Advertisement

Calgary teen Tate McRae enjoys worldwide music success during pandemic

Click to play video 'Calgary teen enjoys worldwide music success during COVID-19 pandemic' Calgary teen enjoys worldwide music success during COVID-19 pandemic
Kicking a pop music career into high gear might seem like an insurmountable task in the middle of a pandemic. But as Gil Tucker shows us, a Calgary teen is proving she’s more than up to that challenge, and Tate McRae is now making her mark around the world. – Jan 25, 2021

Kicking a pop music career into high gear might seem like an insurmountable task in the middle of a pandemic.

But a young singer/songwriter from Calgary is proving she’s more than up to that challenge. In fact, 17-year-old Tate McRae is now making her mark around the world.

“It was pretty crazy over the pandemic,” McRae said. “You Broke Me First, my song, it went like totally global.”

Read more: COVID-19: New report shows viability of Alberta’s music industry as it looks to bounce back

Released in April 2020, You Broke Me First has been streamed 635 million times.

“It was like five times platinum in like Ireland and Dubai and Germany and like everywhere,” said McRae, who performed the song Jan. 19 on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in October 2020.

Story continues below advertisement

McRae also performed at the 2020 MTV Europe Music Awards and made a prestigious annual magazine list.

“A huge moment was Forbes’ 30 Under 30,” she said. “I was the youngest musician. Such a great honour.”

Read more: A ‘socially distanced’ concert — is this the future for music lovers?

McRae chalked up those and many other accomplishments during the COVID-19 pandemic while working from home, in her parents’ basement.

“I have a recording studio downstairs, so I usually film interviews there, record my music, film videos, stuff like that,” McRae said. “Right now, I would be on tour, which kind of sucks, because a few of them got cancelled and I love travelling.”

Click to play video 'Checking in with Canadian singer Tate McRae on her new single ‘You Broke Me First’' Checking in with Canadian singer Tate McRae on her new single ‘You Broke Me First’
Checking in with Canadian singer Tate McRae on her new single ‘You Broke Me First’ – Sep 24, 2020

McRae’s performing career got off on a different foot, as she began training to become a professional ballet dancer when she was eight.

Story continues below advertisement

“Tate was always incredibly artistic and you could tell she was gifted right from the beginning,” The Alberta Ballet School’s Ashley McNeil said.

“We are incredibly proud and excited for her success.”

Read more: Calgary music community rallies around bar owner hit by house fire: ‘A beautiful collective effort’

McRae’s dancing talents also earned her a spot on the TV show So You Think You Can Dance.

“Dancing used to be my one and only thing and then I started getting into poetry and writing stories and then music just ended up taking over my life and it’s been amazing,” McRae said.

“I think Calgary will always be home — it just feels like a place where I can be completely normal and not think about the industry or anything entertainment-wise.

“I just graduated high school, in December, and graduated early, so it was a pretty jam-packed plate. It was like dance, school, writing, interview, then bed. It was like a crazy schedule!”

McRae says she enjoyed taking a bit of a break with her family over the holiday season, now hoping for a return to normalcy whenever COVID-19 restrictions are eased.

“I can’t wait to to go out on tour,” she said.

Story continues below advertisement

“I have some big dreams. I really want my work to be worldwide and for a lot of people to hear it, just because I have a lot to say.”

Sponsored content