When you’re listening to music, Tanner Adell doesn’t want you to be blinded by genres. Her music is infused with influences ranging from pop, country and R & B that sounds like no other artist you’ve ever heard before. In our exclusive interview with the “Buckle Bunny” star, we learn all about Tanner’s roots and how she is changing the narrative of what a country artist looks and sounds like.   


Growing up you spent a lot of time going back and forth between Manhattan Beach, California and Star Valley, Wyoming on your grandfather’s ranch. Tell us more about your upbringing and how that has influenced your music.   

I think it’s pretty unique, I’ve never met anyone who’s grown up this way. Especially in two polar opposite places like I have. So, in the summer I was a full cowgirl, in my brothers hand me down clothes. I don’t think I bought my own pair of boots until I was around 21 years old! My mom was the ultimate cowgirl, she always participated in rodeos, so I loved wearing her old hats, jeans and boots too.  

I learned at a very young age about physical labor and how hard doing outside work is. I’m very persistent today because of the farm work I did like fixing fencing, hopping on the 4-wheeler alongside my grandfather making sure none of the livestock got out and I learned the dangers of being in the country at a very young age.

This differed so much than my life in Manhattan Beach, the dangers were different, but I learned how to conquer challenges in both worlds.  When I’m in California, I’m all about the beach. I’m adopted so my adoptive mom and I are so opposite, but my adoptive dad and I have so much in common. He loves the beach, music and shaped my interest in feeling powerful. It’s where my love for the greats like Beyoncé, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Etta James… He’s a huge jazz head so he taught me from a very young age the power of being a little black girl being raised in a white family. In Nashville, I’m going through a similar thing. There are not many black women making country music, but my dad gave me that strength I still have as a young woman today.  

I never knew you were adopted! Can you tell us more about that?  

I’m biracial, black and white and my adoptive parents are white. My dad is the coolest, an angel. He’s a fantastic human being and taught me everything I know about music. He sent me a really sweet text when the Beyoncé album dropped, and it made it extra special with “Black Bird” being his favorite song! He really understood the assignment.  

I also have 4 adopted siblings and we’re all biracial. They didn’t plan it that way but that’s just how it happened. I’ve gone through a lot growing up. We noticed the side eyes as a family when we would go places together over the years, it wasn’t always easy, but my parents always stuck by my side and have shown me the beauty of being a black woman.  

You’ve spoken about how country music is a huge part of who you are and your love for it. Who are some of your favorite country musicians?  

When I think about the music I grew up listening to and loving, I’d have to say Keith Urban’s “Somebody Like You”. That really kicked off my love for country music. My dad really educated me on learning how to differentiate artists because I really used to think everyone was The Jackson Five or Janet Jackson!  

Shania Twain’s “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” was another one for me. I’d go into the garage, lock all the doors and blast this song! I would dance and sing around to this song for so long! I didn’t use to pay attention to genres early on but as I got older, I realized I was listening to a lot of country music.  

Your vocal coach was a big influence on your decision to take your music career seriously, although you’ve been singing your whole life. Talk to us more about your decision to take music more seriously as a career and what you did to do just that.   

I was very shy as a kid and to this day I keep my friend circle very small. I never tried to be in the limelight, but my parents knew I could sing and tried to put me in the choir, but I was way too shy. My dad always took me to musicals, and it really piqued my interest to be on Broadway one day. I never seen many black leads and although I’m biracial, I don’t think I’m “passing” as white. When white people see me it’s more so a “What are you?”, opposed to them seeing me as solely white or black.  

So, I think the casting aspect of being on Broadway always stayed in the back of my mind. I always thought I would be in the background, a supporting act, never in the lead role. My voice coach Nancy, who’s still with me today, was the person who taught me everything. I never had a vocal lesson until my freshmen year of college. She told me if I really wanted to, I could do this for real. She showed me entertainers who had overcome their stage freight by getting everything together technically, which takes the anxiety and fear about things going wrong when you’re performing live.  

For anyone who may be struggling with social anxiety, what tips do you have for people to get out of that?  

I think having a few close friends that make you feel comfortable in social situations is where I would start. I’m friends with people who understand that I’m an introvert and that I’m not the friend who likes to go out all the time. So, when you’re out of your element they can support you through it. My friends are very good at making conversations, so they help me a lot when I’m feeling overwhelmed.  

