meet face to face so we’re going to hang out with all of those people, and it will be good.”
That’s cool. It was about six months since you were last here and we spoke but since then we’ve had a pair of new songs that you have brought out as the first thigs since “Girl to Girl”. One of the things that you talked about last time whilst you were working on new music was that you had been in the studio and recording some songs that you hadn’t written yourself which you said you hadn’t really done before. “Jealous of Myself” is a good example of that, so how did the track find its way to you?
“What’s crazy about “Jealous of Myself” is that in Nashville you are pitched songs as they call it where you are sent songs that other songwriters have written but this one was not in a bunch of songs like that. This was actually Emily Weisband posting on TikTok, where she was doing this little series of posting some songs that she had written for other people and also some songs that she was hoping people would record. “Jealous of Myself” was in that batch where she just posted a verse and the chorus, saying does anybody out there want to sing this song? I saw it and commented on it saying if you don’t want to sing this song, I want to! I reached out to her team, and they sent along the song which we found out was written by Emily, Trevor Rosen from old Dominion and John Byron. It was like this stacked team of incredible songwriters, and I went into the studio where I got to record it with Nathan Chapman, so it was just this really incredible way of finding a song like I’ve never experienced anything like before.”
Talking about this and “Motel on the Moon” are they both the first tastes of what is going to be a project where we will get something a little bit bigger? “Yes, they will lead into something. I’m working on it, I’ve been in the studio quite a bit recently, which is every time I’m in Nashville basically. I would say the project is definitely not done, I’m still writing for it but it’s definitely in the works and hopefully will be done sooner rather than later. It’s definitely feels more normal I guess compared to the last record that I put out. We can go into the studio whenever we want to and not have to deal with any restrictions, so it’s back to the fun way of recording music and making records. I’m someone that likes to do it in pieces rather than trying to do an entire record in one go so it’s great to be able to have that flexibility again.”
The big change for you since you were last here is that you have had a change with your team and putting music out so, can you tell us more about Dreamcatcher Artists in terms of how it came about and how it is the right fit for you? “My manager and I have been working together for about seven years, as the music industry changes, we had been looking at whether it would be beneficial for me to be on a major label or stay independent. When we were looking at that, we decided that maybe we should start a label together. We had this incredible team, like on radio, social media and all of those people where we had the opportunity to bring them inhouse so, we did that and started this label. I’m very involved in the label side and my manager also bought all of my music back from the last people so my entire catalogue is inhouse now as well, where he gave me a percentage of that, and I have ownership of my music. As an artist that is something that is really cool and when I moved to Nashville, I just couldn’t believe that artists didn’t own their own music. It’s a crazy thought and I don’t think a lot of people knew that. I suppose with Taylor Swift people started to become more aware of that, but I have ownership of my music now and that is really great. It’s also that I have a little bit more control and I can get to be involved in all of those meetings then hopefully someday sign another artist and have it be a really great environment for them.”
This trip over next month is obviously going to be quite short and you’re pretty busy whilst you are here but we know you like coming to see us so is there hope to be looking towards more of a tour again over here? “Absolutely. This is kind of just a quick stop but definitely want to try and get back there for some bigger shows. I’ll be heading to Canada and Australia so we’re just trying to fit all of these things in to our schedule, but I definitely hope to be back soon.”
Lastly, I just wanted to talk about your Instagram post from a couple of days ago where you put up a picture that I’m guessing was probably a project at school about your role model. How old were you when you made that beautiful creative poster about Kelly Clarkson? “Oh goodness, I think I was probably about ten years old or even younger than that. It was definitely a school project, and I had no idea that my mom still had that. She had put into my closet bunch of art projects from school and that was in there. I hadn’t seen that since I made it basically so I have no idea why she still had it but it was so cool to pull out. Last year I was on The Kelly Clarkson Show so it was really cool to see how much of a fan I really was back then.”
I suppose now you have put it out there, when you go back on her show and her people have seen that, they are going to be straight in touch with your mom to get that sent over for when you’re on. “Oh absolutely. We should probably just bring that in and show her. It’s so funny when you read it saying I want to be a singer like Kelly Clarkson and perform in front of hundreds of people. It’s like hundreds of people and she’s performing in front of thousands and thousands of people, but it was really cool to see that.” When I’ve seen you before, you always do really cool things with covers like I love what you do with “Love Story” (Taylor Swift) coming out of “Wildfire and Whiskey” but we haven’t seen you cover Kelly before. What is your favourite Kelly Clarkson song and why haven’t you ever put it into your set? “Well, the songs are really hard to sing because she’s such an incredible singer but honestly, I’ve never really thought about it. Probably my favourite song would be “Breakaway” and I used to sing that when I was younger.”
“Jealous of Myself” and “Motel on the Moon” from Tenille Arts are both out now and available HERE.