Singer-songwriter Tenille Arts is Saskatchewan talent from a small town called Weyburn. As a 2016 CCMA Discovery Program finalist, she co-wrote all 6 songs on her self-titled debut EP that was released at the end of October, which entered the iTunes Canada Top Country Albums chart at #1. Streaming giant Pandora just listed her as a “2017 Country Artists to Watch,” and popular country website Whiskey Riff labeled Tenille a "new country artist name you need to know immediately”. Tenille recently released her debut single “What He’s Into” to Canadian Country radio and her music video just made it’s premiere on CMT Canada, Great American Country TV, and Taste of Country. She signed a publishing deal this past year in Nashville, Tennessee where she currently resides. There is an air of sweetness in her voice and its combined with a bold and powerful presentation of song.
What was the transition like from growing up in Weyburn Saskatchewan to creating music in Nashville Tennessee?
Growing up in Weyburn was really great, and I had a lot of people supporting me. Moving to Nashville was different in the way that there are so many talented people here all fighting for the same thing. It can be discouraging at times, but mostly just incredibly inspiring. It makes me fight harder and I really have more of an appreciation for the good things that fall into place because I have worked so hard for them.
Did your upbringing affect the music you make today?
Yes! I had a really great upbringing, a few struggles at times, but for the most part I was completely surrounded by love and I try to put some of those stories, values and morals into my music. I grew up listening to country and knew that’s what I wanted to sing.
What kind of mentality do you have to possess to create music?
I think you have to be really creative and always put that first. It wasn't until I stopped trying to sound like everyone else that I finally found my sound and found out who I was as a person and as an artist. You also have to have extremely thick skin and just let all of the negative energy go. Determination is key, and you have to surround yourself with people who won’t let you give up when things get tough.
What do you want to say about your artistic endeavours so far?
It has been a lot of fun, but a lot of hard work. I signed a publishing deal in Nashville last year, when I was 21 years old, and it has been an awesome learning experience. Singing was my first love, and then songwriting really became a huge part of my life when I was 15. I’ve had a few things work out really well, and then I’ve had my fair share of heartbreak, but I wouldn't change a thing about my journey so far.
What kind of person do you have to be to pursue an artistic driven profession?
You have to be confident in your own talents and have a clear vision of what you want. It’s tough but I think you have to define what it is that you’re really good at, and then put a lot of time and effort into being the best you can be in those areas. You also have to be doing it for the right reasons. I LOVE country music and all I want to do is get it out to the world for people to hear it because I think some of my songs might be able to help other people with what they’re going through.
What is the biggest pain in the ass in pursuing something creative as a career?
Being shut down by people or being overlooked is extremely frustrating. Especially when you get your hopes up and have worked so hard for something and then it doesn't work out the way you want it to. I guess that’s with all things in life, but it’s hard to move past those things sometimes.
How important is contemporary culture in your art practice?
Social media has become such an important part of being a country artist. It’s really amazing how people have launched their careers online. I started out posting covers on YouTube a few years ago and it brought me to Nashville for the first time. Those followers transferred over into other forms of social media and I was able to talk directly to fans and start engaging with them. It’s tough to keep up with it sometimes, but it’s this new instant world where your life can change overnight. It has been great for me because I waited a long time to release music, and I had people waiting for that day and they were there to support me as soon as it came out.
Is the artistic life lonely?
I would say the artists life is a bit lonely at times. I have spent majority of my life in the music industry and when I moved to Nashville I really didn't know anyone and I got so focussed on my career that I didn't take the time to go out and make real friends. It just took longer than I wanted it to. I also miss my friends, family and boyfriend back home. I try to work hard to make missing those people worthwhile.
What's the best piece of advice you've been given?
The best advice I’ve been given is to surround myself with good people. I think that if you want to be successful in a creative world, you have to have some really great cheerleaders behind you to back you up. I have been really lucky to find a great team in Nashville and we all love working together.