Falling Right Into Place with Kendra Chantelle
Kendra! We are In Love with your new single I Still Believe. What's the story behind this fabulous song?
Thank you so much! I'm loving hearing the positive response for "I Still Believe" and I'm so glad it's out in the world. I wrote it with my long time friend, Brad Sample, who ended up co-producing my record- including this single! We got together to write one day and realized we were both feeling incredibly defeated in our careers. We discussed how even though all signs seemed to point to "maybe it's time to do ANYthing else" we just couldn't shake the desire to keep pushing and keep believing in this stubborn dream and the song was born!
You have an amazing background in the music industry! Please tell us more about your beginnings and the journey along the way...
My path into the music business fell into place very naturally. I grew up in a super musical family, so making music was a huge part of my childhood. I realized around the age of 13 I truly wanted to pursue a career in music so my parents began bringing me to Nashville for voice lessons and I started dabbling in studio work a bit and learning my way around the studio so when I moved to Nashville in 2008, it already kind of felt like home and I had the beginnings of a musical family here. My first few years in town I focused solely on honing my craft as a songwriter and playing my original music and a couple years into my journey I ended up on Season 10 of American Idol and following that show, I toured 10 different countries with Armed Forces Entertainment playing for US troops overseas. I also released my debut album "Unthinkable" that I created in Atlanta with Elvis "BlacElvis" Williams and it debuted at #28 on the itunes R&B charts. That same year, both of my parents had some scary health troubles and that mixed with the emotional trauma of being sent home from American Idol had me in quite a funk so I took some time off music. Fast forward to 2014, I was feeling ready to dive back into music but was completely unsure of what I wanted to do and I got a call from a great friend , Paul Taylor, who was wondering if I'd considered touring doing backup vocals because his friend, Tom Keifer, was looking for someone and I just knew this was the thing I was looking for! I have now toured with #KeiferBand for the last 6 years and even wrote a song called "Touching the Divine" with Tom and his wife Savannah that came out on the last Keifer Band record in 2019. I never quit writing songs and have had some placements in tv and film with different things I've written and performed and last year, I realized I had way more than an album's worth of songs I loved so I knew I had to make a record! I got in the studio with my absolute dream team and the record is out TOMORROW (11-20)!
You are currently living in Nashville! Are you from Nashville and how does being part of a music town shape your sound and your writing style?
I am not from Nashville- I grew up in a tiny town called Loudon, TN right outside of Knoxville. I think the fact that Nashville was only a three hour drive from Loudon was such an asset in my formative years. I am thankful my parents brought me to town for voice lessons and to work in the studio and with songwriters. I feel like I "grew up" on music row, in a way, so that has certainly served me well. I think it shaped my sound too because once I moved here, I was immersed with a creative community I could have only dreamed of and having the platform to play tons of clubs my first few years in town got me comfy on stage and helped me explore my sound with some of the best players in the world.
You are a vocal instructor. Please tell us more about your best tips for vocalists out there!
I LOVE being a vocal coach- it is truly the pleasant surprise of my career path. I never planned on teaching, but now I can't imagine not. My advice to vocalists out there is take care of your instrument! Vocal health and vocal hygiene are a worthy investment. Get rest, eat clean, stay incredibly hydrated and take the time to warm up and cool down your divine instrument. I would also love to say- going to a vocal coach doesn't make you less of a singer. Every pro in so many other major fields has a team of coaches, why wouldn't you want the same?
When can we expect more new music from you?
I have my full length album out Nov 20, 2020! I am so thrilled to finally get it out in the world. I also wrote and recorded a song that is part of a compilation album full of amazing talent that will be out Jan 30, 2021 via Write By The Sea.
Anything else you would like to share with our readers?
I would just love to offer this little word of encouragement- if things feel like they're falling apart, they may be falling right into place. Be open to things surprisingly working out way better than planned!