Your music has the perfect blend of country, pop & hip hop. What was the process of creating your own unique sound? Was there a lot of trial and error or was it easy to find exactly what you wanted to create?   

I think it’s taken 20 years. I have so many interests in so many things and I do think that sometimes this can be a weakness. When you want to try too many things but don’t know exactly where to start. Over the past 2 years living in Nashville, I’ve been able to find great people who know and understand me in the studio which allows them to say whatever they’re feeling and that makes my music better.  

It’s usually 1-2 cowriters in the studio with me and from our conversations we’re able to find inspiration for songs. Sometimes I’ll have an idea just sitting on my mind, but working with Worldwide Fresh, my mentor, greatest friend and songwriter, makes things easier. I can text him anytime with ideas and he helps give my ideas more structure.  

Last summer you released your first project, “Buckle Bunny”. What was the inspiration behind this project and what is your favorite song from it?   

Being a California country girl, I experienced a lot of prejudice. Star Valley Ranch, Wyoming is a tight knit community, and that world was not glamourous like California, and it didn’t really mix. All my family and friends are there so I never felt like an outcast but being a glam-country girl, I definitely stood out.  

I’m named after my grandmother Adell, and she is fabulous. Bedazzling my clothes and going to the rodeo in low-rise shorts, looking all cute and it wasn’t well received. I don’t think it would have been much better received on a white woman either but looking the way I do garnered more conversation from people.  

That was the first time I was called a “Buckle Bunny”. We’ve created a whole Buckle Bunny culture, so it doesn’t mean what it used to which was a slut, a country girl trying to hook up with the winner cowboy at the rodeo. No one even knows if that’s true and I think it’s a phrase men came up with to try to tear women down for looking nice. And other hater women as well.   

I feel like it’s jealously that comes from seeing someone do things you wish you felt comfortable doing, regardless of what other people may say. It’s the idea that you can’t be a hard-working country girl that loves doing her hair and makeup, looking and feeling beautiful. So that’s where the term stems from, that’s what you call those girls who like to get ready.  

So, it sounds like the country cowboy culture is hyper-masculine and when women tap into their femininity more they are seen as the outcast?  

Yeah! I was a tom boy growing up, but some women aren’t into hair, nails, makeup and for whatever reason some of those people feel like they have to tear women that are into it down. It’s how it is everywhere but watching women in hip hop and pop take negative words and make them positive inspired me to do the same. Gretchen Wilson did the same thing with “Redneck Woman”.  

What is your favorite song to date on the “Buckle Bunny” project?  

Honestly, probably “Love You a Little Bit” off the deluxe edition. It’s just a special song. How I really fell in love again after being crushed. It’s the beginning stages of falling in love, which you don’t feel that often. The piano version I recorded is my favorite version though! 

This summer you’re performing at so many festivals across the country. Tell us about how your live shows have changed compared to when you first started performing.   

I’m going to tell you something that I haven’t told anyone. The way that I discovered my love for performing live my freshmen year of college at Utah Valley University along with my vocal coach Nancy, Todd was the professor for a music class I had taken in college where you had to perform in front of the class every week. I used to throw up before class I was so nervous, but Todd worked with the little music voice notes I had and pushed me to audition for the school’s all girl pop band group.  

My program was the first commercial music program at this school so after telling Todd no multiple times, I finally did it and I’m glad I did. I did it for my 3 years at school and we did so many covers ranging from pop, r &b and it was a part of my overall class grade. I didn’t want us to stand there the whole time, so I choreographed our final performance set every year as well. This is what taught me how to thrive now.  

What are you most looking forward to as your star power grows stronger?   

I’m a HUGE TJ Maxx girl! The last time I went alone, I got stopped a couple times and I called a friend like, “Can you please come up here?”. It’s always really cute when people speak to me then I get home and think how wild it all is.  

I was just in NYC for a press run and got stopped and it was so amazing. If they don’t know my name, they call me Buckle Bunny LOL. People are literally so sweet, and I really feel like I’m a movement. As a young biracial artist, I am pioneering a new sound within country music.  

