Optimism personified, North Dakota sisters, Kendra and Krista, combine distinctive talents to comprise the genre-bending duo, Tigirlily. Having been singing since they were talking, blending their voices was a natural step. In an astonishingly short time, the siblings have progressed from sharing in church to sharing the stage with national acts, and gathering a rapidly growing international fanbase via YouTube.
Diversely influenced and hard to box in, the pair have crafted a remarkable sound, appealing to pop, folk and country audiences alike. Think Taylor Swift as a duo, Colbie Caillat with some swagger and Adele with a li'l twang and you're on the right path. It is this uniqueness that caught the ear of upstart California record label, ímagíneRecordings. "They're a young, vibrant artist and we're a young,
vibrant company, so it's a perfect fit," said label VP of Branding, Nathan Cherney. "Tigirlily has an absolutely brilliant future and we're thrilled to be working alongside them!"
For Tigirlily, there are still yet many songs to be written, performances to be experienced and adventures to be had, as a new chapter unfolds for this talented twosome. And if it sounds like there are big plans and even bigger dreams at work, it's in large part due to Kendra and Krista's own shared philosophy of faith and perseverance: "If you really wanna' go far, you gotta' dream hard." And they will.
When did you two start singing?
We have been singing since we were physically able to carry a tune. We sang in church all the time
and at other little variety shows until about 2 years ago. Then, doors really started opening for us.
Was it your dream to be singers?
Kendra: It has always been my dream to be a singer. I find the most comfort and joy when I am
performing. I try to think of other careers that would be good for me, but I always come back to a
musician. I can’t imagine life without music; it’s what makes me sane.
Krista: It hasn't always been my dream; I used to like to imagine myself as a doctor. Though, in the past
two years, I've learned that music is the thing that brings the most happiness to my life. When I’m on
stage, I know I wouldn't want do anything else.
Tell us about your style of singing?
We definitely have a unique style of singing. We like to consider ourselves as pop/country, but we also
sing blues music, as well as folk music. We try not to put ourselves in just one genre. We like to think our
music has appeal to a diverse audience. We like to say that there are two categories in music: good and
bad, and we plan to make all of our music “good.”
Are there challenges pursuing a singing career?
Of course! When pursuing a music career, it can be difficult to be heard sometimes when so many other
artists, big and small alike, are asking for a listener’s ears. You have to be able to market yourself well to
a broad audience. You have to find your own unique factor that will catch someone’s attention. When you
hear the cliché reference, “making it in the music business is about 1 in a million,” it truly is, but you
can’t focus on those odds. You just have to keep pressing on and always do the best that you can do and
hope that your music strikes a chord with a listener!”
Do your parents and friends support you both?
Even though our parents are not musical at all, they support us in everything we do. My mom doesn’t
sing, but she has a really good ear and helps us in any way she can. My dad, well he gets us to the
places we need to go. They both help us in different ways. Our friends are super supportive. Coming
from a small town in North Dakota, everyone thinks that it is so cool that we are pursuing our dream and
achieving our goals in music. It’s exciting for everyone to watch our musical journey!
Do you two write your own songs?
We do write our own songs. Krista is really good at writing love and break-up songs. By age 10, she had
written her first break-up song, though she had never even experienced a break-up. Since, she has
written over 20 songs. I (Kendra), on the other hand, write about life and heart-ache. I like to pretend I
am in the shoes of another person, and even if I haven’t experienced the certain subject I’m writing
about, I like to act like I have experienced it. I love to put a lot of emotion into my writing. A song
without emotion is powerless.
Kendra: If I want to write a really good song, there has to be emotion. I want to reach the hearts of the listeners, and really get to them. I want them to have to think about the song and what it really means.
The words need to be deep, yet relatable, but again the most important thing about the song is the emotion. I want the listeners to be able to feel like they have experienced what the song is saying.
Krista: I usually write a song around a phrase or a subject. The melody and the lyrics form in my head simultaneously. A great song is one that you can’t get out of your head. You find yourself singing it all the time because you truly enjoy the song. When you listen to the words of it, you think, “Wow, those are really clever yet catchy lyrics!” The best compliment someone could give me on my songwriting would be, ”I couldn't stop listening to your song, it’s so catchy!!!”
Where was your first performance, were you two excited?
Our first major performance was opening up for the Bellamy Brothers in Riverdale, ND. The performance
was close to our home town, so a lot of our community came to support us, including lots of friends and
family. Before that night, we knew we liked to perform and sing, but after we got done performing we
knew this is what we were meant to do. Entertaining felt very natural for us!
