Canadian singer/songwriter/producer Tebey has quickly become a massive part of the UK country music community with his uplifting, fun and engaging music as well as his warm and wonderful personality that just makes you feel so welcome when you are in his presence.
Tebey is the real deal, he is so authentic and honest that he is what country music is all about and we always want him to come back to the UK to play here. Tebey is pretty much one of us anyway – He lived here in the UK years ago and probably knows the UK better than I do. In fact he did a better job at explaining where I lived than I did.
Tebey’s performances during C2C Festival were always packed out. He gave us all such energetic and fun performances that it was no wonder when we went to see him at The Town Square that we had to stand on our tip toes to watch him. That didn’t really matter much though because we could hear so clearly what was going on on both the stage and in the audience and it was moving to see the love Tebey and his audience had for each other.
Playing his hit songs such as Denim on Denim and Song of the Summer, his set at the Town Square was powerful and quite simply brilliant.
We had just spoken to Tebey an hour or so before his set. This wasn’t the first time we as a publication had interviewed him but was the first time I (Hannah) had. From the get go Tebey was incredibly welcoming. It felt like chatting to an old friend and suddenly two years of not really interviewing anyone (not due to covid but having a baby) I felt as if I had never taken a break.
Tebey has just released a new song to country radio called What Was I Drinking? He shares the interesting story behind it below!
We hope you enjoy our chat!
Welcome back to the UK – how has your trip been so far?
It’s been good, it’s been really really good. I tried to arrive extra early this time just so I could take in a little bit more because every time I am here there is always so much work. I was in South Kensington and the Chelsea area. I was walking everywhere, just taking in the city.
Ah man just the architecture. I used to live here so I am used to it but I still love it!
How have your shows been this weekend so far? You just played the Indigo, how did that go?
Incredible! It was absolutely packed. It is such an important part of what I do. Sometimes my songs don’t translate so well acoustic so I like to have a full band where possible and we were able to do that so it was great.
It must have also been somewhat of a different feel because we are all back celebrating live music again.
I got the feeling that people were excited to hear live music again. The UK is one of the first places other than the states to have live music back on a full scale.
You of course were here, at what was meant to be C2C 2020 when the pandemic hit. That must have been quite weird because at that point, we were all unaware of what was really happening.
Yeah. We were in Germany, that’s what made it even stranger. We were in Germany and had just done C2C Germany with Luke Combs and Brett Young. We were all there playing the festival and then we get to the UK, and we had heard rumours about it (Covid19) but then we got here and were told it was going to be cancelled.
So you live in Nashville? But did you/have you managed to see family back home in Canada?
Yeah, I was in my hometown, a little place called Peterborough which you guys have here.
I got to go home for a little bit because the tour had ended. I was on the first leg of my tour and then we finished it up and I went to see my folks for a few days.
What songs of yours have been getting the best reactions live over here?
Denim on Denim which was a big song everywhere, Who’s Gonna Love You, Song of the Summer. I feel like we are still growing a fan base and I feel like we have jumped the queue a little bit by having songs played on Radio 2 and Chris Country. It’s been nice having everyone jump on board.
Yeah and the fanbase will grow. I just said to Robyn Ottolini that once you play C2C Festival you have kind of signed an invisible contract with the fans that you will keep coming back to play for us haha
Yep! Well that’s the thing. I hope a lot of the artists realise that if you don’t come back you are showing the fans in a way that you are not really putting in the effort. It’s a special market here because there aren’t a lot of country artists that come over here so when the artists do come over here, it’s a big deal.
Yes and we are always so grateful!
I have said since day one, the first show that I ever did over here “oh my gosh, you are gonna see a lot of me” I was like apologising in advance because I am so committed.
You’ll have to move back here haha
I know right?
So what song of your was the biggest challenge to write or maybe took the longest?
The biggest challenge? You know what? The song I’ve just had recorded by Joe Nichols and Blake Shelton. It’s a song called I Got Friends That Do, it’s like a duet. That one took a while. We had the initial guitar riff, a very specific riff and groove. That took the longest time. We tried to write the top line and couldn’t do it. We sat on it for about a year and a bit and eventually we got it and they recorded it.
And they haven’t changed it at all from the original demo? Does it sound the same?
Pretty much the same.
Has that ever happened? A song you have written sounding completely different from its original demo when cut by an artist?
Not completely different. I try to make sure that our demos are really strong so the demos are typically going to sound what the record will sound like. So there’s not too much interpretation. It’s always cool to hear someone else do something with my songs.
So you have just put a new song to radio?
I did yeah! It’s called What Was I Drinking
And what were you drinking?
Well, have I got a story for you. So we were down in Mexico in October, my producer and one of my songwriting buddies. We were just trying to catch a different vibe, get out of Nashville and we ended up going out for dinner. This was like the second or third night that we were there. We went out and had a couple of drinks after and when I say a couple I mean like two or three, it was nothing crazy. All three of us were like automatically the next day just feeling like s***. Like horrible horrible and we weren’t hungover it was like a bug, yeah we caught something! So we did a little investigating because we were literally out of commission for like 48 hours. We did a little investigating a little research and we think it may have been the ice in our drinks.
Yeah because if they don’t use filtered water, bottled water, the Mexican water is not great, it’s not drinking water. It’s fine but if you’re not used to it you can get sick. So that is probably what it was. So when we figured that out, we emerged from our cave of sickness and in day three my buddy Jimmy goes “Dude, what were we drinking?” And that’s where it came from.
That usually doesn’t happen. There’s not usually a story like that so I have enjoyed telling that one.
I enjoyed hearing it
What song of yours is a family favourite?
Oooh. Probably Denim on Denim. It’s so easy to sing. They love grooving to it
That’s so sweet
Do they understand what you do? I am guessing they do actually as you said they are 7 and 9
Yeah they do and they sometimes come on tour too
I bet they like that?
Yeah they do and they like going on the tour bus because it has bunk beds. They love that. They like to close the curtain
How did collaborating with Una Healy come to be on Song of the Summer?
Complete cold call for the most part to be honest with you. We were looking for someone outside of the genre, someone different. I had been a fan of Una from when she was in The Saturdays from when I lived here and was doing a lot of British pop music. It was basically one of things like “do we have any connections to Una, how do we make this happen?” And then we found out that her manager is actually Canadian, so we were like “that could help us here”. We sent the song and she said yes and it was incredible.
Yeah she is great .
So I was listening to your song The Good Ones which I really like
You collaborate with Marie Mai on this one, I don’t really know much about her?
She is a massive star in the providence of Quebec. Like the french part. She headlines arenas and its funny because she doesn’t cover a lot of territory and a lot of people weren’t familiar with her. It was a great collaboration. So cool.
Is she pop?
Yeah she is a pop artist
So what are you working on right now?
I’m gonna start trying to finish up this record. I was just recording some vocals before I left. While I am here my producers are working on some stuff. I think we are going to finish the record in May or June for a fall release.
Oh that will be nice, I very much look forward to it.
Me too, it’s going to be fun!
Thank you so much for chatting.