It means so much more to me being able to connect with my listeners. My audience is a huge spectrum too. Surprisingly a lot of straight men whose spouses have put them onto my music, of course the gays I love them so much! I have a specific connection to black women of all ages that haven’t seen what I’m doing on this level.  

You recently released your new single & visual “Whiskey Blues”. Talk to us about the process of creating this song and music video.   

I had a lot of different ideas initially for this video, but I wanted it to feel like a vlog. I called up my 3 besties and was like I want to go to a range room and get some things out lol. The rage was REAL in this video! The camera man was like wait a minute! I wanted it to feel liberating and inspire anyone watching the video to want to do the same!  

The 2nd verse of the song I really wanted everyone to understand what an ex put me through. It was a couple years ago, but back then the hardest part was letting go of the family. So, making this song brought back all these emotions but inspired the new single!  

You’ve been working in Nashville for the past 3 years and now with your current momentum you will be traveling all over the country. As a country artist is it best to solely create music in Nashville or are you able to work from anywhere you choose?   

Inspiration strikes at any time, so even when I’m traveling all over the world ideas always come to me!  

You recently attended this year’s Country Music Television Awards, rocking blonde Bantu Knots and a beautiful pink metal dress that weighed 6 pounds! Take us back to this day and talk about your experience at the award show this year.   

I wanted my hair to make a statement, especially for the people who knew what that style was. There are a lot of people who don’t know about this style, so it was more so of a “if you know, you know” moment.

You’re featured on Beyoncé’s latest album “Cowboy Carter” on the songs “Black Bird” and “American Requiem”. You and the other ladies featured on Black Bird got blackbird tattoos which is so cool. Talk to us about this whole experience and what you have learned from it so far.   

I’ve learned that protecting your art is something you should always do, regardless of how big or small you are as an artist. I’ve really respected the process of how Cowboy Carter was created, and I am grateful to be a part of it!  

Since you’ve already worked with Queen Bey, what are some other dream collaborations you have?   

Ariana Grande is definitely next on my list! I’d love to see her have a country moment. Kelsea Ballerini as well because she’s one of my favorite country artists. 

You’re currently an independent artist, would you like to stay that way, or do you want to be signed to a major label one day?   

My goal is to take over the world and I know I need a partner to do that. So, when the right partner comes along, I’d be more than happy to partner up.  

As an independent artist, what are some of the things you must do for your career on your own that artists signed to a major label don’t have to do?   

Everything you do as an artist on a major label, you do as an independent artist as well! It doesn’t matter if you’re signed or not, you still have to write your music, perform, show up on social media and build up your fan base.  


What beauty products do you always carry in your purse?   

Cover Girl’s Yummy Gloss, Maybelline’s Color Sensational Lip Liner, I keep perfume on me and right now I’m all about Burberry HER, hair and lip oils, and I’m loving Fenty Beauty’s setting powder in the shade “Butter”.  

How would you describe your fashion style?   

 I’d say it’s eclectic. I really love fashion from the 60s and 70s. So, I gravitate towards mock neck and halter tops, go-go boots and classic cowboy boots of course.  

It’s safe to say your blonde hair is your signature look, but would you ever try other hair colors? If so, what colors would you give a shot?   

NEVER. No, I’m just kidding LOL. If I wasn’t in love with blonde, I would wear my favorite color pink.  

What’s your current skincare routine?   

It’s like a 12 step Korean skincare routine lol. But some products I really like are the Youth to the People Kale Superfood cleanser, Thayer’s Witch Hazel Astringent, Dr. Ceuracle toner & essence, then the Tatcha Dewy Skin Cream which is my favorite.

What’s next for Tanner Adell? Anything you can share exclusively with Galore readers? 

The next thing on my list is curating a larger project for my listeners. Thank you Galore!


Editor in Chief: Prince Chenoa (@princechenoastudio)

Feature Editor: Taylor Winter Wilson (@taylorwinter)

Cover Art Design: Carlos Graciano (@sadpapi666)

Photographer: Sophia Matinazad (@sophiamatinazad)

Stylist: Stefani Colvin (@stefanicolvin)

Makeup Artist: Evelyn McCullough (@evilyn_mua)

Hair Stylist: Tarryn Feldman (@tarrynfeldman)

Gimme More

Do You Like?

Some things are only found on Facebook. Don't miss out.