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A sister duo from North Dakota that has been touring, recording, and writing music for almost a decade. Nashville was always the goal and in August of 2017, they moved down to Nashville.
In my 7th grade time capsule, I wrote to myself, “You better be in Nashville by now.”Krista, Tigirlily
They started a new chapter knowing they’d be small fish in the big city. But they had each other when they moved.
Nudie’s Honky Tonk
The first year in Nashville, Kendra and Krista people had mentioned working gigs down on Broadway. If they could make money and still be in Nashville, they’d be doing exactly what they wanted.
People often ask how you even get started playing downtown in Nashville. And the truth is— you have to audition. You don’t just get a slot! Kendra and Krista skipped class at Belmont and they auditioned down at Nudie’s.
Hard Times and Pivoting
When reflecting on the times when they wanted to quit, Krista said, “We felt like we were hustling and doing everything we could, but not getting any further. When you feel stuck in a situation and you don’t know how to get out— it’s hard.”
When the pandemic hit, we had no record deal, no publishing deal, no agency, and we lost all of our jobs. We didn’t know how we’d make money or even just survive. Krista considered going back to law school and even applied to go on The Bachelor. They realized they needed to shift their energy and still play music, so they hopped on TikTok.
Ironically, Kendra was in a Social Media class at Belmont and her professor mentioned that TikTok was going to blow up. She didn’t think that could ever happen. Krista was making some videos and had a dance video hit 3 million views— they decided to try covering some songs and taking a shot at music on the app.
They started gaining followers and had some viral videos when Ashley Cooke called them out of the blue. They had a connection through Belmont and Ashley asked if they knew of the houses in L.A. that bring creators together. She wanted to form a house like that in Nashville for country singers. So that group got together and made TikToks— The 615 House.
Fans from All Over
“The feeling of having people cover your songs before you’ve even released them is something special.”Kendra, Tigirlily
This was the first time that people who didn’t know Tigirlily were reaching out. Not just their normal support group of people from North Dakota. They recently played a show in Huntsville, AL and a fan came just to see them to let them know that they changed her life.
You don’t realize the impact that something has. When you’re in the room writing it, you might feel something. But you don’t always know if someone else will relate.Kendra, Tigirlily
The Weight of Responsibility
As an artist, you have to truly be who you are. People will constantly tell you what to do, what to be, who to be. But there’s a weight of responsibility for doing something good for the world. Whether it’s a song that makes people forget about what’s happening or home. But there’s a weight of making an impact. It’s a fine balance.
You can’t write music that you think other people will like. It has to come from you. But if you’re feeling something, someone else probably is, too. It’s impossible to write a song that everyone likes. So be true to yourself.
Tips for Breaking Into Music
People on Broadway are there to drink and party. The audience doesn’t owe you anything. You have to deliver, put on a good show, be truthful, and be thankful for the people that are showing up.
Don’t focus to prove the haters wrong. It’s more fun to celebrate with those who have supported you.
I’d rather make people proud than prove people wrong.Krista, Tigirlily
Proving people wrong can’t be your only motivation.
A Long List of Accomplishments
Tigirlily wrote “Doin’ My Thang” with Walker Hayes, they appeared in Miranda Lambert’s “Tequila Does” music video, they had a cameo on The Young and the Restless, and then had a #1 song on iTunes.
Getting on TYATR was a wild ride for Kendra and Krista. They were playing a demo for some executives and afterwards got an email from one of them. The person had an opportunity for a music act to have a cameo on the show (Katy Perry and Lionel Richie have had appearances, too!) Shortly after, they got the gig!
The first time they had ever been to California was to film at CBS Studios. They had an acting gig their first time, ever. Two small town girls from North Dakota, parking next to James Corden— they felt like a Miley Cyrus song. The best part about the experience was that the fans of the show have become fans of them now, too.
Signing to a Record Label
Coming full circle, Krista had proven herself right in the 7th grade. They were living in Nashville and signed a record deal with Monument Records. All of the hard work had paid off, but gratitude was the initial response.
When they auditioned to be a part of the label— they felt like if had done that, they could do anything. All of the 4-hour Whiskey Row shifts when they felt like no one was listening paid off. Everything and all the time they spent made sense.
So, You Have Your Own Dream?
So many things that have happened in my life that I would laugh at you if you they were going to happen. It’s having the courage to do something out of the norm. If you dare to dream, it’s worth it.Kendra, Tigirlily
You’ll experience things that weren’t even in your plan or vision if you never give up. It’s not worth it to live within your comfort zone. Everything good in their career has been from being bold and not being scared of what people think of them.
There’s no one direct path to success. Their story isn’t yours. Be bold, life is too short.
Advice for Your Younger Self
Kendra— Hype yourself up, girl. You can do anything you set your mind to. You don’t know what’s around the corner. Know how beautiful and worthy you are. YOu’re perfect the way you are. Don’t criticize yourself too hard, because we’re all trying to figure it out. And the way you talk to your best friend is how you should talk to yourself.
Krista— Keep going.
What’s Next for Tigirlily?
New music on the way and lots of upcoming shows! If there’s a Tin Roof in your city, they may be coming to it.
Meet Kendra and Krista
Before there was a Country music-duo named Tigirlily (pronounced Tie-Girl-Lilly), it was simply Kendra and Krista Slaubaugh; sisters, 2 1⁄2 years apart. The two sisters grew up in a home where singing was encouraged. The two girls learned early how to harmonize with each other. Taking a cue from a few of their musical influences – The Chicks, Sugarland, Rascal Flatts – Kendra and Krista effortlessly blend their voices to create rich and robust harmonies.