CL ; Welcome back to the UK.
Tebey ; Thank you.
CL ; You are becoming a regular visitor aren’t you?
Tebey ;I am and I got to see some of the country this time. I was up in Manchester for a little bit, then I went over to Norwich, which is actually where my Grandfather is from.
CL ; Oh really?
Tebey ; Yeah, it was really cool to see some of my history.
CL ; So your Grandfather emigrated to Canada?
Tebey ; Yeah, he emigrated to Canada and has been there ever since. I actually did one of those Ancestry.com things, apparently, I am 36 – 37% English!
CL ; Really?
Tebey ; Yeah, really, pretty cool huh? Explains my love of football!
CL ; I have read about that, I automatically assumed soccer?
Tebey ; No, it is English football. I am a real fan so I don’t call it soccer!
CL ; Is there an English team you support? Please don’t say Manchester United!
Tebey ; No, Spurs!
CL ; Oh, my uncle used to be a really big Spurs supporter, he would be really pleased to hear that! (He died nearly a year ago!)
CL ; You and your father moved to Nashville when you were a youngster, you were there for three years?
Tebey ; Yeah, I was probably there a little bit longer than that, I actually left High School to go to Nashville while my mum stayed back home with my siblings. It was quite the sacrifice!
CL ; When you came back did you think that dream was finished, did you think that was the end of it?
Tebey ; Do you know what, I was only 20, 21 years old so I don’t think I really thought that as I had my whole life ahead of me. I knew I still wanted to be in the music business, I just wasn’t sure if I was going to be an artist again or if I was going to write songs for other people. That is basically how my second wind in this career happened, I started writing songs for people and eventually found my way back to being an artist.
CL ; Do you prefer writing for other people or do you prefer writing for yourself?
Tebey ; You know what, I just try to write the best song possible, I really don’t like writing to brief – this is what a certain artist is looking for, this is what I think the record should be like, I just try to write the best song I can and then see where it takes us.
CL ; Is it more a case of you write the song and then try and see who it suits?
Tebey ; Pretty much! My biggest songwriting successes were songs that weren’t tailored towards any specific artist, they were just great songs that eventually found their way to One Direction or Pixie Lott or whoever it was.
CL ; Cher!
Tebey ; Cher, which I always forget, that is pretty cool.
CL ; Do you ever find that intimidating, especially with Cher?
Tebey ; You know what, I didn’t get to go in the studio with her, whereas I was actually in the studio with Pixie and One Direction, but she is iconic – Cher, it is a cool thing to put on your CV!
(Funny, I have never ever imagined artists and songwriters writing a CV!!)
CL ; Do you ever write a song for somebody else and then think DANG, I wish I had kept that for myself!
Tebey ; Ohh, not usually, cos I am a true believer that the songs are going to end up where they are supposed to, so not really. I am going to say no!
CL ; So although you have written for a lot of other people, have you done many collaborations?
Tebey ; I have actually, ‘Song of the Summer’ with Una Healy, that was pretty cool! That was my first true venture into the market over here, using a local artist (Una is actually Irish!) to collaborate with. Also, I had a song called ‘Wake Me Up’ which was a Country version of the Avicii’s song, that was with Emerson Drive, they are very popular in America and have had number one hits. So yeah, every once in a while! I am always looking for a good collab!
CL ; Who would your ultimate collaboration be with?
Tebey ; Ohh tough one! Ermm, honestly this is going to surprise some people, but probably Adam Levine from Maroon 5! I am a massive fan of that guy, incredible writer, incredible singer!
CL ; Didn’t one of your songs top one of theirs? Weren’t they number one with ‘Moves Like Jagger’ and then one of your songs knocked them off?
Tebey ; It’s possible (laughs) I don’t know!
CL ; Just as you said Maroon 5, that jumped forward in my brain!
Tebey ; I don’t know, I don’t look at the charts too much to be honest with you, I really don’t! If a song goes to number one I usually find out about it, but other than that, it is too much stress to watch the charts, it gives me indigestion!
