Q&A with country duo Autumn Hill

Canadian country duo Tareya Green and Mike Robins burst into the music scene with their hit single “Anything At All” in 2013. Autumn Hill is making a name for itself as a dynamic and incredibly talented duo. Tareya took a few minutes with The Omega to talk about the band’s newfound success, performing on stage, and, perhaps most importantly, her night guard.

Kim Anderson: How have things changed for you since “Anything At All” dropped?

Tareya Green: Oh my goodness. My life is completely different. We didn’t realize when we released it how profound the response was, everyone was so amazing in sharing the song and liking it. It was incredible to experience that kind of acceptance into the music industry with a debut release. I couldn’t be more grateful. I’m living my dreams now because of how people have received it.

K: Have you had good feedback from other artists as well as fans?

T: It’s been incredible. We’ve had the opportunity to work with Jann Arden recently on her new single “Karolina.” She’s so generous with everything, she literally gave me about 50 per cent of the lines in her song to sing. That just blew me away. I’ve been doing a little work with Tom Cochrane, who is an idol of mine. He’s an incredible musician and person. It’s really amazing to see your idols in real life and have them be just as incredible people as they are musicians.

K: I read that you were discovered on YouTube. That’s interesting to me, because another really famous Canadian that that happened to was Justin Bieber. Not to compare you to him, but I didn’t think that happened very often. Before that happened, did you consider that performing and music could be a career for you?

Country duo Autumn Hill plays at Cactus Jacks on Nov. 1. (Marlys Klossner/The Omega)

Country duo Autumn Hill plays at Cactus Jacks on Nov. 1. (Marlys Klossner/The Omega)

T: I have always loved singing. I’ve always sung in some capacity. I have always been a very shy person, so YouTube was a way for me to sit alone in my room and record a song and still have people see it, but with a degree of separation. I got the email to move to Toronto and explore music as a career. It was very out of character for me to take that leap of faith, get on a plane and move across the country and pursue a pipe dream. It was really out of character for me.

K: Did you do any open mics?

T: Not really, I didn’t do open mics. It’s actually funny, the first show I did was in P.E.I. and I think the capacity was like 30,000-60,000 people. It was a massive stage with a runway. They put a mic in my hand and said go for it, do your thing. It was terrifying.

K: How long did it take to feel comfortable on stage?

T: I don’t know if I’ll ever feel comfortable on stage. I feel comfortable singing, so once I get into the song and get lost in it a little, the comfort is there, it’s in the song. There’s always nerves but once you start singing it feels like home.

K: What inspires your music today?

T: Being a duo, you have another person bringing perspectives and experiences to the table. It’s a combination of everything you go through in life, capturing the fun nights in the summer, a weekend at a cabin with your friends, break-ups, just everything you experience as a person.

K: Since you and Mike started performing, what’s been your greatest challenge as a band as far as writing goes?

T: There’s always a challenge when people are expressing something as personal as a melody or chord progression. Merging our visions for each song is probably the most challenging. We like to say the song picks the best version. We definitely have it out over the song, but it makes for a better song in the end.

K: What’s the most rewarding part?

T: Having someone to share not only your challenges, but your successes. There’s someone who knows exactly what you’re feeling, and there’s someone to celebrate with all the time.

K: Have you prepared yourself for your tour? What’s something you can’t leave home without?

T: The answer is so embarrassing. Oh my gosh, it’s my night guard, for my teeth. Literally, it’s in my purse right now. I don’t leave my house without it. I wish I could’ve said a good pair of jeans, or some cool answer, but no…

K: What has been your most memorable moment while playing live?

T: So many moments, it’s so hard to choose. There was one really cool moment, a couple was telling us about how “Anything At All” brought them back together as a couple. Then her boyfriend pulled his shirt down off of his shoulder he had a tattoo of an anchor and it said “tied to me like an anchor to my soul.” Someone tattooed the lyrics to our first song onto their body. It was surreal to see, but it was so flattering.

K: How do you and Mike compliment each other as artists?

T: Mike has a lot of live experience, he knows his way around, he knows the ropes when it comes to touring and playing shows. He brings a lot of energy to our shows and gives me energy to play off of.

K: As country artists, what do you bring to fans that is a bit different?

T: There are a few amazing duos right now. I just know it’s a little bit of a smaller group, us duos. Being able to sing a song and look at a certain situation from two completely different perspectives, I think it’s interesting contextually to sing about something from a guy’s perspective and a girl’s.

K: Anything you wanted to say to your fans?

T: Thanks for making the last year the best year of our lives! We can’t wait to rock out with you!