Where have you two been able to perform?
We have been able to perform at many different venues, from fairs to the big stage. Last year we
performed in 5 different states (TN, MT, MN, SD, and ND). Performing at the “Teen Hoot” in Nashville in
front of a crowd of 1,200 was definitely an incredible experience. Two other highlights last summer were
opening up for Hotel California at the Bismarck Civic Center, and North Dakota’s very own Gwen
Sebastian right here in our hometown. Gwen had previously shown us a lot of support and
encouragement and has definitely been a positive role-model for us. So, finally getting to meet her in
person was absolutely amazing.
Who inspires you two with your singing and songwriting?
A lot of our inspiration comes from within. There’s not a particular person that specifically inspires us. We get our inspiration from other people’s stories. We take in what we hear and see and try to relate to that.
The people and the things we are touched by are our inspiration.
If you two could perform anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
If we could perform anywhere in the world, it would have to be at Madison Square Garden in NY. I feel
once you get to perform there, you have reached complete success with your music. We would also love to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. The Opry is another place that defines success in the music world
today. Also, ímagíneRecordings, is working to secure a performance for us at Disneyland early this coming
year, so that would be pretty cool as well!
Along the same line, who would you two love to perform with?
Kendra: Personally, I would love to perform with Sugarland, Carrie Underwood, Gwen Sebastian, or
Adele. These magnificent ladies put so much emotion into every note they sing. They never just get up
on stage just to sing. With every song, they tell a story.
Krista: Taylor Swift has been a role model for me in my songwriting. She has always told a story in her
earlier writing. It would be fulfilling a subconscious dream to perform with her. I’ve always looked up to
Also, we both agree that it would be pretty cool to perform with Justin Bieber.
What are some of your goals for your Music?
Through our music we want to inspire. We want to reach out to people and help them out. We want a
song that reaches every emotion. Performing nationwide, as well as overseas, is something we’re looking
forward to also. Performing is what we like to do best. Our comfort zone is right on that stage.
What do you two hope to accomplish with your singing/songwriting?
We want other artists/writers to say, “WOW Kendra & Krista wrote that song?” or “How did they come
up with those lyrics and that melody?” We really hope our lyrics reach out to people. As a
singer/songwriter the most amazing feeling would be to look out into the crowd and see people singing
along with us. We hope we can write about what is actually on someone’s mind when they don’t have
the right words to say. When people listen to a song we want them think, “Man that was funky fresh,
Do you two have any advice for those wanting to start a career in singing and songwriting?
Dream hard. We strongly believe you can achieve your dreams if you are willing to work for them. Never give up. Always be optimistic. Negativity will get you nowhere in achieving your dreams! “Shoot for the moon, cause even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.”
Is there anything else you two want our readers to know about each of you, your singing/songwriting?
Our first single, “Just Another Pretty Face” will be released in January. It is a fun, upbeat song that everyone can enjoy. This video is one of the most challenging videos that we have ever taken on, but also the most rewarding. Engaging and unique, this song has a special quality along with the video that will have a feel good effect on our audience. We hope you’ll check it out!!
Do you two have any other talents?
Kendra: Krista is extremely athletic. As an 8th grader, she competed at state track in long jump. Being
only a freshman, she was on the varsity volleyball team and is also on the varsity basketball team. Along
with her athleticism, she has abnormally rounded intelligence. Always blurting out random facts, she is a
personal walking dictionary. Her intelligence is a key component in her songwriting. Krista is also a
superb drummer, making the beats flow.
Krista: Although Kendra’s main talent is her warm, soulful voice, she has many other aspects that make
her stand out. She is an accomplished pianist, able to nimbly move her fingers to make melodic tunes as
she sings. She has a gift of making people happy. She has a carefree and funny personality that you
always feel drawn to. She is also in varsity basketball and volleyball. Her academic achievements have
made her a member in the National Honor Society.
We both use our talents to teach piano lessons. It’s rewarding to see our young students progress from
year to year. In a way, watching our young students grow is sort of like looking in a mirror. We’re
learning and growing too, every day, as both people and artists…and we’re excited about where this
adventure is taking us next! You’re surely welcome to come with us!
These two sisters have a great future in the music industry with their genre-bending singing. You can find out more about these two sisters and listen to their music by going to the following sites.
Rocky Coast News is pleased to have Tigirlily featured as our latest "Musician Spotlight", where we highlight, promote up and coming musicians that have amazing vocals, sound, style and/or who are able to play an instrument well singing.