'Love, Heartbreak, & Everything in Between': Tenille Arts says you can relate to her new album no matter what
The singer's latest album spans over two years of her life and takes listeners through the highs and lows that go along with just living
Country singer Tenille Arts' latest album, 'Love, Heartbreak, & Everything in Between', is an interesting take on the ups and downs of life. It also happened to be the record that spawned her biggest single to date, 'Somebody Like That'. Arts has slowly built a loyal audience since her debut in 2016, but the singer gained a wider mainstream audience following her performances on ABC’s 'The Bachelor'.
Sadly, just like with so many other artistes, Arts found herself under lockdown when the Covid-19 quarantine hit and realized she had to find new ways to share her music and connect with her fans. For the country-pop singer, that was just another challenge she was more than willing to take on, and she has since found some rather novel ways of turning the virtual experience into something exciting.
MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) got the chance to speak with Arts about her music, how the quarantined life has been treating her, and what's next for her.
Your career began with online covers, most notably Taylor Swift's 'Fifteen', after which you dropped your debut self-titled EP in 2016. It's been quite the journey from there to getting signed and releasing 'Love, Heartbreak, & Everything in Between'. What is it been like, going from a teen recording covers and putting them online to being a full-fledged artiste today?
Arts: It's definitely been a journey for me. I always knew that I wanted to make my own music. So it was a natural transition for me to go from putting up cover videos to trying to put up some of my original music and seeing what people thought about that. And then I moved to Nashville and things really started taking off from there.
That first EP, I did it completely independently. And now here I am releasing this full-blown album with a label. It's been so much fun to be able to see both sides of the industry: experiencing what an independent artiste has to do to get their music out there and now having a team behind me that can help with all of that stuff. It's allowed me to be more creative as an artiste and a songwriter and not have to focus so much on the back end of things and how the industry works. I've been through a lot in my personal life just between 2016 and now, including a breakup, finding new love, and just kind of dealing with everything that goes with that. So this new album is really about those two years of my life and I got to write about exactly what I was going through.
Given how personal the new album is for you, what do you hope people will take from it when they listen to it?
Arts: I hope that people, no matter what they're going through, can find something on this album to connect with. The original idea was to do three separate themes EPs. We took that idea and put it into a single album, but that structure still remains. So the first four are love songs, the next four are breakup songs, and the last four are kind of everything else in life. So whatever you're going through, there's something you can relate to on the album.
Do you have a personal favorite track off the album?
Arts: I have two, actually. 'Somebody Like That', because that is my current single in the US and it's been so incredible to see radio stations and streaming services really latch onto this song and promote it. I've never experienced anything like this before so it's really exciting to me. It's also a hopeful song about finding love after a breakup, so I hope people can relate to that. My other favorite would be 'Call You Names' which is a song I wrote about my relationship with my mom and it's kind of an apology for those teenage years and what we put our parents through. And this song, I think, paints a beautiful picture of how relationships can grow and change. My mom's now my best friend!
On top of all your accolades, you also had the honor of performing the Canadian National Anthem at this year’s NBA All-star Game in Chicago. What was that experience like for you?
Arts: That was probably one of the most nerve-wracking experiences I've ever had! I told my manager early on in my career that I didn't like doing the anthem because people are either going to love it or hate. It's a very touchy thing. But then when I got the call and was told it was for the NBA, it's gonna be a huge deal, millions of viewers, I thought "Okay, maybe I can do this, I can get through it." And it was an amazing experience. I think I grew so much just from putting myself in that situation that I thought was going to be really uncomfortable. Making it through that, being able to be proud of that moment, has given me a lot more confidence when it comes to any type of show or opportunity.
You've been acing the lockdown game, having done over 50 quarantine concerts since it began. But you've also found another way to keep viewers entertained: bedazzling your Paul Reed Smith SE acoustic guitar with over 4000 individual Swarovski crystals! What was the inspiration behind that?
Arts: I was going to make this guitar for the summer festival shows, and all of the hopefully upcoming tour shows, to go with the new album cover which is pink. I started the project right before quarantine started, and then I ended up having a lot more time than I thought I would. So one day I just sat down with a glass of wine, put on a TV show, and just finished the entire guitar. Thousands of crystals, and about twenty-five hours of work! It ended up being a bigger project than I thought it was gonna be. But I'm so happy with the way it turned out.
How do you stay motivated to keep creating during the pandemic?
Arts: I'm really just focusing on what it's gonna be like when everything is back to normal. It's difficult to stay creative when you're not really out there living life. You don't have these experiences to write about. But when I get back out on the road, I'm not gonna have time to be able to write the way I do right now. So, I'm trying to make the most of the time I have. And then, once I'm back out on the road, I'll be a little bit calmer knowing I've done all of the songwriting work necessary to put together a new project in the future.
If you could give your fellow creators one bit of advice on how to weather this storm, what would it be?
Arts: Honestly, some days I wake up and just don't feel like doing anything, but it's on those days where I feel unmotivated that I get into a writing session and something really great comes out of it. And I would have missed out on that if I canceled that day. So, I think just continuing to push yourself, even when it's uncomfortable and you don't feel like you have anything to say, and leaning on other creative people to help keep you going.
What's next for Tenille Arts?
Arts: We've definitely got a few things in the works. There probably won't be any new EPs out anytime soon, but we're working on a deluxe edition of the album. In the meantime, I've also got Instagram and Facebook lives coming up in partnership with a few radio stations. Mostly though, I'm just excited about the new album. Hopefully, when the quarantine is over, I can get back out there and sing for people, cause I know music has been something that people have been leaning on during this time and a lot of people have found my music for the first time during this period.