Tonya Kennedy – CD Review & Interview

Posted: 4th March 2013 by refrainmusic in Albums, Interviews
Tonya Kennedy - He's Everything You're Not

Tonya Kennedy – He’s Everything You’re Not

The Album Review:

Releasing her sophmore album, country singer Tonya Kennedy, is ready to once again blast onto country radio with a new album of very radio friendly songs.  Upon listening to the album a few times I haven’t heard a song on the album I couldn’t hear on the radio today filled with some great stories, heartache, memories and future roads to be explored.

Some songs that were highlights for me were “Did I Just Say, What I Just Said” (already out to radio), “Canadian Girl”, and “Everything” that all had a great vibe for me and were highlights combining effective melodies with clever lyrical turns of phrase and colorful vocals.   The album’s title song “He’s Everything You’re Not” Kennedy sings as a jilted woman who’s had her heart broken by a man who didn’t fulfill expectations but has now moved on to someone that has.

Nominated for ‘Country Recording of the Year’ at this year’s East Coast Music Awards in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Kennedy will also be attending and performing at the ECMA’s members lounge at the Delta Halifax on Thursday March 7th.  While Kennedy has often shown herself to be a gifted vocalist worthy of rubbing shoulders with Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood on country radio, this album has Tonya continuing to make artistic strides as a songwriter.  The themes of empowerment throughout the album, evident in the cautious optimism of songs like “Canadian Girl” and the album serves up a generous thirteen songs of solid pop tinged country music.

I encourage fans of country music to grab a copy of Tonya Kennedy’s latest album and check it out for themselves, request her latest single “Before You” at your favorite country radio station, and if they happen to be in Halifax during the ECMA’s get out and check out Tony live!


Tonya Kennedy - He's Everything You're Not

Tonya Kennedy – He’s Everything You’re Not

The Interview:


Do you have any other loves other than music?

~ Family is by far my first love… I am married to a wonderful man (who also performs with me) and we have 3 children. I also love movies – like I can do moviethons like no other and I love sci-fi the most.

Who would you most like to open for?

~This is a tough one…. I think I would love to open for Keith Urban… he’s awesome & easy on the eyes – yes.

What’s most changed your musical life/career?

~ 2011 was a fantastic year for me getting nominated for 2 ECMA awards & getting a top 10 Nod from members of the CCMA. I feel like that sort of put me on the national radar – and I have tried to make the absolute most of it.

If you weren’t singing, what would you be doing?

~I would be dreaming of the life as a singer. Hard to image doing anything else.

Do you have a favourite musical project that you’ve worked on?

~I have just finished recording my 2nd album & I have to say that I am thrilled with how it’s turned out! I’m extremely proud of how far we’ve come since the debut album & I honestly can’t wait to share it with everyone!

How hard do you push yourself?

~ Probably too hard! I got really sick last fall with the shingles… after I got over the shock that I had “shingles” (isn’t that for 90 year olds?) I had about 6 months of down time because the infection was in my right eye & the doctor ordered me to take time off… so I had some time to figure out how to balance my life (family & work & down time). I had gotten pretty good at balancing family & music but never took time off… so I’ve gotten better at not pushing myself too hard, but I’m no pro yet!

What are the five things that you can’t live without?

~Family, Music, Poutine, Movies & Bubble Baths (in my soaker tub, not in a little tub – hotels need to invest in bigger bathtubs!)

What’s your motto/advice that you live by?

~ What’s meant to be, will be.

For those that have never heard you…describe your sound?

~the most recent comparison I’ve heard is: A mix between Gwen Stefani & a female Jason Aldean. That works for me.

If I picked up your iPod, what would I find in your most ‘recent played’ list?

~ Ha-ha well I mentioned just finishing up my new record so if I was being honest, mostly all I’ve listened to recently is my own new songs. Lol

What do you do in your downtime, to relax, to get away from the music business?

~ So as mentioned, I’m not really very good at down time but I really like to watch TV or movies to escape from the pressures of life.

If you had to give advice to an artist on how to get their career going, what would that advice be?

~Never think you can do it on your own – get a team in place to help you realize your dream

What made you realize you wanted to switch from Pop music, where you started out, to country?

~I sing pop country for sure and that was always near & dear to my heart but the truth is that when I made the switch from a bar singer in a cover band to a recording artist writing & recording songs – I wrote country songs. I didn’t set out to write country songs – it just happened…. It took a while to get used to saying “country” when people asked me what genre I was in.

Do you have your music on iTunes, how has downloadable music changed the music industry in your opinion?

~Yes I have my songs available on iTunes and other digital sources. It’s certainly changed a lot about how to make money in music from our recordings… I do think it’s a double edge sword kind of thing, but, it is what it is so we all just try to make it work, and keep our songs available to buy online. Also we encourage people to buy & not take (even if you can find the freebie sites) just to keep independent music out there.

What helped shape the Tonya we see today on and off the stage?

~My family for sure, But a big part of who I am is due to the struggles I had as a single parent before meeting my husband now. Life was really tough for me in the late 90’s, early 2000’s. I got a late start on the music career – and I continue to face ‘age discrimination’ from time to time… but that has also helped me to grow as a person not just a musician and has helped me to learn how to accept things & people for the beauty they possess and not focus of what’s lacking from the things they don’t possess… If that makes any sense…

Do you remember what you were doing when you decided, ‘hey, I think this is what I want to do for a living’?

~(laughing)…Well I was likely watching an awards show, home alone with my 2 little girls & thinking, that is exactly what I am supposed to be doing for a living!

What’s your biggest pet peeve about touring/travelling to play…what’s your favourite thing?

~It’s hard to eat healthy while on the road & I truly struggle to keep my weight down so that is the worst part about ‘life on the road’ for me. The best part is meeting people at shows, visiting radio & seeing North America!

What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened in your music career, something you’ll never forget?

~Well I don’t know about funniest, but the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me was a wardrobe malfunction on stage! I won’t share the details because it’s still really embarrassing but I’ll just say that I stood in the same position without moving even the slightest movement in fear of losing my top! Oh my goodness… that was the longest 30 minute set EVER! haha

What’s next for Tonya?

2013 is going to be GREAT! New CD, new videos, new team in place, new new new and I can’t wait to get it going! I have a song at radio right now called “Did I Just Say What I Just Said” getting traction across the country & around the world! I have plans to attend Halifax for the 2013 ECMA’s, it’s gonna be a busy year, but if the past 18 months are any indication of what’s in store…well let’s just say it’s gonna be fanbloodytastic!