Photo Courtesy of Ty Brown

Ty Brown was a medical sales rep when he left Nashville to be a contestant on ABC's 'The Bachelorette.' He came home a budding country star.

On this season's second episode of the reality dating show, Ty and 16 other bachelors were competing for Bachelorette Ali Fedotowksy's attention on a group date in Malibu, Calif. Ty not only captured the beautiful blonde's attention but also that of a sea of music fans, as he serenaded Ali with a song he wrote, 'Livin' in the Moment.' The next day, country radio stations everywhere were flooded with calls from people requesting the tune, and internet searches for Ty's music skyrocketed.

Ty placed fifth on the show, returning to Nashville a bachelor ... but one who has very little time to date. He now has some of the biggest names in the music industry knocking down his door, wanting to get in early on the action that is his blossoming country career.

The Boot caught up with Ty at a Nashville coffee shop right before he flew back to Los Angeles to tape the show's 'Men Tell All' special. We talked to him about everything from his newfound fame to his predictions for the show's finale, along with -- you're welcome, ladies -- what he's looking for in a new bachelorette.

Have you had to defend yourself to people who accuse you of going on the show only to boost your music career?

Yeah, to certain people. It's sad that people have to say untrue things like that ... probably just to make themselves feel better! Shame on them for hurting somebody's chances to do what they really want to do; be happy for them!

People here in Nashville know I've been playing music for a long time. I just didn't give it 150% until after [the show]. I've been playing since I was 17 years old. And people who don't know that, if they watched the show they saw that I wasn't portraying myself as a country music artist. I didn't want to do that. I was in medical sales, and music is something I am passionate about -- obviously more than I was my job! [laughs] But on the show, I was listed as a 'Medical Sales Rep.' If I'd really gone on the show for the wrong reasons, I would've had them say 'Singer/Songwriter,' and I would've talked about music more on the show.

But if you went on the show today, you would indeed have to change that to 'Singer/Songwriter.' You've quit your medical sales job, right?

[laughs] Yep. When I came back, I just thought, "I can't go back to work! I wanna do something with this!" And I took a huge pay cut to do it, but I'm happier now than I've ever been. I'm very thankful and very appreciative of what's happened for me.

Were you surprised by all the hype 'Livin' in the Moment' got after you just played a snippet of it on TV?

I didn't expect it at all. When I left here and got on that plane for L.A., I had a job. 'The Bachelorette' was just something I wanted to do for myself. And I decided to write a journal about the experience, which became this song. Before I even had my connecting flight, I had the first verse and the chorus.

Then we had the second date, on the beach with Ali, and I had the opportunity to play for her. So we're sitting on the beach with my guitar, and I played that first verse and chorus and I told her, "This isn't just about me and you, this is about this whole situation up to this point." And then as the show went on, it did develop into more of a love song.

And then people started calling their local radio stations asking for it.

That's what made it real. I've played music for a long time, and it never becomes real until you hear it on the radio. Gerry House (famed Nashville deejay) played it for the first time ever, and then the week before that I pulled up iTunes and searched my name ... Seeing it there, it was just very overwhelming!

Are you shopping for a record deal?

I'm taking some meetings, trying to get this thing going. I've had some interest here in town. Hopefully it won't be before long. I know that this is a huge opportunity, coming off the show, but I want to make sure the timing is right for everybody. And the coolest thing in the meantime is all the writing sessions. I've gotten to write with some of the best songwriters in Nashville.

And you already have a bunch of tour dates scheduled.

I do. We have a few shows in Canada coming up, which is really exciting. But right now I'm just really concentrating on getting the music out to the radio stations and internet. Just getting a spin on radio or a spot on a web page ... I don't have a lot of people working for me; it's really just me. So I'm constantly busy trying to get the music out there.

Your voice sounds a bit like Darius Rucker on 'Livin' in the Moment,' and then you sound a lot like Andy Griggs on 'Wanted Man,' another song you're streaming on your website.
What other comparisons have you been hearing?

You're spot on! I've been going to record labels and playing the music for them, and I've been getting stuff like, "Wow, I didn't expect that from you!" One lady said exactly what you did: "You've got that Darius Rucker kind of country sound to your voice." And I just love that; I'm so thankful for it. Any compliment you can get from a label is just like, "Thank you so much!"

What was the one thing that surprised you most about your experience on 'The Bachelorette'?

The most shocking thing, at first, was all the cameras. I've been playing on stage for a long time, so that helped. But waking up with a camera in your face, having a camera guy follow you into the bathroom and film you brushing your teeth -- that was weird! And I was also surprised at how long the days were. People don't realize how many hours go into the production of the show. There are interviews all day long; we'd each do them about five or six times a day. And the rose ceremonies last hours! They aren't just what you see on TV.

You knew what you were signing up for on TV, but how about in magazines? Did you realize you'd also signed up to be a victim of tabloid rumors?

It is so weird to read this stuff. The craziest rumor I've read is that I had two girlfriends back at home. It's wild. And sometimes they're right on! But other times, they are so far out in left field. But it's fine; I can take it. I don't have to have everybody in the world love me, and I knew I was putting myself out there when I signed up for the show. The [articles] that are nice, I love! But the negative ones, I have to just take with a grain of salt. I have my close friends and family who know who I am, and that is what matters.

Did any guy on the show get a bad rap who didn't deserve it?

The best way to answer that question is to tell you what they told us from the beginning: "You are going to be who you are. If you portray yourself as that, you'll be portrayed as that." It's like being in church. You know how to act and how not to act. But sometimes people let go a little too much. Sometimes things were taken out of context, but for the most part, things were shown just the way they happened. It's not like they change things around to make it seem like something else. There's not much crazy editing.

Do you keep in touch with any of the guys?

About nine of them! They're coming here to Nashville in late August to party and hang out. I made some friends for life. I didn't take the girl away, so the next best thing was having great friends. Chris L., Roberto, Frank, Craig R., Hunter from Texas, Kirk, Casey, Jesse from Missouri ... we all had a great time together. And I consider Ali a great friend, too.

Did Ali break your heart?

I was disappointed when I left, but after watching the show ... there was definitely some kind of chemistry between us, but we didn't have what she had with some of the other guys. I didn't see that at the time; I was living the high life! But now I see the show and I realize I didn't have that. So good for her that she has that with the other guys!

What's something about Ali that fans might not know?

What you saw on TV is what you get! She is not fake at all; she's open, honest and outgoing. Maybe something fans don't know is that she loves the South. Her dad lives in Alabama. Something Ali always wanted to do was move to Nashville. It never happened, but she's always wanted to come here. She likes all types of music, but she loves country music.

Who do you think will get the final rose?

She has such strong feelings for Chris and Roberto both. But I have to pick Chris. He is more of the right guy for her than anybody, and he's ready for a relationship more than anyone.

How about you? What kind of girl would get a rose from you?

I really like girls who have a plan for themselves, who are ambitious and career-oriented. Knowing what you want and going out there to get it is attractive to me. I also want somebody to have fun with. I can put on a tux and go to the nicest event and be fine, but I'd rather be in my boots and jeans and out on a four-wheeling riding down a country road. I want a girl who's not scared to do those types of things.

You're not allowed to date until after your exit episode airs, so is it safe to assume these past two weeks have been pretty fun?

The past two weeks have been really good! [laughs] But I have friends who keep me grounded and don't let me go too crazy.