Interview with Noelle Toland

Nashville based singer-songwriter Noelle Toland has star-quality written all over her. Teaming up with legendary guitarist, songwriter & Blues Brother Steve Cropper (who plays guitar on the new single)for the delicate yet powerful single ‘I Want To See You Again’, you may recognise Steve’s fascinating songwriting and guitar playing from tracks such as ‘(Sittin) On the Dock of the Bay’, ‘In The Midnight Hour’, ‘Knock on Wood’ and many others. A collaboration fans didn’t know they needed until now, the track was produced and co-written with Chris Condon (Billy Ray Cyrus’ musical director and guitarist) and recorded at the famed RCA Studios on Music Row in Nashville. Taken from a four-track EP titled ‘The Sun Will Rise’, Noelle mentions, “Hopefully this record, which I’ve long envisioned, inspires people to take chances, be bold and place bets on themselves, because that is the only thing that has gotten me through the ups and downs.”

Introduce yourself (yourselves) and your hidden talent!

I’m Noelle Toland and I make the world’s best chocolate chip cookies! I swear these are other’s words… not my own. I’m a cookie queen. While having a good recipe is important, I will say that using Kerry Gold’s butter will never steer you wrong. If I could pop over the pond and bring you some right now, I would!

What made you decide that music is the right path for you?

I think music chose me, honestly. I started singing at a very young age – as an only child I used to perform around the house for my Wheaton Terrier Max and all my stuffed animals, just dancing around and being silly, all that kind of fun stuff. But when I was five, I have a distinct, visceral memory of being in choir in kindergarten, and thinking wow, this feels good. I like this. As an adult now, (…or trying to be…), I still feel the same excitement and joy every time I sing, and the best way I can try to describe it is just being in a state of flow. It’s like I’m in the eye of the storm, and nothing can sway me.

What’s your writing process like? Do you write the music or lyrics first?

It really depends on what I’m working on. I have sessions where I structure out my time more rigidly due to schedule constraints or what have you, and at the same time I’ll just constantly be jotting things down in notebooks that I’ll use at a later date to expound on. I will tell you that I think the magic happens when you least expect it. For me, I think writing is a divine practice, especially in writing songs, because it feels like I’m just a conduit in a way. I’ve learned to stop writing with the “editing brain” and to let ideas and words come as they will. Censoring yourself early on in the creative process cuts off the essential stream that the creative spark needs in order to arrive at your pen stroke.

If you could collaborate with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?

Patsy Cline. I just worship that woman. Her voice takes you on a journey, on a mental vacation you never knew you needed until you heard her cascading tone boom through a set of speakers. I watched Ken Burns’ documentary recently about Country Music and I loved all of the behind the scenes stories highlighting how strong of a woman she was. I look up to her in so many ways.

What’s in store for you for the rest of the year?

Getting the word out about my new music – so tell your friends! And rehearsing for my upcoming live shows. Christmas is also my favorite time of the year so I can’t wait to celebrate with my friends and family. My birthday is the day after, on the 26th, so every year it’s like an extended party!

You can find Noelle Toland on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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