Nestled within the embrace of British Columbia’s Peace River Country lies the small town of Chetwynd, known for its iconic wood carvings and, as of late, country sensation Teigan Gayse. The music world’s eyes were fixated on Boots and Hearts this past weekend, as Gayse took center stage, marking a monumental point in her blossoming career. We caught up with this wonderful Métis artist to dive into her journey from Chetwynd’s harmonious woods to the biggest music festival in the country.
Gayse’s songs are an authentic blend of vulnerability and strength. With a repertoire that includes hits like “I Don’t Need A Boy” and “Messed Up”, she has firmly placed herself on the country music map. Her recent single “I Don’t Wanna Fall In Love Anymore” hit the top 50 on the Billboard Country Music charts, amassing an impressive 350,000 streams. And let’s not forget “Blame the Wine”, reaching #46. But it’s her newest track, “If You Show Me Yours”, a collaboration with Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger, that has the industry buzzing.
Recollecting her experience writing with Chad, Gayse said, “I come into the room, ready to write, and Chad’s like, ‘What do you think of the title? If You Show Me Yours, I’ll Show You Mine.’ I’m thinking, well, Chad, I am a country artist, not a rock artist. But then he says, ‘Like your heart. If you show me your heart, I’ll show you mine.’ That hit me. That was deep and beautiful.” This sentiment and depth is what Gayse’s music encapsulates: the courage to be vulnerable and the strength to be authentic.
The foundations for such a deep-rooted sense of authenticity stem from her Chetwynd upbringing. “I grew up in the most wonderful indigenous community,” she reflected. “They were always my biggest supporters.” Chetwynd, with its vibrant Indigenous heritage and captivating wood carvings, played a crucial role in shaping Gayse’s artistry. “If you’re going to Chetwynd, you got to check out the wood carvings,” she pointed out, emphasizing her love for her hometown.
The rich tapestry of Chetwynd’s culture interwoven with the rhythms of country music is evident in Gayse’s tracks. She continues to fuse her Indigenous heritage with contemporary country vibes, resulting in an irresistible blend that’s both nostalgic and fresh.
In her earlier days, Gayse would often walk to school, earphones plugged in, lost in the world of Nickelback, especially resonating with their song “How You Remind Me.” Fast forward to today, and not only is she rubbing shoulders with her idol Chad Kroeger, but she’s also writing and performing with him. It’s a manifestation of dreams, driven by talent and hard work.
This Boots and Hearts performance is not just another show for Gayse; it’s the pinnacle of years of dedication. Her music, deeply influenced by her roots, is her message to the world, affirming that it’s okay to be vulnerable, to wear your heart on your sleeve, and to stay authentic. “This is my first time performing at Boots and Hearts,” she gushed, sharing her excitement. “You hear about Boots and Hearts in the country music world all the time. The fact that I’m playing it is just…insane.”
The climb from Chetwynd to the Boots and Hearts stage wasn’t without its struggles. But as the proverbial saying goes, it’s not the destination but the journey. For Gayse, every chord struck, every note sung, and every lyric penned was a step closer to the spotlight.
Looking ahead, Gayse’s future in the country music scene looks brighter than ever. Her unwavering dedication, combined with her unique blend of cultural richness and modern country vibes, sets her apart in an industry teeming with talent. And as she continues her musical journey, she carries with her the spirit of Chetwynd, making sure that her roots remain an integral part of her sound and story.
Concluding our chat, as the euphoria of Boots and Hearts continued in the background, Gayse remarked, “Chetwynd shaped me, and music gave me a voice. Now, with every song I sing, I want the world to hear both.”
For more about Teigan, visit teigengayse.com.