(The song I was thinking about was ‘All About Tonight’ recorded by Pixie Lott, it topped the official UK Radio Airplay Chart, surpassing Maroon 5’s ‘Moves Like Jagger’ in September 2011)
CL ; Who would you say your biggest influence is?
Tebey ; That is another tough one, I have such an eclectic taste in music, I really do! I listen to everything, all different genres. If it is Country music it is Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw. I am probably going to wear a Tim McGraw shirt tonight (he didn’t!). Those are my two biggest Country influences for sure!
CL ; What is the best piece and the worst piece of advice you have ever been given?
Tebey ; That I have ever been given or to give to somebody?
CL ; That you have even been given.
Tebey ; The best is probably to go to Nashville. I pass that on to artists as well that are on their way up. A lot of people ask me – I want to be a singer, I want to be a song writer, what do you recommend, how do I start? I say pack up all your stuff and move to Nashville, pack up all your stuff, move to LA, wherever the music is being made that you want to make go there. If you want to be the best, surround yourself with the best – in my opinion! As far as the worst … I don’t know that I have been given bad advice! To be honest with you I don’t really get a lot of advice, I just kinda do what I want and see how it turns out! So far so good I guess!
CL ; Which do you prefer when playing live, do you prefer to play your own shows, or festival stages?
Tebey ; Ohh, I think they each have their benefits, playing my own headlining tours is really important and it means a lot as those people have paid their money to see me, they are there to see my show, it isn’t a festival with all these other acts. We call them Heart tickets back home, your name is on the marque, people are spending their money to see you, so it is very hard to sell tickets. Festivals are amazing though, the crowds are bigger. Festival stages are way bigger than I am going to play as a headliner.
CL ; You have also got the opportunity to reach out to new fans at a festival.
Tebey ; Yeah, especially over here. I feel like we have done a good job over the last couple of years, I would even call it jumping the queue quite a bit as we have had some success. Every time I come over the crowds get bigger and that is what it is all about!
CL ; I saw you last year when you did the boat cruise and then you were at Buckle & Boots festival where you headlined. How did you enjoy that?
Tebey ; It was great, there was a great atmosphere. Anytime I get to make new fans it is a win as I am literally starting from the ground up, whereas I have been working on it back home in Canada and in the States for a while.
CL ; Do you think you have better fans over here or at home?
Tebey ; I don’t know, I haven’t played too many shows over here, I mean the crowds are different, the crowds here are a lot less intoxicated!
CL ; Really?
Tebey ; Yeah, you know what I find the English, well, we will see, I haven’t played a massive festival like this so we will see, but I just find the English fans are far more … what is the word I am looking for? Engaged in the sense that they are polite, they are not getting up and screaming and that stuff. They are really listening and paying attention, so it is a little bit different.
CL ; I have been told as well that we sing the lyrics back much more than the American and Canadian audiences do.
Tebey ; I wouldn’t doubt that, I will find out tonight, I will talk to you after the show and let you know!
CL ; Any new music in the pipeline?
Tebey ; Yes! New single is called ‘Sink With the Sun’. That is out right now on all the streaming platforms. The music video is up on You Tube and then I just need to try to finish this record. I go back home and we do the second leg of my tour – the Shotgun Rider tour. Then after that I am going to finish this album and hopefully get it out in 2023.
CL ; Is it hard to concentrate on it, would you rather be out playing live gigs?
Tebey ; No, it is a good balance, I have kids, I have two kids and a wife. It is really hard to be away for an extended period of time. When I was younger it was a lot easier to be gone for a month at a time, I have done that many times. I like to keep the tours shorted now so I can come home. It is a good balance.
CL ; Last question, cartoon character for 24 hours, which one are you going to be? Please don’t say someone I don’t know!
Tebey ; Probably Mario, classic! Classic, classic cartoon!
CL ; To be racing around?
Tebey ; Exactly! Just to be playing Super Mario Carts!
CL ; Thank you for your time and enjoy your show tonight!
Tebey ; Thanks!