10 Questions With Tanner Adell

Adell’s debut major-label mixtape, Buckle Bunny, is out now.


Lexi Liby

| Posted on

July 21, 2023

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Taner Adell; Photo by Daniel Chaney

Tanner Adell moved to Nashville in 2021 to chase her dreams of becoming a country music artist. She grew a substantial following on TikTok where she shares clips of her new songs, live performances, and life in general.

Since then, she signed a record deal with Columbia Records and on Friday, July 21, she released Buckle Bunny, her debut major-label mixtape. This is a first for the country music genre.  

Country Now recently caught up with Tanner Adell to chat about her influences, her path to releasing her mixtape, what’s next for her, and more. Check out our exclusive Q&A below.

Taner Adell; Photo by Daniel Chaney
Taner Adell; Photo by Daniel Chaney

What inspired you to become a country music artist?

I think I’ve always wanted to be in country music and then as time went on, and I got older, it was such a clear decision. There’s not a lot of people who look like me in country music, so I figured it was about time that there was.

You’ve lived in Kentucky and Wyoming. How do you think these two different locations have influenced your music and shaped you into the artist that you are now?

In Wyoming, I grew up doing a lot of physical labor with my grandpa and there’s one station in Star Valley, which is country music. I grew up really listening to this one station all throughout the summer and that’s where I learned about people like Josh Turner and Johnny Cash. That’s where my love for that really came from. 

How long have you been in Nashville and what are some of your favorite places to go there?

I moved to Nashville exactly two years ago this summer. Nashville is huge and I’m still finding my way around. Even though it seems like everybody kind of knows each other, it’s still huge. If you want to find me though, the best chance you are going to have is at a taco place or at the Brentwood Skate Center. I rollerskate a ton and that’s where I spend a lot of my time. My favorite restaurants out here are a couple of Indian places that I really love and tacos. Wherever I can find tacos you will find me.

If you could collaborate with any other artist, who would you choose?

That’s such a big question. I really love Beyoncé, so I would love to do a big Beyoncé country moment with dance. Obviously, I dance too, so I would be over the moon doing something with her.

Tanner Adell Mixtape
Tanner Adell Mixtape

Buckle Bunny comes out on July 21. What was your favorite song to record off of that project?     

That’s a good question. I really love “Bake It.” It’s a fun, innuendo-type song that is very danceable and upbeat. It was a really fun one to just write in general and also record.

You played Whiskey Jam during CMA Fest week. What was this experience like for you?

It was really awesome. There were a ton of people who knew my songs already and were singing all the words. I was the first person ever to have dancers at Whiskey Jam. so it was also historical. I think everyone really enjoyed that. I’ve played the indoor show, which is such a vibe, but this was my first outdoor show there.

YouTube video

In your opinion, what makes you stand out from other rising country artists?

I’m not trying to be anyone else. I think I’m really just true to myself and it seems like right now people are having a hard time deciding who they want to be, but I know exactly who I am. The music that I write is exactly what I am thinking. I’m not making it up. I’m not faking it. I’m just being myself and I think not a lot of people are doing that right now. I grew up in southern California. Southern California was my school year, and Star Valley was my summer. I’ve always had this half and half life. I’m half black and half white, so all of it has been mixed for me. I’ve experienced the glam lifestyle of Los Angeles and I think that’s something really unique to me that not a lot of people have experienced in their life. I grew up acting and modeling. I was in LA a lot and in movies since I was six. Then I was literally fixing fences with my grandpa in the summertime, still in pink rhinestone jeans. Those two worlds colliding I think is really unique to who I am and why my music does sound the way that it does. I think it’s different from a lot of the girls in country music and the men too.

If you could change anything about the music industry what would it be?

I would change the societal pressure to be perfect and to have to continuously outdo yourself. I think it’s a lot of pressure to put on a single person. Creatives are just sensitive and it’s hard when you have so many people telling you to do so many things like “be like this” or “be like that.” I wish the industry would think of artists as human beings a little more instead of a product. I understand it’s a product and it’s a brand but I wish mental health was taken a little more seriously.

Taner Adell; Photo by Daniel Chaney
Taner Adell; Photo by Daniel Chaney

How important do you think a TikTok and social media presence is for you and your image and how do you think it has affected your music career? 

I think everyone should have Tik Tok, especially aspiring musicians. To be able to market yourself for free and use zero marketing dollars on Tik Tok is awesome. You can just make content and it could go to hundreds of people. I always say people get frustrated with their views and their likes and they say “I only got like 30 views on this video. Why is my stuff not going viral?” But imagine if 30 people were standing in the room that you are in right now, and how many individual people that is. That’s a lot of people to be in your space, so I think for independent artists and people on the rise, really taking advantage of social media will be life changing. It was life changing for me. I think it’s important to take social media seriously because it is the greatest marketing tool independent artists can have. Maybe some people just don’t get it but there’s so many people on this platform. Everyone is looking for something and you’ll always find your group of people that will support you. I know it’s hard being an artist and having so many things to think about and social media can be daunting. It’s a lot of content every single day and then you add in new platforms like Threads, but it absolutely is one of the greatest tools for artists to be discovered. You can do it for free in your living room. You don’t even have to leave your house. You just put it out there and people will connect.

What else do you have planned for 2023? 

I mean we are dropping my mixtape on July 21 for “Buckle Bunny” with two surprise tracks that nobody has really heard yet. I’m just really, really excited for it to be out.

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Lexi Liby

Written by

Lexi Liby

I am a senior at Kansas State University, where I am majoring in Communication Studies. Throughout my time at college, I’ve had the opportunity to publish a few of my pieces in the University’s newspaper, The Collegian, and I’ve created my own website. I’ve previously interned for Country Insider, an iHeartMedia-owned country music industry newsletter and I am currently interning for CountryNow, a Red Light Management owned publication. I’m very passionate about music and writing, so I hope to find myself in a career that incorporates both of these passions.