Tenille Townes Reveals the Story Behind Empowering New Anthem, 'Girl Who Didn't Care'
Two-time Academy of Country Music Awards-winner Tenille Townes is one of our favorite artists in the genre, and today, July 28, she's knocked it out of the park yet again with her new single "Girl Who Didn't Care."
The track is as likely to get totally stuck in your head as it is empowering and inspiring, with a powerful message reminding girls and women everywhere to stop caring what other people think and just go after their dreams. The music video takes that idea even further, featuring real-life examples of women making history. They include Shannon Wells, a firefighter in Nashville, Tennessee, young astronaut-in-training Alyssa Carson and college football player Sarah Fuller. Check out the music video here, and find out how this gorgeous song came to be in the interview below.
Sweety High: What was the songwriting process behind "Girl Who Didn't Care"?
Tenille Townes: I wrote this song with my friends Steph Jones and David Pramik over Zoom, who I hadn't even met in person before!! We've become friends during these long-distance writes and I'm so thankful for the way the songs have still found their way into the world during this past year. I sang the vocals for this song in my room and sent them to David, who produced this track at his home. It feels so wonderful to have this song out in the world now!
SH: What does the song mean to you? Was there a particular event that propelled you to write it?
TT: I've been walking a lot this past year at home around my neighborhood, and have marveled at the sidewalk chalk art and the sound of kids playing in their backyards, and something about taking in that spirit made me reminisce and think about where our courage comes from. From that younger version of ourselves, who wasn't afraid of what anybody else might say or think, or how far away a crazy dream might be. I've been on a journey lately to find more of that courage again in my life, and this song has been such a big part of that.
SH: What does it mean to you to be able to have such incredible women's stories featured in your music video?
TT: I believe that it is so important to have examples of women who have worked towards a long shot dream, overcome the obstacles along the way and achieved it. That is the fuel that goes in the tank of little dreamers. It makes the dream for the next ones feel possible. It was an honor to have Sarah, Shannon and Alyssa featured in this video. All of them are remarkable women, who have each climbed their own uphills in traditionally male-dominated fields, and are such an inspiration for so many young girls watching out there! It was amazing to have their stories be a part of this video.
(Photo credit: Lathrop Schmidt)
SH: How is this song different from what you've released in the past?
TT: My favorite place to write from is always the observer's perspective. I like being the storyteller. But the season of music I've been working on this past little while feels like it is coming from a different place. A more personal place, which is terrifying and exciting. This song feels like just the right introduction for that new place. I'm really excited to get to have the energy of this song in my live show. Lyrically, it feels reflective of the growth I've been working on in my own story and feels true to the mission that I have for my music, in reminding people they are not alone and that they are important and loved exactly as they are.
SH: Do you have any advice for being more of a "girl who doesn't care"? Do you have any specific stories of being told you couldn't do something and learning to overcome that?
TT: I think it's all in the showing up. It's a brave thing to keep showing up, especially when you start to hear the voices that doubt you. That's when the not caring becomes severely important. I auditioned for a version of Canadian Idol for kids when I was 14, and I walked out of the room without a golden ticket in my hand and a crushed spirit. It took me a few weeks battling those voices in my head, but I eventually started to miss how happy I felt when I was playing my guitar, just singing songs, and I couldn't stay away from it for long. It's always been such a safe and peaceful place for me, and my love for music far outweighs the fear of failing. That's what not caring means to me. I still struggle with those voices sometimes, but the love for it always brings me back around.
(Photo credit: Lathrop Schmidt)
SH: What's your favorite lyric from the song?
TT: "Worry a little less, love a little more." That line feels like such a helpful reminder for me. One that brings me back to the moment I'm in, and also zooms me out to a healthy perspective of thinking about the things that matter the most in the long run.
SH: Is there anything you'd like to add?
TT: Thank you for lifting up this song and this story! I'm so excited for people to see this music video. I hope they feel inspired and reminded that their dreams are important and incredibly possible.
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