Raised Rowdy contributor
Tenille Townes set her eyes on being a star from a young age and since moving to Nashville has been making all the right moves. Her new acoustic EP, Living Room Work Tapes was released in April and we have it on repeat. Tenille opens up about the differences from her home and Nashville, who has influenced her musically and her decision to do an acoustic EP as her first release.
RR: After so much success at such a young age in your home country of Canada what factors helped you decided to move to Nashville full time?
Tenille: I had an amazing time in Canada and my experiences there made me hungry for more, and hungry for a city where I could constantly be surrounded by lots of fellow creative souls in one place. I made my first trip to Nashville for writing when I was 14 and dreamed of getting to live there someday ever since then because I loved the city so much. So grateful to be here.
RR: “Living room work tapes” was just released last month…what can you tell us about doing an acoustic EP as your first major label release?
Tenille: It makes me so happy that the beginning of sharing this new music goes back to the way these songs were created in their raw and vulnerable state, leading with the stories of these songs and my heart for the process of songwriting. I like to think of this as a way to introduce myself to somebody, like we really are just sitting in a living room, letting all the walls down getting to know each other. Living Rooms are a happy place for me, they make me think of home and my family and all the conversations that can happen in that kind of a safe space.
RR: How different is the Canadian Country Music scene from the US and in what specific ways?
Tenille: In a lot of ways, I think it is similar to home in the sense of the identity of country music. Especially in the area of Alberta where I’m from, country music is a big part of everyday lives. It’s the music playing in the kitchen around the dinner table, and the music playing driving to work or in a tractor on a wide open field. Country music’s anchor in stories and family is very much the same at home. As for the scene, Nashville is so unique because everything is so close. In Canada, you’ve got the industry family spread out throughout the major cities.
RR: This EP has a very raw and vulnerable sound that we love…How would you describe your sound to those that’s haven’t heard you yet?
Tenille: Well thank you!!! The sound is anchored in the way I pick up a guitar and would play a song and tell a story in a living room and it makes me excited to mark that beginning of sharing music with the acoustic EP. The produced record also encompasses some throw back anthemic pop elements and is still driven by acoustic instruments.
RR: Living Room Work Tapes invites everyone to hear your music as if in your home…if you could pick anyone’s living room to do a performance who would it be?
Tenille: I think I’d pick my grandparent’s living room. I’d love to invite the whole world in there…. they are the sweetest and most hilarious people and I love how much it feels like home in there.
RR: Along those same lines who are some of your longtime and current influences as an artist?
Tenille: I’m such a huge fan of Patty Griffin and Lori McKenna and the way their songs and stories are so raw and honest. I listened to all kinds of music growing up riding in cars and it always depended on who was driving. With my dad, it was usually U2 or Fleetwood Mac. My mom would be playing all the female powerhouses like Shania Twain, the Dixie Chicks and Celine Dion. And my grandparents would pick Dolly Parton, Elvis or Patsy Cline.
RR: Looks like you have a busy year planned touring with Miranda Lambert and doing some stops with Bobby Bones, Steve Moakler and Maren Morris…how does it feel to be able to share your music with new audiences?
Tenille: It is the most amazing feeling. I love meeting new people. So much!!!! I can’t wait for more opportunities to get to know people out on the road. And to be learning from all of these artists is truly incredible. So grateful to get watch all these people play their music!
Big thanks to Tenille for letting us take a little closer look into her living room. We look forward to seeing her on tour with Miranda Lambert and hearing more of her music. If you haven’t heard her new EP Living Room Work Tapes check it out, it won’t be something you regret