Feed the Band
Feed the Band
How do you write a love letter without it being a love letter? I have asked this question more than once during my time as Southern Fellow. There have been several artists whom I have had a deep admiration for, but none quite like our next artist on Feed the Band. Noelle Toland, once an enigma to me, is now someone I hold in high regard as a songwriter, but more importantly as a person.
At first look, it is easy to write off Noelle as another pretty blonde looking for fame in Nashville. Why? Because that’s exactly what I did when Noelle’s publicist first emailed me. Luckily for Ms. Toland, Nicole knows how to get my attention. She simply beats me over the head with something until I agree to give it a second look. After a few beatings, I offered to do a little interview with Noelle on Instagram. That interview proved that there was more behind Noelle’s infectious smile. However, I didn’t know how much until my recent trip to Nashville.
I spent a lot of time in Music City with Noelle. We broke bread, she introduced me to her dad, and oddly enough, we ended up axe-throwing partners. I rarely put people on pedestals, but there is something about Noelle’s energy that almost makes it impossible not to. Yet, every time I do, it feels like Noelle Toland takes a step down in a conscious act of modesty. For someone who could afford to be pretentious with few complaints from other people, however, Noelle is anything but.
I have learned over the years that being beautiful with a voice to match doesn’t make someone successful in the music industry. Those two could probably get you 80% there, but it is only part of the equation. However, if that’s all you have, you will hit a glass ceiling at some point. You have to have something else, an X-factor if you will. That part of the equation is different for every individual. Oddly enough, I got a glimpse of Noelle’s while throwing axes in Nashville.
For starters, in a room filled with leaders across the music industry, including me, Noelle was the first to step up to learn how to throw an axe. That says quite a bit about her character to start, but it was the hour after she threw the first one that shocked the hell out of me. I’m going to go ahead and say it, it was a disaster. Noelle had to have thrown a thousand times, only to get a few sticks. At times, I was scared to be standing next to her. Yet she never let vanity or my fear of dying get in her way. She didn’t stop until she got it right. After she figured it out the best she could, she stopped and became a cheerleader for everyone else.
I haven’t spoken much about Noelle as a singer/songwriter yet because I felt you needed to know the Noelle I know first. As I mentioned before, in the beginning, I felt a disconnect between Noelle and myself. Yet, to this day, Noelle always finds a way to meet me where I am. She does that with everyone through her music. The proof in the pudding with songs like “You’re an Arrow” and “The Sun Will Rise”. Behind the pretty face is a woman who puts her shoes on one foot at a time and has insecurities just like you and me.
"You're An Arrow" Noelle Toland
Noelle and I did a little interview so that you can learn a little more about about her. We also put together a tasty grilled salad with shrimp, okra, and corn with a spicy jalapeno dress. This recipe is packed with flavor and is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser. Let’s get to it! Here is our interview with country music artist Noelle Toland.
Tell us about your road to country music.
I grew up listening to country radio, mostly driving around with my mom in the backseat. KUPL Country 98.7 and 99.5 The Wolf back in Oregon were the two stations. I loved the stories the songs told…ones like “Don’t Take The Girl” and “XXX’s and OOO’s” were a couple of my favorites.
You are a proven songwriter. What advice would you give future writers?
Well, thank you for saying that! If someone were to ask for advice I would say to listen to great songs that you love and not to edit while you write. Save the editing for later.
Who are your top 3 influences, and how did they shape you as an artist?
Trisha Yearwood, Faith Hill, Aretha Franklin. They tell stories with their voices… authenticity and emotion inspire me.
What does your fridge typically look like?
Fresh, organic vegetables like broccoli and carrots, arugula, organic free-range meat from Butcherbox, Coconut Cult probiotic yogurt, hummus, lemons, and Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc.
What is your biggest fear?
Connect with Noelle
We are constantly developing recipes here at Southern Fellow. When writing music, what recipe do you use?
I wouldn’t say I use a recipe, but I usually start with a melody or a hook that comes in my head and then I work to figure out what the story is.
How has your life been different than what you’d imagined?
I never thought I’d bleach my hair blonde.
What is your first fond memory of food?
My mom’s cooking. She was a great cook. I loved her lamb chops with mint jelly.
In your own words, define success.
Success to me is waking up happy and being able to do what you love. I also think being able to employ others and create jobs would be a great honor and I hope to do that one day.
When you want to give up, what keeps you going?
I don’t want to give up.
What do the next two years look like for you?
Performing as much as possible and writing lots and lots of songs!
What’s one thing you can’t live without, and why?
Singing. It’s the thing that brings me the greatest joy.
Tell us about your latest single “You’re An Arrow.”
Partially inspired by the Kahlil Gibran poem “On Children,” this song tells the story of a young girl asking her mother for advice when she feels like her world is falling apart. Gibran was my grandmother’s favorite poet and when my father sent this to me years ago, it brought a great deal of significance to my life….leading me to get an arrow tattoo on the back of my neck. I wrote this song with my good friend Tyler Winther and it was produced by Philippe Bronchtein. I hope those who listen to this song will find their own special meaning.
try this inspired recipe!
What’s a relationship deal breaker for you?
What song always gets you out on the dance floor?
Anything by N*Sync, Backstreet Boys or Britney Spears
Is there anything else you want your family at Southern Fellow to know?
I love you!
As I mentioned from the start, this would be a love letter of sorts, and I’m not going to shy away from it. Noelle Toland has left a lasting impression and is someone I will always hold in the highest regard. My admiration for her has little to do with beauty or anything external. It’s who Noelle is at her core that impresses me the most. I know many of you will not be able to spend the amount of time I have with her, but know this – Noelle the person, is reflected in her music, and she is ready to connect whenever you are.
I highly recommend you add her to your favorite playlist. Also, if you are one of those crazy people listening to Christmas songs this early, she has one of those as well. You can find Noelle Toland everywhere music is streamed including Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, and YouTube.
Lastly, give our recipe for Spicy Grilled Shrimp, Corn, and Okra Salad a try. It is one of my personal favorites and something you are going to like as well. Noelle says she already loves it, and she hasn’t even tried it yet.