Photos: Phil Crozier
Tareya Green’s musical journey got underway at an early age after receiving a karaoke machine as a gift, leading her to start experimenting with singing harmonies. Not long after, she began posting videos of herself singing on YouTube, one of which caught the attention of a music industry executive, sparking the formation of Country Music Duo Autumn Hill in 2010.
Since then, Autumn Hill have produced two successful albums, four Top 20 Canadian Country singles and over 100 high-profile live appearances at Big Valley Jamboree, Boots & Hearts Music Festival, Cavendish Beach Music Festival and other major events.
Now Tareya is striking out on her own, establishing her own sound and identity, blurring the lines between country, pop and R&B. Her first single “Summer Wheels” is a taste of Tareya’s full-length debut solo album currently in the works featuring a collection of original songs inspired by the rewards that come from a passion-driven life.
Turns out establishing her own identity and sound also meant discovering what her writing process as a solo artist is.
“For this record I was writing by myself for myself. When I started I just wanted to see what’s in there. I just tried to focus on a stream of consciousness and not get too much in the way of what I was singing or writing or else I’d start judging it. So I would kind of empty my brain on a piece of paper, and just do like 3 pages of sentences, and content and lyrics and everything I could possibly think of on that topic and just throw-down”
Inspired by some of Canada’s most prolific female artists including Sarah McLachlan, Celine Dion and Shania Twain, Green dug deep and opened herself up to criticism and feedback.
“Actually Jann Arden was a huge mentor for this album. I sent her some of my demos and some tapes and she would just give me really honest feedback. Just recently she’s become a really great friend and mentor, her advice is priceless, just every little sentence she sends me in an email or text is just so helpful.
Just really teaching me to, first off, be open. As a songwriter and as an artist I think you have to be open to criticism and critic to learn and to grow and to hone your craft. That was hard to hear initially, but the more you hear it, the more you realize you’re getting to a better product. So Jann would challenge me to take a song and flip it inside out, change the verses and the choruses and just see what it sounded like. At the end of the day she was a big part of why I released “Summer Wheels” first. She heard it and was like ‘This is one of the best songs you’ve sent me so far’.”
It was her relationship with Arden that taught Green some invaluable advice, “One, you cannot create and judge at the same time. Your brain cannot do both. And the second which was really important for this solo record was trying to find who I am. Just be exactly who I am. I’m really trying to hone my influences, now that I understand who I’m singing too, I can focus on honing my artistry.”
Discovering who she is, also extends to her social media presence and fans, “The biggest goal I could have as an artist would be to inspire people to find their inner voice or to express themselves. To let them know you can make mistakes. I struggle with social media myself, I’m always contemplating ‘should I post this?’ I think with this record I want to push that. I want to post things that are positive for women to see, and strive to be my most authentic self, I really want to be open and honest and let them know that this is a realistic standard. It’s not what you see in magazines and it’s not Photoshop. I would love to be part of that revolution.”
and since she’s being so open, what might be something her fans would be surprised to know?
“When I work out I listen to Justin Bieber.”
For tour dates, new music releases and fun stuff visit: https://tareyaofficial.com