I first met the sister duo, Tigirlily Gold, back in 2022, when they were part of a fundraiser for one of my favorite charities, Music Will. I knew then that I wanted to feature the effervescent pair.
When I recently heard their megahit “Shoot Tequila” on Sirius XM’s The Highway, I was reminded that it was time to contact them.
Sisters Kendra and Krista Slaubaugh are from Hazen, North Dakota, and have been playing music together since they could walk. They officially formed their own band in high school where they crisscrossed the mid-west, growing a fierce fan base and selling out amphitheaters across their home state.
Kendra Slaubaugh is 27 years old and married while Krista is 25 and single, and they have a younger sister as well.
Kendra has always loved performing and when she was younger, her grandmother strongly encouraged her to try out for the Colgate County Showdown in Montana. When she won the first round at age 13, she caught the performing bug.
When competitive Krista saw Kendra “doing all the stuff,” she thought, “This kind of looks like fun.”
She recalled, “I tried a couple of the singing competitions and wasn’t winning. I wondered what I was doing wrong. I picked up a guitar and started writing songs and learned harmony from listening to country radio. When I joined Kendra, we found our strengths and what we were both good at. We joined forces at when we were 14 and 16 and have never looked back.”
The pair grew up listening to early 2000s country music like Rascal Flatts, The Band Perry, Sugarland, Carrie Underwood, and Miranda Lambert to name a few. Later, they discovered Faith Hill and Shania Twain, and of course Dolly. The female influences were strong.
Tigirlily Gold started in 2012 when the sisters toured the Midwest for five years.
Kendra explained, “We played every fair, every place you could play in North Dakota and the surrounding states.”
By 2017, they felt they had “maxed out” their growth in their home state, so they made the move to Nashville and attended Belmont College. They spent the next three years playing a weekly residence at Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row on Nashville’s famed lower Broadway. Playing four-hour sets, three to four nights a week, the sisters developed a performance style that was not only captivating but fun as well. It showed just how much entertainment is in their blood.
When the pandemic hit, they were afraid their careers might be over, so like so many others, they hopped on social media to stay connected with their growing fanbase.
Tigirlily Gold was soon signed to Monument Records where they released their inspiring, original song, “Somebody Does” which topped the iTunes chart.
Krista advised, “We felt good about the song, but we didn’t realize the impact it would have. It was a positive message that people needed to hear.”
They released their self-titled, debut EP in July 2021, working with multi-Grammy Award Winner Shane McAnally, and hit the road with artists Walker Hayes and Ashley McBryde.
The sisters are also talented songwriters and helped write every song on their upcoming, EP, Blonde. With Kendra being the slightly older married sister and Krista being the younger single one, they bring different perspectives to their songwriting sessions.
Krista explained, “Kendra and I are so aligned with what we want musically, but as far as where we are at in life personally, we're in such different places. But it's kind of nice honestly because we cover a lot of subject matter when we write, all the different things. It's easier to relate to all people because Kendra and I personally are going through such different life experiences.”
Now, the powerhouse duo is set to embark on a new musical chapter with their Blonde EP– a deeply personal record that includes poignant tales of love and loss alongside powerful anthems and songs of female empowerment. The EP was partially written and produced but the talented Spotlight artist, Alex Kline.
The first release of the EP, “Shoot Tequila,” came out in January and has already found viral success with millions of views on the song across social media.
They even fulfilled their Grandpa Bruce’s desire to have a video go viral.
The title track of the Blonde EP is a confident tune about a Dolly Parton state of mind that represents women around the world – a true girl anthem about approaching life lightheartedly and making the most of each moment. In “Blonde” the platinum-haired girls state, “You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy hair like this.”
Out on May 5th, the sisters released a more serious song about the pros and cons of being from a small hometown, called “Hometown Song.”
Krista explained, “When you grow up in the same place for so long, it's a place you feel most at home and the most loved and the most known, but sometimes you feel the most insecure and most judged.”
Kendra continued, “We struggled so much to write a song about our hometown. Which was so odd because it’s North Dakota; we're so proud to be from there and it's an important part of our story. We had like 10 – 20 ideas that we ditched and decided that we had to go back and tell our truth. It’s what country music is all about.”
Not only is their 2nd EP coming out on June 23, but Tigirlily Gold will also be making their Opry debut on May 13th. Anyone who performs country music dreams of playing the Opry.
They told me, “Literally 10 years ago was the first time we went to the Grand Ole Opry. And then 10 years later getting asked to make our debut, it must mean something.”
Tigirlily Gold’s songs perfectly balance amusement with meaningfulness as they offer something for everyone with their repertoire. Their energy is infectious and when you hear them once, you want to hear more. The country duo is poised for a breakout year.
You can follow Tigirlily Gold on their website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and all music streaming platforms.
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Bethany Bowman is a freelance entertainment writer. You can follow her blog, Instagram, and Twitter.
Blonde EP Track Listing:
1. Blonde (Kendra Jo Slaubaugh, Krista Jade Slaubaugh, Alex Kline, Scott Stepakoff)
2. Hometown Song (Kendra Jo Slaubaugh, Krista Jade Slaubaugh, Alex Kline, Scott Stepakoff)
3. Move On (Kendra Jo Slaubaugh, Krista Jade Slaubaugh, Alex Kline, Scott Stepakoff)
4. Shoot Tequila (Kendra Jo Slaubaugh, Krista Jade Slaubaugh, Kevin Griffin, David Mescon)