Who’s New: Michael Tyler

Who’s New: Michael Tyler

Age: 23
Hometown: Thayer, Missouri
Lives: Nashville
Single: “They Can’t See”
Album: 317
Twitter: @MichaelTyler93
Website: themichaeltyler.com
Influences: Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, Jason Aldean, Tesla, Cinderella, Poison

THE SCOOP

At the age of 13, Michael Tyler—a big fan of Jason Aldean—wrote a message to Jason’s producer, Michael Knox, via MySpace in hopes of making a connection. Knox wrote back and that connection was formed. After 10 years of mentoring the young lad, Knox now produces and manages Michael’s career. The product of their relationship is Michael’s current single, “They Can’t See,” from his debut album, 317, which was released on—you guessed it—March 17.

SMALL TOWN BOY

“I grew up in Thayer, Missouri. It’s got like 2,200 people, I believe. The closest mall is an hour and a half away. The closest airport is three hours away, so if we were going school shopping, it was a day trip, for sure. We just grew up hunting and fishing and doing the most random things we could to keep ourselves busy because there was nothing to do. My family would come over and we’d have big dinners and stuff and hang out. After everyone was hanging out, they’d pull out the guitars and start playing. Me and my brother would kind of sit there and just watch. When my brother got old enough to pick a guitar, my grandpa taught him three chords. And that’s all it took. Of course he was teaching me after my grandpa taught him. So, we started playing together.”

DESCENDANT OF JIMMIE RODGERS

“It’s actually crazy how we found out [about the relation to Jimmie Rodgers]. We’re actually second cousins four times removed, if you can keep up with that. It’s mom’s side. My mom, my uncle, great uncle, grandpa, all on that side play music and sing and stuff. My grandpa had no clue we were related to Jimmie Rodgers either. I was already at Peer Music [Publishing Company] for a year. I brought my mom down to come hang out and see where I’d been working after I moved from Missouri. There was a picture of Jimmie Rodgers hanging on the wall. She walked up and she’s like, ‘Hmm, we’re related to a Jimmie Rodgers.’ My producer, Michael Knox, is like, ‘Um, you mean the one that died in the ’50s?’ She’s like, ‘No, ours died in 1933.’ Michael Knox is like, ‘That’s Peer’s Jimmie Rodgers. That’s the Jimmie Rodgers.’ So we did the ancestry thing and looked it up and sure enough—way down the line. And of course Jimmie Rodgers was his first guy Ralph Peer signed and 90 years later, this year, I’m with Peer Music and I didn’t even know it. So that’s pretty creepy.”

THE PERFECT WOMAN

“My single, ‘They Can’t See,’ for me, was just like trying to picture the perfect woman that I would want to spend the rest of my life with and slipping some positive messages in the song. Just about as you get older, you understand it’s not about what people look like. But it’s the conversation after that. You’ve got to like the person, you’ve got to like what’s going on on the inside. That’s what it’s all about. That’s what keeps you there for 60 years—say my grandparents (laughs). I just came in [to the songwriting session] with that idea. I kind of had that idea in my head for a while. I got in the room with a couple guys I write with all the time and one of the dudes had a cool guitar lick. We laid that down and I kind of started singing my idea to that. Sometimes you just luck out and things like that happen. You’ll be working on an idea for two or three weeks and then a certain situation will come up where it fits and then it’s just cake.”

WHAT’S IN A NAME

“The reason I named [the album] 317 is because one of the first times I actually drove from Thayer, Missouri to Nashville by myself, I loaded up my car with all my stuff and my favorite chair—It’s this brown, ugly, rocking chair. Metal that screeches every time you rock but it’s really comfortable— into my little Mazda and the first time I pulled in, I kind of looked down at my trip odometer and it was around 317 miles. So I always remembered that.”

SOUND MIXING

“I just wanted every song to sound different. It’s cool whenever all the songs are a certain sound and you identify it with an album and you know they’re all from the same album. I just didn’t want to do that. Because there was one point we were recording a song and they’re like, ‘Well, it doesn’t sound like all the other songs.’ I’m like, ‘Good.’ I want it all to sound different. I want you to go through a serious phase, and then a party phase, and then just have fun with the songs. [My sound] is a combination of John Mayer mixed with Jason Aldean mixed with Keith Urban mixed with a little Sam Hunt, maybe? It’s just different. It’s hard to explain, until you listen to it.”

OPRY DEBUT

“It was insane. I never get super nervous, so when I was standing there backstage my hands were numb. I was like, ‘I’m not going to be able to play. What do I do? Somebody help.’ But I was standing back there and one of the guys comes up to me and they are like, ‘You nervous?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah.’ He’s like, ‘Good. If you ain’t nervous, you don’t belong out there.’ That’s a good way of thinking. I went out there and I thought I knew everything I wanted to say and it was going good and then I looked down at the circle. You know, you hear about it all the time, artists talking about that feeling you get when you stand there and you kind of take it in. I was kind of at a loss for words and I just lost train of thought. I forgot what song I was playing next. I kind of just looked down for a minute, like, ‘Wow.'”

HIS FIRST NO. 1

“‘Somewhere On a Beach’ was going to be my first single. We brought it to Michael Knox, my producer and manager, he was looking around the room and he was listening to it and he was like, ‘All right, this song’s on lockdown.’ He’s pointing at all the writers in the room saying, ‘I’m emailing all your publishers right now. Don’t pitch this song.’ A couple weeks later we got an email from Dierks Bentley’s manager that was like, ‘Hey, Dierks really loves ‘Somewhere On a Beach.’ He really wants it to be the first single for his new album.’ We were like, ‘Alright, we have to talk about this.’ I’m like, ‘No, we don’t, it’s Dierks’. It’s Dierks’ [song] because I’m a massive Dierks fan.’ It’s just weird. My life is weird. I used to ride the school bus listening to Dierks back when they had little CD players, back when those were a thing. I just got to stand backstage with him and talk about the song at the Opry last year and it’s really cool. I’m just having a ball.”

317 TRACK LISTING with Songwriters:

1. “Here’s To The Nights” (Michael Tyler/Jaron Boyer/Adam Shoenfeld)
2. “Crazy Last Night” (Michael Tyler/Jaron Boyer/Josh Mirenda)
3. “Long Drive Home” (Michael Tyler/AJ Babcock/Pete Good)
4. “They Can’t See” (Michael Tyler/Jaron Boyer/Brandon Hood)
5. “Love Myself” (Michael Tyler/Jaron Boyer/Alexander Palmer)
6. “Songs About Missouri” (Michael Tyler/Jacob Rice/Jimmy Yeary)
7. “Hey Mama” (Michael Tyler/Jaron Boyer/Adam Argyle)
8. “Secret” (Michael Tyler/Phil Barton/Preston Brust/Lindsay Rimes)
9. “Good at Being Young” (Michael Tyler/Jaron Boyer/Josh Mirenda)
10. “Play That Party Song” (Michael Tyler/Jessi Alexander/Gordie Sampson)
11. “Interstate” (Michael Tyler/Jaron Boyer/Nathan Chapman)

Daily Dose

Lady A

Lady A

Lady Antebellum will be the musical guest on Late Night With Seth Meyers on Sept. 19. Tune in to NBC at 11:35 p.m. CT.