Interview: "I Still Believe" with Kendra Chantelle

We are so excited for our readers to get to know you! Can you tell us about your new single, "I Still Believe?"

I'm so thankful for the opportunity to share with your readers, thanks for having me! "I still believe" (out 10-30-20!) is a song I feel like a lot of people are going to relate to, especially after the year we've all just had. I wrote it with my friend Brad Sample (who also co-produced the song and my upcoming album with Bobby Holland!) during a time where I think we both were feeling a bit battered in our artistry. I remember us having a conversation along the lines of "If I were in any other line of work and having this much trouble moving forward, the obvious move would be a career change, but dang it, I still believe in this!" and the song was born. I hope the song inspires others who are having a tough season but still finding faith in the madness.

Any tried and true rituals in the studio?

Oh my gosh, I don't think there's anything I love more than being in the studio! I started recording when I was about 13 years old so it is my absolutely happy place. I don't necessarily have any rituals but I really love and benefit from setting the mood. I like to dim the lights, light a candle (or 5), and make sure I feel my most comfortable. I also really like to dress up a bit for a studio day. It's not a live performance but it is a performance people will hear over and over and I find that if I feel "show ready" or like a star, I have a more exciting studio day.

How do you know when a song is finished? 

It can be really tricky to know when a song is finished. I have learned that when I'm starting to add parts just to add parts and the value of the song isn’t increasing, we are probably done. I typically have harmony and production ideas in mind when writing a song so when I can hear all that come together and it isn't feeling busy or chaotic, I start to think we are there! I think this is also why it's incredibly important to hire a producer or production team you really trust, it can be SO hard to honestly judge something you're so close to, so it's a huge asset to have a team that knows how to make those calls and serve the songs well. 

What creative risks have you taken that have paid off?

I honestly feel like all creative endeavors hold a bit of risk- when you're writing and recording your own songs, you're essentially putting your most vulnerable and delicate parts of yourself out there and baring it all. It can be super nerve-wracking! But a big risk for me was launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund my record. I was so nervous that nobody was going to care enough to contribute and I was going to publicly not reach my goal but thankfully my circle of friends encouraged me so I quiet-ed my fears and went for it! Even though my campaign ran for almost 3 weeks, within 3 days I had surpassed my goal! That was incredibly rewarding and exciting!

When did you know that music was your calling? 

I feel like it can come off super cliche to say "I've always known music was my calling" but I truly can't remember a time in my life when that wasn't the dream. I grew up in a very musical household- my mom is an incredible singer and my dad is a drummer and booked bands when I was little so my babysitters were often musicians and we had musician friends stay with us periodically through my childhood. My earliest memories are putting on concerts for anyone who would listen/stuffed animals/ horses and goats on our farm. I always loved singing and making up my own songs. But I began to take it seriously around the age of 13/14 and started making trips to Nashville to take voice lessons and work in the studio and the rest is history!

Where is the best way to keep up with everything you're up to and keep connected? 

I try to keep my social media pretty up to date with all the happenings but I also have a website with all current info. You can also follow me on Spotify and/or apple music, I will share all the links below!