California native singer songwriter Tyler Rich released his EP, Valerie last year and his single “Radio” is already getting some rotation on country stations across the country. We had the pleasure of catching up with Tyler before he took the stage at Myth this past weekend opening for Dustin Lynch and Chris Lane on the Hell Of A Night tour. Read on to learn more about Tyler, his musical A.D.D. and what’s coming up for him in 2016!
Walking onto Tyler Rich’s tour bus we were greeted by Kendrick Lamar coming through the speakers and when asked about his musical influences, Tyler admits, “I have musical A.D.D. so I listen to everything. I mean I grew up on Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Creedence Clearwater, George Strait, Garth Brooks, Brooks & Dunn. Those were the majority of my favorites when I was a kid. When I got to junior high I started listening a lot of 90’s R&B, Boyz II Men, Usher those were my jams. Then Third Eye Blind, Matchbox Twenty, all that kind of stuff. I never really got into grunge, but I love rap, I love hip hop, I always have loved Eminem and Dr. Dre. I love Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, G-Eazy those are my favorite new records, they’re the ones that I feel like keep it raw.”
While his musical influences might have a wide range, Tyler was very specific about a particular artist he would love to tour with, “I really, really, really want to tour with Keith Urban. He’s one of my favorite country singers of all time. I love, love, love Keith Urban. A lot of people say when they listen to my stuff ‘oh that sounds like Keith Urban’ which I take as a huge compliment, but I don’t know where that’s at. I listen to it and I listen to Keith and I’m like I don’t know where it is, I don’t know if it’s the timber of my voice or if it’s the tone, so I take it as a compliment. But I really want to tour with Keith, he seems like a really nice guy. I also played a show with Brett Eldredge and he was awesome I would love to do a tour with him.” Tyler’s also a pretty big fan of Maren Morris’ current hit “My Church”, “Oh god, all I do is walk around singing that song, ‘Can I get a hallelujah…’ in Nashville we belt it out on the streets.”
As for hobbies besides music, Tyler says, “Obviously part of music is traveling, but traveling is my favorite hobby. When this tour is done and I’m just doing festivals and one off shows I’m always in between going to Europe and going to different countries. I love Germany and Poland and New York City, you can’t beat New York City. When we do shows on a tour I’ll come in a day early just to explore the city. I’m also a big movie buff. When you walk into my house it’s just like a thousand DVDs. Recently, I saw The Revenant and that was pretty awesome. I’m also a big horror movie fan and I want to go see Deadpool.” He’s also a big fan of attending music festivals,”Coachella is incredible, there’s nothing like it and with my musical A.D.D. I listen to everything so I’ll jump from the EDM tent to you know the full alternative and country performances. Like Florence and the Machine was my favorite last year.”
When it comes to his personal style and his collaboration with clothing site License To Boot, Tyler elaborates, “I’m pretty simple, I usually wear jeans and a t-shirt, but License To Boot was sending me a lot of shirts all the time to wear and they are based out of California and my single ‘California Grown’ called out country music in California and so we were just talking back and forth and I was doing a lot of shows out there and they asked what I thought about doing a line of California Grown shirts. So I said why not and that was about the extent of it. I’m not trying to start my own line or anything (laughs).”
Speaking of his song, “California Grown” which references that Bakersfield sound, Tyler explains, “I don’t really think Bakersfield sound exists anymore. In the lyrics when I say, that Bakersfield sound it really should say, that old Bakersfield sound as more along the lines of hey, you know don’t forget that came out of California. Especially on this tour when I sing “California Grown” people are like but you’re a country singer, I don’t get it, and it’s like don’t forget about California country musicians that kind of paved the way for a lot of us. I mean nothing about country music is like what it used to be so it’s more of just paying homage to the past.”
When it comes to “California Grown” and the rest of the songs on Valerie, Tyler wrote them all with the exception of a “very small co-write on the song ‘Brothers’. One of my main song writers and producers out in California that I’ve worked with forever, Mike Mac and his twin brother Tom, Mike and Jordan wrote that song about Tom and Mike and their relationship and when we were going through all these songs to put on Valerie they had played me it and they are two of my best friends in L.A. and I was like dude I love that song, we did a couple mini tweaks, but everything else I wrote.” For readers not yet familiar with Tyler’s music he describes it as, “Fun, Raw, Honest.” You can get Valerie on iTunes and Spotify right now.
As for what’s next in 2016, “There will most likely be an EP, but the plan is to get a record deal. We’ve been shopping around and talking to people it’s just a matter of finding what’s going to work the best. So, get a record deal solidified, then write a ton more. Everything I’ve been writing the past few months is, humbly speaking frickin’ amazing. Been working with some of the best song writers in Nashville thanks to Dustin Lynch because he brings out these amazing song writers every weekend and we’re writing here with him but then they meet me and they see the live show and then I get to write with these guys. I’ve got a bunch of random festivals and one off shows this summer and a fall tour I can’t mention, but it’s in the works of being put together.” We think it’s going to be a big year for Tyler Rich and can’t wait to hear his new music, but we couldn’t let him off the hook without doing a few word associations. Check out the the first words that came into Tyler’s head when I said the below:
California – “Home”
Jon Pardi – “Friend”
Dustin Lynch – “Hans Solo, I’m the Jedi to his Hans Solo because he’s completely taken me under his wing since day one”.
Be sure to follow Tyler on Instagram and Twitter @TylerRichMusic and check out his website to keep up to date on show announcements.
Written by Jackie Ebnet for MinnesotaCountry.com.