Meet Nashville’s Rising Stars: Noelle Toland

An Interview With Elana Cohen

Elana Cohen
Authority Magazine
Published in
6 min readMar 16


One night I forgot the lyrics to some cover song I was singing at State Social House in LA and I just kept on singing. Thankfully most of the audience was drunk so I don’t think anyone noticed. ☺ Afterwards I’ve made it a point to make sure I know the lyrics I’m singing like the back of my hand before I go out there.

As a part of our series about Nashville’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing (your name here)

This passionately captivating country artist modernizes and personalizes old-school country music into her own sound and niche. Noelle Toland is taking a powerful approach to a universal experience in her latest single, LIMBO, alongside official music video. She tells the story of someone who feels like they’re being strung along in a relationship, and while grappling with the fear of the unknown, decides to take a stand and lay their cards out on the table. This tune delves into a more classic country sound with pedal steel guitar elements melding with Noelle’s soaring falsetto vocals.

While many assume the genre’s audience is limited exclusively to the south, Noelle Toland, who hails from a 2,000-person vineyard town in North Plains, Oregon is proof that that simply isn’t true. As an only child, Noelle used to perform around the house for her Wheaton Terrier, Max, just dancing around and being silly. But upon joining kindergarten choir at the budding age of five, she already knew exactly where she was meant to be.

She is an accomplished actress with roles in several films, movies and TV shows including a stint in Criminal Minds. By returning to her roots and revisiting the music of her youth, Noelle created the unique alchemy of her upcoming EP, a blend of 90’s country and seductive soul music. This forthcoming record will capture the earthiness and electricity of classic country music with staple instruments like pedal steel and contributions from legendary musicians. Her last release Sun Will Rise received critically-acclaimed praise and the official music video was immediately added to the playlist rotation on The Country Network. She has been featured in numerous publications and even received a nomination for Country Evolution’s Artist To Watch. Her debut I Want To See You Again, featured prominent musicians including Grammy award-winner and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Steve Cropper.

Thank you so much for joining us in this series! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit of the ‘backstory’ of how you grew up?

I was raised in a small town in Oregon and grew up in the country, playing outside as often as I could and singing around the house for my dog Max and my parents. I’m an only child so I had to get creative in finding ways to entertain myself which enabled me to spend a lot of time dreaming and thinking about stories. I knew very early on that I wanted to sing and perform.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

I got on stage for the first time when I was five and I’ve been hooked ever since. When I was 15 I spent a summer at Berklee College of Music studying voice, and shortly after landed the role of Lina Lamont in my high school’s production of “Singin’ In The Rain.” I had so much fun up there on stage, getting to play that quirky character and I knew I wanted to keep performing in front of live audiences.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Paula Abdul was the first person in the industry to give me confidence in my voice when she heard my song “Prove Your Value.” It was one of the most surreal experiences I’ve ever had. I ended up releasing that as my first song right when I moved to Nashville.

Can you share with us an interesting story about living in Nashville?

Before I moved here, I visited Nashville and stayed at a hotel downtown. I remember looking out at all the lights, the city skyline, and thinking that this could be my new home. It was an exciting time. Flash forward exactly two years later and I played my first writers round at The Cambria downtown. I looked out in the crowd and saw a similar city skyline to the one I first experienced. Time flies!

Can you share with us a few of the best parts of living in Nashville? We’d love to hear some specific examples or stories about that.

The people! I love the community here. The artistic energy here is so inspiring and I just love the communal support people share.\

It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

One night I forgot the lyrics to some cover song I was singing at State Social House in LA and I just kept on singing. Thankfully most of the audience was drunk so I don’t think anyone noticed. ☺ Afterwards I’ve made it a point to make sure I know the lyrics I’m singing like the back of my hand before I go out there.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My parents have been a godsend and so supportive along the way. I’ve spent many nights crying on the phone, feeling like a failure, and they’ve always been there to help me feel better.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I’ve been writing like crazy and am currently in the studio recording new songs that are very special to me. I can’t wait to share.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Stay true to yourself and remember that cynicism is the death of art.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

Why thank you! If I could inspire a movement it would be to make people feel less alone. As an artist, my true north is to connect with people, and hopefully make some music that brings meaning to their lives.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I would say “Don’t ask for advice” is the best advice I’ve ever received… an oxymoron if there ever was, I do believe it to be true in many instances. It’s hard to maintain a vision when everyone around you has an opinion and I think it’s been really important for me to stay true to myself and my journey, whilst being receptive to constructive criticism.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. :-)

Dolly Parton!! She is my idol and I would love to hear her talk about all the adventures she’s had. She is such an inspiration to me, both as a songwriter and as a person.

How can our readers follow you online?

Get to know Noelle Toland:





Official website:

This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!



Elana Cohen
Authority Magazine

Elana Cohen is a freelance writer based in Chicago. She covers entertainment and music