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New Artist of the Week: Presley Tennant

February 14, 2023 12:00 pm GMT
Last Edited December 7, 2023 2:56 pm GMT

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Presley Tennant rocketed to fame on TikTok under the name ptizzleee, posting short song covers, dance videos and the occasional lip sync for her hundreds of thousands of fans, before coming to the attention of the wider world as a member of Team Kelly on Season 16 of The Voice when she was 16 years old.

From those first few steps on, it was immediately obvious Presley Tennant was going to be knocking down doors and smashing through glass ceilings in country music as soon as she could.

The singles that followed only built on those early expectations, before she came flying out of the blocks with last year’s ‘Gamble on You’ and ‘Break My Heart’ and her viral cover of Zach Bryan’s ‘Something In The Orange’ sung from a woman’s point of view.

Her first full length EP, 600 Miles, followed those early singles later in 2022, continuing to define her sound with songs like ‘Mess With My Man’ and ‘How Many Kisses’. A pop country powerhouse who pulls up her Californian roots and dusts them off with a distinctly contemporary Nashville touch, Tennant has the ability to take any song up to a higher plane when she wraps her velvety country soul voice around it.

Having opened up for Jimmie Allen, Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Dustin Lynch, Carly Pearce, Brett Young and performed at legendary venues like the Bluebird Cafe and during halftime shows at the Staples Center, the 20-year-old Cali-country-soul singer is more than ready and about to blow up in a big way.

As one of Holler's 23 New Artists for 2023, there's no better time than now to catch up with her and find out all about her latest EP and how exactly she got to being one of the most exciting artists coming up through country music today.

Where are you from and how did that influence you?

I’m born and raised in Norco, California which is also known as Horsetown USA. We’re a small rural city which seems kinda weird when you hear that, but if you ever came to Norco, it would make so much sense.

Growing up, everyone around me listened to country music and lived the lifestyle, so I’ve always been a part of it but never thought much of it til I got older, when I actually understood it all. I love where I’m from and it definitely has inspired me in so many ways.

What did you grow up listening to?

I grew up listening to a little bit of everything, from country music, classic rock, alternative, pop, etc. Even while listening to it all, I always gravitated to female powerhouses like Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Kelly Clarkson and so many more.

How would you describe your sound?

I feel like my sound changes a little bit through every song but overall, I would describe my sound as heartfelt, soulful, sassy country pop!

Tell us a little bit about the songs on your 600 Miles EP?

I have been working on the 600 Miles EP since 2020, so it's extremely exciting for these songs to finally be out for people to listen to. There’s 6 songs on the EP that talk about everything. The title track talks about the struggles of being with someone who’s so far away. You have all these questions in your head, like would things be different if they were closer, do they still feel the same, can love really go the distance?

‘How Many Kisses’ is about the butterfly feelings when you first meet someone. There’s something about meeting someone for the first time and it's so magical. You can stay up all hours of the night talking to them and never get tired of it.

‘Mess With My Man’ is that song you can scream out when you know you have a good looking man and some girl wants him and is purposely there to try to mess things up. You just gotta put your foot down and tell her ‘No, he’s taken’. ‘God Forbid We Pray’ talks about the struggles of life and the different paths people can go on to try to find an escape, but if we put our faith and trust into God, everything will be okay.

‘Pray for Peace’ was pitched to me by Harrison Sheckler earlier last year right after the Uvalde shooting. When I first heard the song, I just fell in love with it and its message. When that tragic event occurred, it broke my heart for the friends and families who had lost their loved ones. This song is a beautiful way to honor them and keep their memories living forever.

‘Loves Gonna Win’ talks about putting our differences aside and coming together as one.. I’ve always believed if we could do that, we’d all realize that we have more in common than you’d think.

What made you decide to cover ‘Something in the Orange’ from a woman’s perspective?

I remember when Zach Bryan’s American Heartbreak album came out, I was just about to step onto a flight. I downloaded the album and listened to the entirety of it but there was something so unique about ‘Something in the Orange’. It was so beautifully heartbreaking in the way it was written, but I thought it’d be interesting to know the girl’s perspective.

I ended up re-writing the hook and posted it to TikTok without thinking much of it. A few days after I posted it, it started to blow up and everyone wanted the full version of the song, so I rewrote the full song and released it. I never thought in a million years something so simple would lead to something so crazy but I’m extremely grateful for it.

Where’s the most unexpected place music has taken you?

Ah this is such a good question. Honestly, I never expected music to take me where I am now… I never in a million years thought that I could make a career out of doing something I love, but I am seriously so grateful that I get to do it every single day.

What inspires you?

So much inspires me, from family and friends to personal experiences, to stories I’ve heard. There’s so much inspiration you can take from the littlest things but it's what you do with it that makes it inspiring.

What’s your favorite song of yours?

My favorite song of mine is ‘Half That Strong’. I wrote it about my dad and everything that he does for my family and me. My dad is like my best friend and one of my biggest inspirations. I wrote the song for his birthday back in 2020 just as a way to say thank you and how much he means to me. I never intended on releasing it until Father's day came around in 2021 and thought that other people might be able to relate, even if it’s not about their dad.

And what’s your favorite songs of someone else’s?

Ah that's such a hard one to answer because it changes all the time, but as of right now, I’ve been listening to 'Brenda Put Your Bra On' with Ashley McBryde, Caylee Hammack, and Pillbox Patti! The storyline is so fun and I can’t get it out of my head.

If you could time travel back to any time when would you travel back to?

I would probably go back to the 70s.. Music was so different back then and I always thought about what it would be like to see it all first hand.

Which person from history would you most like to meet?

I would love to meet Patsy Cline and just spend a day with her!

What would be your Spice Girls style nickname?

Oh my gosh! If I was a spice girl I think my nickname would be like Pink Spice or something! I love the color pink and it's so fun!

What advice would you give to the younger you?

I would say it's okay to go outside of your comfort zone, it’s okay to push yourself, not enough to change your morals but if you could step out of your box a little more, you can learn so much more faster. It took me a while to learn that but I'm so glad I finally did.

What’s next for you?

You can expect a lot of new music coming soon as well as shows! I am also planning on more partnerships with animal organizations for Riffs & Rescues!

Stay updated with Presley Tennant on her website. The 600 Miles EP is out now on Burning Ground Entertainment.

Written by Jof Owen
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