The teenaged country songstress took the Big Apple by storm last week with a bunch of performances at some of New York’s biggest hotspots.
The trip kicked off with a rooftop acoustic video shoot for Radio Disney Country on Tuesday (January 30) followed by an appearance on the Today Show during Kathie Lee and Hoda’s hour (January 31), which she describes to us as “a dream come true.”
During her time with Kathie Lee and Hoda, Marie shared her love for songwriting and early start in the music business, capping off the appearance with a lively performance of her debut single “Keep It Lit.”
Following the Today Show, Tegan packed out the top floor of Times Square’s new Opry City Stage, making her hour long set the first-ever ticketed (and sold-out) event for the new venue. Her infectious personality and powerful vocals were on full display for her NYC debut, and country fans of all ages came out to support as she sang some of her favorite covers — Florida Georgia Line’s “H.O.L.Y.,” John Mellencamp’s “Pink Houses,” Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic,” The Chainsmokers and Daya‘s “Don’t Let Me Down,” and The Band Perry‘s “DONE.” — as well as her debut single “Keep It Lit” and stand-out originals such as “Smash My Guitar,” “I Don’t Know What Is” and “How To Make A Boy Cry.”
There’s a reason why Tegan is the second youngest artist to sign a major country label in 45 years. The way she works the stage and the level of talent/work ethic she has resembles artists like Taylor Swift and Kelsea Ballerini, who also happen to be two of Marie’s biggest influences. We mean it when we say she is bound to be country’s next big superstar and suggest that you give her music a listen if you haven’t already.
Take a read at our full Q&A with Tegan below and make sure to follow her on Instagram at @teganmarieofficial.
CSC: You have a new song out now, its called “Keep It Lit,” tell us all about that and how you wanted it to be your first single.
Tegan Marie: “So how it all came together is I first walked into the writing session being like “alright guys, lets keep it lit!” And they were like, that’s a great idea. So I came up with some of the melodies and lyrics, and it all just fell into place. Its an amazing song for people who want to dance and its just about like having fun with your friends and family, and having a big heart and sharing your litness with other people. Yeah, that’s basically what the song is.”
CSC: Yes! And the music video looked really fun!
Tegan Marie: “Thank you! It was a really fun video to shoot. We got up super early, we did it in California, and we made it seem like we did it all over the country. The bus was basically my co-star and I just took everyone along with it.”
CSC: Did you have a lot of creative control when you wanted to make the music video?
Tegan Marie: “I had little ideas. My manager (who has produced videos for Madonna and Justin Timberlake) was the director for it (the music video), so she knew exactly what she wanted to do and it ended up really great.”
CSC: You are signed to Warner Music Nashville now — you are also one of the youngest country artists to have a record deal at the moment.
Tegan Marie: “I am the second youngest artist to sign a major country label in 45 years, the last one was Tanya Tucker. I am the youngest to sign with Warner Music Nashville. Warner is a family and I love them so much.”
CSC: A lot of people are saying you’re the one to watch for 2018. What do you think makes you unique and why people should be watching you?
Tegan Marie: “I cannot believe it, its still a pinch myself moment. But I think what really makes me unique is the songs I write and how I share my story and how I’m so young and still have all these stories, I’ve experienced a lot!”
CSC: Do you have any advice for girls your age who want to break out in music?
Tegan Marie: “I would say be yourself and have fun with it because if you’re not having fun then you’re not doing it right! Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.”
CSC: You are so busy but still a teenager. What are some of the fun things you like to do when you’re not working?
Tegan: Tonight we’re going to one of my favorite restaurants called Ninja. I keep talking about it, but it’s this restaurant where you go through a maze to get to your table and its pitch black and then ninjas jump out at you and they can whip the menus at you…you get headbands and swords, its so much fun! I think I make my whole crew 14 year olds so its not really my choice to have fun because they’re already having fun.”
CSC: What is the one thing you really want to do this year?
Tegan Marie: “I really want to get on tour and I want to get my first number one.”
CSC: Who would you want to tour with if you could?
Tegan Marie: “Garth Brooks! Kelsea Ballerini, Carrie Underwood…but yeah, all of the country artists are just amazing.”
CSC: Since we are Celeb Secrets Country, what is a fun fact about making “Keep It Lit” that most people wouldn’t know?
Tegan Marie: “That was the only song that I wrote in LA. The rest are in Nashville.”