Tiera Kennedy Reveals That Her ‘Cowboy Carter’ Feature Came Amid A ‘Pivotal’ Time In Her Career [Exclusive]

After being let go by her record label, Kennedy faced a setback in her career. However, just weeks later, she was asked to join Beyoncé’s country-inspired project, bringing newfound hope to her journey.

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Lexi Liby

| Posted on

April 18, 2024

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12:45 pm

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Tiera Kennedy; Photo by Kamren Kennedy

Rising singer/songwriter Tiera Kennedy is staking her claim to fame by stepping into the spotlight like never before.

Solidifying her presence in the country music scene, Kennedy collaborates with four other rising artists on Beyoncé’s country-inspired album, Cowboy Carter. Her standout moment comes on the track ‘Blackbiird,’ where she sings the poignant line “Take these broken wings and learn to fly.” She also sings background vocals on the song “Tyrant.”

Following this significant milestone in her career, Kennedy will unveil her debut single from her forthcoming album, titled ‘I Ain’t A Cowgirl’ on April 26. As she prepares to share this project with the world, she’s cherishing every moment as it comes and finding joy throughout the process.

Tiera Kennedy; Photo Provided
Tiera Kennedy; Photo Provided

“I’ve really just been trying to soak in this moment. I was not good at taking moments in and I definitely had to learn how to enjoy every moment.’ Kennedy admits to Country Now. “After being in such a low place for such a long time and now having all of these really fun, happy moments, I just want to savor it and take it in for as long as I can. I know that these moments don’t always last long, so I’m going to enjoy it while I can. It’s an up-and-down roller coaster, and so when I have those highs, I’m definitely trying to hold them close to my heart.’

Below, Tiera Kennedy shares more about her features on the Beyoncé album and her new music.

You are a featured artist on Beyoncé’s new Cowboy Carter album. How do you feel about being part of a track with such significant historical meaning?

I didn’t realize the history behind ‘Blackbiird’ until after we recorded the song, and it just made it so much more special. I was so excited to be a part of the song with Beyoncé and then to learn the significance of that song…It really is such a credit to Beyoncé and the thought that she put into this record. I know so many people that are like, ‘I learned about the history of this song through this album and it’s really beautiful’. I feel like it’s a beautiful celebration of black women and I’m proud to be a part of it.

YouTube video

You’ve said that you weren’t aware if your contributions on ‘Blackbiird’ and ‘Tyrant’ made the final cut until the tracklist was released online. Can you describe the anticipation during this waiting period and how you celebrated once you received the exciting news?

I was so anxious from the moment we recorded the songs, and then the anticipation grew as I waited for the album to come out because we had no idea what it was going to sound like or look like. There’s a reaction video on my Instagram of me listening to ‘Blackbiird’ for the first time, and that was genuinely my first time hearing it. I was so emotional because it just felt like eight years of hard work was finally paying off. To be recognized and to receive validation from my favorite artist in the world was really special.

Reflecting on that video, how does it make you feel? Does it serve as inspiration for you?

It 100% does. Sometimes I go back and I watch that video and every time I’m bawling. I mean, this is such a pivotal time in my career and in my life and I still can’t believe it. Everyday I wake up I’m still like, ‘wow, I’m on a song with Beyonce. That is insane.’ I go back and watch the video when I feel like I can cry. It makes me emotional every time because this is such a once in a lifetime opportunity and I used to not be that great at celebrating moments. I really made the intention with this to celebrate it because it’s such a cool moment and I don’t want it to just fly by. I’m really trying to soak it in.

What was the collaboration process for this track like, including coordinating with the other artists and the overall vibes in the studio?

I got to record ‘Blackbiird’ in the studio with the girls and it was really special. We all were just like, wow, this is our favorite artist ever and we can’t believe that we get to experience this. Being able to do it together was one of the coolest parts. We all knew of each other and I’ve hung out with them a couple of times, but I definitely feel like this song has brought us closer. It’s been really special to share every little moment along the way with those girls.

This opportunity has led to new people discovering you and listening to your music. What emotions and thoughts have been running through your mind as you watch your audience grow and your career take off?

Oh my gosh, I’m not exaggerating, I feel like I cry every single day. I’ve been in town for eight years and I was signed to a record deal for two and a half years. Right before all of this happened, I got dropped from my record deal and it was the worst thing that could have ever happened in my mind at that moment. Getting to be on Beyonce’s album reignites this joy in my heart for music. I have a new song coming out and then a record coming out in the fall. I get to be 100% me with this whole new audience that Beyonce has brought to my music and it all feels like God’s perfect timing. I questioned for so long, like, ‘Man, God, I’m really not happy right now. I know that you’ve given me this gift for a reason and I want to be able to enjoy it. I want to love music again.’ Now in this phase of life, I really do feel like I’m living my best life right now.

You are releasing your first single as an independent artist titled “I Ain’t A Cowgirl.’ Can you share the inspiration behind this song?

The gist of ‘I Ain’t A Cowgirl is that I’m not a cowgirl, but I’m going to be one today. I wrote that song in the midst of a really hard season and I kind of wrote it as hopefulness for whatever was on the other side. Now being on the other side, that song is just even more special every time I sing it. It brings me back to when I wrote it and the brokenness that I felt. It really was like my North Star and the song that got me through that hard season. I really hope that other people resonate with it and it becomes that for other people as well.

Would you say this single shares parallels with ‘Blackbiird?’ Are there any similar themes and messages?

Yes. Those two songs are very synonymous for me. Actually, the tattoo that I got is a blackbird with a cowboy hat on it to represent both songs. It’s really special how synonymous both of those songs are, and I really do feel like I’ll happily look back on this moment. It’s really special that those two songs represent this era of my life. It’s kind of wild. It’s definitely a God thing.

Tiera Kennedy; Photo via Instagram
Tiera Kennedy; Photo via InstagramTiera Kennedy; Photo via Instagram

You recently got a tattoo that represents your Beyonce collaboration and your upcoming single. All of the girls on the track got one too, just with different versions. Was this your idea?

So when the song came out, I knew that I wanted to get a tattoo and I was a little scared. I was like, am I crazy for wanting to get a tattoo? I only have a little cross on my wrist, and this one is definitely a lot bigger than that. I got a text one day in our ‘Blackbiird’ group chat from Brittany saying ‘we should all get tattoos.’ I was like, okay, yes, let’s go. Let’s do it. We were all shooting voice messages and texts back and forth of different ideas for our tattoos. I thought it would be cool for us to all have different kinds of blackbird tattoos that represented something special for us. My favorite tattoo artist just happened to be in town the week we wanted to get it, so it all lined up. We were all pretty excited about it and it was a fun moment.

Is there a vision for putting out a music video or visualizer for the song?

Yes. We just shot the video for ‘I Ain’t A Cowgirl,’ and it matches the way that I feel about the song. I’m very excited for people to see that energy and passion from me. My husband, Kamren, is my creative director and he shoots all of my stuff. He has such a passion for what he does as well, and we make a great team. I feel like that comes across in the video, so I’m excited for people to see it.

With the momentum of your music right now what are your hopes and goals for the future?

I have this whole record that I’m really, really excited about and it feels like such a great introduction to people that are just now finding me. I’m getting back to my roots and I’m getting back to what is authentic to me. My hope for the future is just that the right people find my music and I hope that it meets them wherever they’re at. This music matters so much to me and it’s helped me get through a lot. I just really hope that people experience that from this record.

Fans can keep up with Tiera Kennedy on Instagram.

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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.