HomeEF CountryInterview: Tiera on new single 'Gentleman', dream collaborations and plans for 2022

Interview: Tiera on new single ‘Gentleman’, dream collaborations and plans for 2022

Originally from Alabama, Tiera has arguably been one of the busiest artists in country music over the past couple of years.

As well as being named one of the CMT Next Women of Country in 2020 and a member of the Song Suffragettes female writer’s round in Nashville, during the pandemic she also found time to start a podcast with her husband – which then led to a radio show on Apple Music. On top of that, she released her self-titled debut EP in March 2021 and made her Grand Ole Opry debut last year too.

During her recent visit to London for C2C, I sat down with Tiera to chat about her songwriting process, her latest single ‘Gentleman’, her plans for new music and more.

Hi Tiera, welcome to London!

Thank you!

How have you been finding it so far?

I’m loving it. Every single second of it. I mean, it’s just amazing here.

Have you been able to explore much yet?

Yeah, we got to explore a little bit, but honestly I feel like there’s so much to do that I need more than a week to experience it all.

You’ve been over in the UK to play at C2C – what can audiences expect from a typical Tiera show?

Yes. So I’m currently playing a couple of songs that people know and love and I’m also gonna be playing a new one. So ‘Found It In You’ is a song that’s already out. I put it out on an EP that I did and we’ve got something special coming with that song real soon too, so I’m excited about that. And then ‘Gentleman’, which is my most recent song, and I’m also playing a song called ‘Alabama Nights’ which is a new one and it’s kind of about my hometown.

And then following on from that – how would you describe your sound and your music?

Yeah, so I would describe my sound as R’n’B country. Those are two things that I grew up listening to just around the house and I just kind of merged those two together with my music. I love positive, happy, jamming songs, so that’s what you’re gonna hear really.

Can you tell us a bit about your songwriting process?

Yeah, I love writing with my friends. I feel like writing’s a very vulnerable process, you know, when you’re getting in the room with strangers. I love doing that but I also have, like, some of my friends that I absolutely love writing with and we just understand each other and they know what kind of music I like to write. And so, yeah, we just get together. We’re kind of at the point now where I feel like they know what titles to come in with, what titles I love. So it’s just a good hang whenever I write with my friends.

Is there anyone you’d like to collaborate with in future – either as a performer or as a writer?

Yes, oh my gosh! I feel like Dolly’s at the top of my list. I got to meet her recently and she is just everything that everyone says she is. So yeah, to write with her or sing with her would be amazing.

I know as well you had the podcast you started with your husband and now that’s evolved into your radio show on Apple Music. Can you tell us about your experience with that? And is there anything you learned from that which you’ve applied to your music, or vice versa?

Oh my gosh. The radio show’s been a lot of fun. I feel like it’s really just strengthened my communication skills, honestly, because it’s a lot of talking. And just being able to talk about music and talk about experiences is really fun. I kind of bring that over to my live shows, and like the talking in between. I feel like people wanna know what the songs are about and how I relate to the songs. And so yeah, they’ve definitely helped each other, I feel like.

I feel that storytelling aspect is one of the big hallmarks of country music – is that something that’s important to you and the way you approach things?

Yeah. Well when I first started coming to Nashville, I feel like so many of the shows are writers’ rounds and so it was all of these songwriters that had hit songs and they were sitting there singing their songs and telling the stories behind them. And that’s something so unique to Nashville. And yeah, I feel like as a fan I love to listen to music and hear what inspired the artist to write that song, and so I love to get to share those stories when I play.

This is a hard question for a songwriter, but what’s the one song you wish you’d written?

Oh! The one song I wish I could have written is definitely Bless The Broken Road by Rascal Flatts. That is my all time favourite song. It’s just so beautifully written and the melodies are mindblowing.

What do you have planned for 2022? You’ve mentioned new music – are there plans for touring as well?

Yeah, I’m definitely planning to get out on the road and play some more shows and hopefully come back here. And definitely new music – I’ve had a song from my EP that we’ve had out, doing a new version of and giving it a new life. So I’m really pumped about that. And also some brand spanking new music that people haven’t heard yet – definitely planning to put that out this year.

Can you give us any clues about what the new music’s going to be like? Is it going to be similar to the EP or a bit different?

Yeah, it’s definitely gonna be similar to the EP. We’re not taking too hard of a switch yet. But just kind of diving into my story more and where I started and how I got into country music, and just about getting married. I have all of these things that only happened recently and yeah, I really just wanna share that with this project.

And the last thing I wanted to ask you because you mentioned this at the Big Machine showcase – did you manage to have fish and chips?!

OK, yes, I have, but I went to some random fish and chips place. I didn’t get the full experience so I feel like I need to go to an actual good restaurant.

Tiera’s latest single ‘Gentleman’ and her self-titled EP are out now on Valory

Laura Cooney
Laura Cooney
Laura has been writing for Entertainment Focus since 2016, mainly covering music (particularly country and pop) and television, and is based in South West London.

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