Michael Tyler: Tough Love From His Producer Helped Hone His Songwriting
Even before he selected his debut single, "They Can't See," Michael Tyler was learning what it's like to hear his songs on the radio. The Missouri native, who recently released his freshman album, 317, has penned songs for artists such as Dierks Bentley, Jason Aldean and LoCash -- and he's "thankful" for that experience as he begins to build his on career as an artist.
"My first cut was with Jason Aldean: It was called "Laid Back;" it was this cool little album cut," Tyler tells The Boot. "I’ve always looked up to Aldean, so to have a cut on the platinum album Old Boots, New Dirt.
"Then Dierks Bentley's manager calls us one day, and he was like, ‘Hey, Dierks heard "Somewhere on a Beach," and he really wants it to be the single for the new album, Black,'" Tyler recalls. "You can’t pass up on something like that. So we gave that to Dierks, and Dierks did his thing with it, and it was a two-week No. 1."
Tyler's success as a tunesmith is extra sweet because of his experiences trying to make ends meet, while living with one of his songwriting friends, shortly after moving to Nashville.
"Two or three years ago, I was living with Jaron Boyer, who is a co-writer on "Beach" as well; we were roommates for a long time. There was one week, I had $4, and he had $6. We put it together to get some Firehouse subs and chips," Tyler remembers. "Flash forward two or three yeas later, and we’re on the No. 1 [party] stage with Dierks Bentley talking about the song and everything. It’s crazy."
Tyler could have continued working only as a songwriter, but he's always known that he wanted to pursue an artist deal as well. However, Michael Knox, who produced 317, forced Tyler to hone his songwriting skills before working as a singer.
"[Knox] sent me home to write by myself in Missouri for a couple years after we met for the first time. He was like, ‘I want you to hone in on your craft, before you co-write and people start influencing your writing,'" explains Tyler. "I think that’s one big thing that sets me apart from a lot of writers, is that process. So I can thank Michael Knox for a lot of that."
Now that he's got a hit single to his name and an album out to the public, 23-year-old Tyler admits that he's "still catching up" on how it feels to be in that position.
"I’ll have those moments where I’m just sitting on a plane or something and I’ll start thinking, ‘Gosh. This is amazing,'" Tyler acknowledges. "Just sitting there talking to Dierks Bentley for a minute -- talking to Jason Aldean about the song. It takes me a while to realize, ‘This is the guy you’ve been listening to since you were 13 or 14. They like your songs. And they want to sing your songs.’ I guess that’s why we do it."
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