At just fourteen years old, Tegan Marie has the poise and confidence of a veteran in this business. She made her way to New York City last week to show off her new songs and her high energy personality. Before taking the stage as the first artist to play The Studio at Opry City Stage in Times Square, the singer sat down with New York Country Swag to talk about her journey so far.
“I started singing when I was 3 years old. I stole the karaoke machine from my dad and I haven’t put down a microphone since,” she tells us. Remembering family cookouts in her hometown of Flint, Michigan where traditional country music like Johnny Cash was frequently played. She was signed to Sweety High, an all-girls media company when she was twelve years old and her rise to fame included covers of current country songs on YouTube. Her cover of Florida Georgia Line’s, “H.O.L.Y” (below) has racked up over 17 million views on Facebook.
Now, Tegan is writing her own music and releasing it one song at a time, starting with her latest single “Keep It Lit”. She recalls walking into a songwriting session in Nashville with Rune Westberg and Jason and Nelly Reeves of High Dive Heart and saying “Alright guys, let’s keep it lit”. After laughing, they realized that the word “lit” is very popular with Tegan’s generation and that there was a song idea there. The lively song has a great melody and is definitely memorable.
As if playing the Today Show with Hoda and Kathie Lee and Opry City Stage wasn’t enough excitement for one day, right before she took the stage she found out that the video for “Keep It Lit” had reached over one million views.
Her sold-out show at Opry City Stage featured a 60-minute high energy set filled with pop covers (Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic”, The Chainsmokers “Don’t Let Me Down”), country covers (The Band Perry’s “Done” and Florida Georgia Line’s “H.O.L.Y.) as well as a ton of original music. Fans ages ranged from 5 and 6-year-old girls which she called to stand in the front of the stage to their parents who also enjoyed watching the pint-size performer entertain. “I’m so honored to be playing the Opry City Stage, it’s a dream come true,” she exclaimed before playing an original song called “Roots”.
She spent time explaining each of the songs and the story behind writing them, letting her fans in on her process. “This song is about chasing your dreams and chasing those city lights and how ironic is it that we are here in the most beautiful city and I am definitely chasing my dreams,” she said before singing “City Lights”. Closing her set by putting her own spin on John Mellencamp’s “Pink Houses” and then spending time meeting and signing autographs for every person in attendance. Looking forward into 2018, Tegan is excited to release new music and performing more since it is her favorite thing to do.