Growing up in Kelowna, BC, Teigen Gayse was Olympic-bound as a professional figure skater until, at the age of 13, she picked up her first guitar and never looked back. It wasn’t long before songwriting became a passion; it was the ability to tell her own story, in her own words, that began Teigen’s love for country music.
Co-written with and produced by Chad Kroeger, is Teigen’s latest single, “If You Show Me Yours”
On the release, Teigen shares: “I wrote this song with Chad Kroeger and Simon Clow, and it’s one of my favourites to date. It was so fun to create this song with them and bring out this level of vulnerability. After we finished writing, Chad and Chris Baseford ended up producing it. They are both so talented and it’s honestly one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I hope you love the song as much as I do!”
As a small-town girl growing up in Kelowna, BC, you were an Olympic-bound figure skater, before picking up your first guitar at the age of 13. How do you feel developing the resiliency and tough work ethic needed to find success in your athletic endeavours has become something you can draw upon throughout your musical journey?
Teigen Gayse (TG): “Absolutely! I was extremely driven and competitive at a very young age. It was truly all I knew for 14 years. When I decided to leave figure skating, I still had that discipline and drive in me. I think it gave me a good foundation for my music career.”
Later discovering songwriting as your true passion, led to several trips to Nashville and the pursuit of a degree in audio engineering. Gaining the knowledge of basic music theory, intermediate recording techniques, industry-focused marketing, and much more, how have you seen your music develop, and continue to develop into what you’d always hoped it’d be? How do you feel this knowledge has offered you more control over your craft?
TG: “The audio engineering program taught me so much about song creation. So when I am working on a record I’m able to not only create with but appreciate what producers/engineers bring to the table. It’s an art in and of itself. I also learned that I love being on the other side of the board as an artist.“
“As for songwriting, I feel like I continue to grow and learn from every person I am in a room with. Nashville has been such a blessing for me as an artist and writer. It’s like being part of a music family filled with an incredible and diverse amount of talent.”
The country music genre isn’t known for a lot of Métis/First Nations representation. What has your experience been like as a Métis artist navigating the country music scene, and industry as a whole? What piece of advice would you give to other Métis artists looking to follow in your footsteps?
TG: “There has been a lot of emerging indigenous talent across genres in recent years, which is so amazing to see. It really means a lot that I can be part of a generation of indigenous artists who are showcasing the talent that comes from our community as well. I’m just like any other country artist trying to make it in this industry, I just also happen to be Métis, and proud of it. I hope I can make my family proud, especially my nana up in heaven.”
Social media presence has become increasingly important when trying to get one’s music to reach as many ears as possible. Having now amassed a TikTok audience of over 27,000, tell us your own personal experience with using the platform to aid in growing as a country artist.
TG: “Ahh yes, the TikTok! It’s so much fun and I love it, but it can also be very time-consuming. It’s content, so making sure you carve out time in your schedule every day is important if you want it to grow. The best advice I can give is to not overthink it and have fun with it. You never know what will go viral.”
Your talent has landed you in writing rooms with several industry veterans such as Gordie Samson, Jeff Trott, and Dylan Guthro, with the latest being Nickelback frontman, Chad Kroeger. Your brand new single “If You Show Me Yours,” co-written and produced by Kroeger, is said to be one of your favourite tracks to date. What was your experience like working with the Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee? In what way did Chad complement the overall creative vision you had for the song?
TG: “Chad is honestly the nicest guy! So talented, funny, and down to earth. I still can’t believe I got to create something so beautiful with him. He has such an incredible way of coming up with words and melodies, almost effortlessly. It taught me a lot. He actually came up with the title ‘If You Show Me Yours” with the idea of showing your heart to someone, and It grew from there.”
We need to learn to accept what’s given to us because it just might be the next best thing for us. Laying it all out on the line for the taking can be intimidating and leave us feeling powerless, but it’s important for us to experience in order to grow. How have you felt you’ve grown through the release of this song?
TG: “If you aren’t uncomfortable.. then you aren’t growing. I have grown so much in the last couple of years by pushing my boundaries. This single pushed so many boundaries – it’s unlike anything I have ever put out before and that was scary, but now that it’s out, I couldn’t be happier.“
Hitting stages across the country this festival season, including Boots & Hearts and Cavendish Beach Music Festival, you will also be joining Gord Bamford for select dates of his Canadian Dirt tour in June. What do you make of these opportunities to play your music to crowds nationwide?
TG: “I am a born and bred performer, all I ever wanted to do growing up was to make people feel something, make people smile and make a difference in the world. These opportunities let me do that. They let me live my dream, a dream I have dreamed ever since I was a little girl and I can’t wait!“
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