Country Next: Tigirlily

Tigirlily; Photo by Jared Olson
Tigirlily; Photo by Jared Olson
Tigirlily; Photo by Jared Olson
We take pride in introducing fans to country music’s brightest new stars through our Country Next series. Here, we chat with Tigirlily.

Some siblings are polar opposites while others share a lot of the same interests. The latter can be said for sisters Krista and Kendra Slaubaugh. The girls have so much in common, that they not only went off to college together and currently live together, but they also formed a country music duo together, known as Tigirlily.

Born and raised in Hazen, North Dakota, Tigirlily was formed in 2013, performing throughout the Midwest at popular fairs and festivals. After moving to Nashville in 2017, and learning the ropes of the music industry at Belmont University, they hit the ground running, and never looked back.

Now, out with their catchy new song entitled, “Somebody Does,” it’s clear Tigirlily is giving listeners exactly what they’ve been needing to hear all along. The timely track, co-written with eclectic songwriter Zarni De Vette, is quite uplifting as it serves as a reminder to those who feel less than that they’re anything but.

“I don’t know who needs to hear this / But you should know you’re somebody’s reason / For getting out of bed in the morning / You’re just what somebody’s needing,” Tigirlily sings throughout the inspirational chorus of the song. “Even if you don’t see it / You better believe you’re somebody’s more than enough / I don’t know who needs to hear this / But I know somebody does / I know somebody does.”

“Somebody Does” has already received a lot of positive feedback. Upon its release on Wednesday, (Feb. 24), the tune took the No. 1 spot on iTunes’ Country Songs chart and All Genres Songs chart, respectively.

Tigirlily, who has shared the stage with artists like LeAnn Rimes, Big and Rich, Justin Moore, and Chris Janson, caught up with Country Now to talk all about their current song, their journey from North Dakota to Nashville, and more.

Read on to learn more about Tigirlily in this exclusive Q & A below.

How did you begin a career in country music?

Since we are sisters, we grew up singing together in Western North Dakota. I (Krista) started writing songs and playing guitar at the age of 10. At about the same time, Kendra started competing in local singing competitions and talent shows. At ages 14 and 16, we officially joined forces and became “Tigirlily.” We threw ourselves into playing every country fair and school around N.D./Midwest area and started sharing original music and cover songs on YouTube. By the time, I (Krista) had graduated high school, Kendra and I had made several trips to Nashville. So, we knew we wanted to take a leap of faith and move down to Music City. In August of 2017, we left everything we knew and dove headfirst into Nashville, playing three to four times a week downtown, writing hundreds of songs, and going to college full time at Belmont University. We’ve always been fortunate enough to make a living off of music over the last eight years, and have always made it our motto to “always find a way” to keep making music.

How did you come up with your band name, Tigirlily?

The first wildflower to grow in our parents’ flower garden in N.D. was a Tigerlilly! We changed the spelling to T-i-g-i-r-l-i-l-y to add some girl power. Also, Kendra has more of the Lily personality and style (girly, bubbly) while I (Krista) have more “Tigir” energy (fierce, determined). We chose the name for our duo at ages 14 and 16, and it’s stuck with us to this day!

What artists influence you?

We’ve always been inspired by bands with big harmony and energy. We grew up listening to Rascal Flatts, Sugarland, The Chicks, The Wreckers, Little Big Town, etc… We were inspired to write our songs at a young age mostly due to Taylor Swift.

For those who are just getting to know you, how would you describe your sound?

Think of a modern-day The Chicks attitude with angelic sibling harmony.

Do you remember what your first shows were like?

It was a full family affair in the early days. Our dad would drive us and our trailer around the state to shows, while our mom would work out all the logistics, and our younger sister Karli would help sell merch. Not many people were putting out original music at the time in our state, so we were very lucky to gain support from N.D. early on. They saw two young girls going for their dreams. We were very green and did not know anything about putting together a band or anything about the music industry, but we figured it out along the way!

Growing up, was it ever difficult juggling both music and school?

Yes and no. I think we were always used to having a million things going on at all times. Kendra and I both played high school sports as well too. We were in the routine of going to school, going to sports practice, and coming home at night and practicing for a show, writing, or filming a YouTube video. I don’t think we realized that wasn’t normal. When we went to college in Nashville, we took that same work ethic of going 100 miles an hour all the time with us. We never let school or other things get in the way of music though.

What was the biggest thing you learned when you first moved to Nashville?

There are a ton of people moving to Music City every day to pursue the same dream. It can be easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing, but the biggest thing we’ve learned is that if you focus on your art, getting better at crafting who you are every single day, that is the best thing you can do. Dreams come true through talent, a little bit of luck, and mostly hard work. If you do the hard work no one else wants to do, that will set you apart from the rest.

What’s the inspiration behind your brand new single, “Somebody Does”?

“Somebody Does” was written on a day where we almost canceled the write. We were tired and truly didn’t know what to write with the world being in such a heavy place, or what we could say that would even make a difference. Our co-writer, friend Zarni DeVette asked us what we would say to the world if we had one chance, so we wrote what was exactly in our hearts. We all have days when we don’t feel good enough, and this song is a reminder that every single person on this earth matters deeply and is enough exactly how they are. It’s a cry while screaming at the top of your lungs kind of song.

You have more music coming out in the spring, can you share anything about those songs?

Last year, we wrote so many songs, and this new music is the perfect introduction to who Tigirlily is. The songs drive with energy and touch on a lot of different subjects other than love and break-ups, which we are excited about!

How do you find inspiration when writing new songs?

When we go into “writing-mode” for a new project, we always ask what we want to say to the world. We write what we know and always want our songs to be believable coming from us. We draw mainly from personal experiences, but also feel a responsibility to share other people’s stories as well.

As sisters, do you ever disagree on what songs to put out?

Actually, no. Kendra and I have very different tastes in the music we listen to, but we know what Tigirlily sounds like and we know what songs represent us best.

What are your biggest challenges as a sister-duo?

It’s funny because Kendra and I are truly best friends and get along 99% of the time. We love that we can be transparent and honest with each other all the time about our careers. The hardest thing about working together was establishing roles and tasks within the band. Kendra and I each have an equal and important workload and role in Tigirlily, but they are the opposite.

Should fans expect a full-length album from you this year?

We’re taking it single-by-single for now!

You’ve had a lot of success on social media platforms like TikTok, what does it feel to have that kind of support from so many people online?

Our goal has always been to reach as many people as possible with our music. Now that we have a large social platform, it’s exciting and also a little nerve-wracking to know millions of people can now see your work on the internet. We’re very thankful people have felt connected to what we do as artists. During the pandemic, we took what we did during a live show and put it on TikTok. For us, it’s simply another way to connect with fans and share our music.

What goals have you set for the rest of 2021?

To keep releasing music and to get back on tour! We are still playing in Nashville quite a bit, but we’re itching to travel!

Fans can keep up with Tigirlily on Instagram.

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