Tareya Photo: Phil Crozier
Tareya Photo: Phil Crozier

Five Questions With... Tareya

Calgary-based singer/songwriter Tareya is about to step out of her previous role as co-founder of Juno and CCMA-nominated duo Autumn Hill with her debut solo single, “Summer Wheels,” available today on iTunes and Spotify. The song marks Tareya’s move toward establishing a new sound and identity that blurs the lines between country, pop and R&B.

Co-written with Patricia Conroy and Emerson Drive’s Danick Dupelle, and produced by Jeff Dalziel, “Summer Wheels” is the first taste of a full-length album currently in the works, which Tareya describes as a collection of original songs that reflect the confounding rewards that come from a passion-driven life. She adds that her current writing pays tribute to artists such as Sarah McLachlan, Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Jann Arden and Chantal Kreviazuk who provided the soundtrack to her childhood and teenage years.

Tareya Green’s musical journey was underway by then, and the eventual homemade videos she posted on YouTube directly led to the formation of Autumn Hill in 2010. After a highly successful five-year run with Autumn Hill that produced two 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, Tareya now has now fulfilled the next stage of her dream to become a solo artist.

You can keep up to date on her activities at tareyaofficial.com.

How does your new music stand apart from Autumn Hill?

I think I have a little more of a soulful sound; more fluid and unrestricted. I allow myself to linger on the notes, speed up, feel out the melody lines depending on the moment. When harmonizing with Mike in Autumn Hill, we stuck to specific melody lines and timing to create that consistent, distinct “Autumn Hill” sound, but on the new solo album my style is more emotional and inspired.

What inspired you to write “Summer Wheels?”

Every January I spend time in Florida with my husband who is a classic car collector and dealer. This year we brought a classic Porsche down with us and spent most of the trip cruising the coast with the top down, watching the waves roll and crash while listening to Bob Marley. On our way back up to Toronto, I couldn’t bear the thought of returning to winter without capturing the beach-vibe in a song. So we took a detour through Nashville and wrote “Summer Wheels.”

What's been the biggest change in your life over the past year?

It was a big decision and a major change to go in a solo direction. Less than a year ago I was touring Autumn Hill’s record, Anchor, which was one of the most incredible experiences in my career. As the tour was ending, Mike [Robins] and I both knew it was time to explore new, separate paths. I gave myself two months to completely zone-out. I didn’t sing, write or plan anything—I wanted to normalize as much as I could before beginning this solo record. Once I started writing again, I was inspired and felt like I had so much I needed to discover, create and share as an independent artist. I still cannot believe I have this opportunity to make a solo record. It’s been a dream since I was a little girl, and I’m so grateful.

If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?

I wish there was greater acceptance for “genre-fluid” artists. As a fan and a music lover, I have diverse taste. I enjoy country, pop, classical, R&B, EDM, reggae, folk, blues, jazz etc...That’s the magic of a mix-tape or a personalized playlist! As I make this record I’m pulling influences from songs and artists I love, and they range in style and genre. I get a thrill out of mixing and matching—experimenting until I discover something new that feels good to listen to. Unexpected juxtaposition is captivating. As artists, I feel we should be encouraged to blur the lines and create something potentially brilliant.

What are some of the biggest lessons you've learned as you've built your career, and what advice would you give?

It’s important to be genuine. I’ve learned the best way to have a happy sustainable career is to be exactly who you are. As Herman Melville said, “It’s better to fail in originality, than to succeed in imitation.”

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