Tenille Arts was born and raised in the small, Canadian prairie town of Weyburn, Saskatchewan. Tenille’s dream of performing country music took root at the age of 8, when a neighbor overheard her singing a Shania Twain song in her backyard and encouraged her mom to help her pursue music. After years of dance, piano, and vocal lessons, and soaking up a lot of Dixie Chicks and other favorites, Tenille began
making the long trip to Nashville to advance her songwriting skills. Her hard work, determination, and talent led to steadily increasing successes as she earned a publishing deal, moved to Nashville, and saw her 2016 debut EP peak at #1 on the iTunes Canada Country Albums Chart as well as crack the top 100 on the U.S. iTunes Country Albums Chart. In 2017, she surpassed a million streams on Apple Music and 2
million total streams. Tenille’s song “Cold Feet” has helped grow her fanbase with a popular video, while receiving much critical acclaim, including a rare feature article on an independent release by Tom Roland in Billboard Country. Arts releases her first full-length album “Rebel Child” in October 2017, having co written 10 of the 11 songs on the collection.
VG: So tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m originally from Weyburn! I grew up in the same house there my whole life, and we also have a family farm outside of Midale. I loved growing up in Weyburn. I had a lot of local support and I was involved in as many activities as I could be. I feel like my hometown was a great place to develop my talents and there were definitely a lot of great opportunities there, but eventually I felt I needed to travel down to Nashville to further my career. I made my first trip there when I was 15 years old.
I’ve always known that country music was my calling. I think it’s because I love stores, and I love that country music can really connect with people. I grew up listening to the Dixie Chicks and Shania Twain, so it felt natural to sing that genre!
I’m currently living in Nashville, TN because I signed a publishing deal here two years ago. It has definitely been a tough journey with a lot of ups and downs, but it has also been very rewarding. I love hearing from people about the way my music makes them feel, or that they love my live show. As a songwriter and singer, I feel that it’s my job to make people feel something, and help them through anything they’re going through in life.
VG: Your first Ep is #1 on the Canadian music scene, what a way to make a statement; we are super excited for you. Please tell us what’s next on your agenda?
I just recently announced that I’m releasing my first full-length album! This feels like a huge step for me because I can finally share more than just 6 songs with the fans. I feel that this collection has so many different sides of me, and I think there’s something for everyone. I co-wrote 10 of the 11 songs, and I’m really proud of it. It’s available for pre-order right now, and the album will be available October 20th!
I also just launched my new website, so that’s super exciting! I finally have physical CDs and merchandise available! www.tenillearts.com
VG: Vintage Gypsy is also a supporter of CF and we admire your efforts to this cause; please tell us how you got involved, and why it means so much to you to be a CF Ambassador.
Getting involved with Cystic Fibrosis Canada was kind of like fate! I was an assistant dance teacher in Weyburn, and Teresa Weger’s parents approached me to perform at their fundraiser. I learned so much that night, and I just felt a calling to help out the only way I know how, which is through music. After performing there a couple of years, I learned a song called “Breathe” that was written by Matt Scales, who had CF. Everyone thought it would be great if I could record it, so we got permission from Matt’s dad, I recorded it, and then released it! 100% of the proceeds go straight to CF Canada.
VG: Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from a lot of different things. I think my family and friends and my life experiences are what I like to draw from. I think its important to try to relate to people of all ages and just sing from my heart. I always try to be myself and make sure my music is authentic.
VG: What inspires you to keep moving forward?
My fans! I really consider them friends. There are a lot of “let downs” in the music industry, but every time I’m feeling upset about something, or having a bad day, a fan messages me and tells me how much a song means to them, and then I know I’m doing exactly what I should be.
VG: How do you find your life/family/work balance?
I live really far away from my family, boyfriend and friends, so I try to stay as connected as I can, and if I have a show in their area, I always make time to see everyone. I have a small team, so I work a lot, but I try to make the time away from the people I love worthwhile!
VG: Do you ever feel uninspired or overwhelmed? How do you get yourself back on track?
I feel overwhelmed sometimes, but usually it’s because I’ve put unnecessary pressure on myself. I just try to put things into perspective, and do the best I can. Talking with my mom always helps!
VG: What is it you love most about writing and playing your songs?
I think hearing people’s reactions is the best part. Hearing a new song for the first time is a great feeling, and I love that I get to give that to people. I love performing on stage and getting to meet people after too.
VG: What is your favorite place on earth? The place that makes your heart sing? Where you feel at Peace.
I feel the most at peace when I’m at my family farm. Everyone in my family is super supportive and they are my biggest fans so I love when we gather in the living room and I play new songs for them. When we all get together on the farm, we feel like kids again and we block out the rest of the world and just enjoy our time out there. I also love the wide open fields and fresh air. There’s nothing better than coming home to the prairies!
VG: What does a typical day look like for you? Do you have rituals or things you do every day to keep you positive and moving forward?
I wouldn't say I have any rituals, but I always try to start the day with a good song, or a positive thought!
Typically I have a writing session or a meeting in the morning, and then I have time to work on social media or anything else I have to get done that day!
Most of my days are completely different from each other. Sometimes I’m writing, recording, practicing, performing, going to shows or sometimes I’m meeting with my team to work on releasing new music or planning for something.
VG: If you could share some words of advice/wisdom to other women thinking about chasing a passion, what you tell them?
I would tell them to just keep going. Sometimes things don't go as planned, but every once in a while, something really great will happen and make up for all of those times when someone told you “no”. Don't be afraid to fail, and surround yourself with people who build you up! Be a woman who supports other women.
Check out www.tenillearts.com for more on this beautiful and talented Saskatchewan Girl