How Travis Tritt’s Daughter, Tyler Reese Tritt, Forged Her Own Path
Tyler Reese Tritt and her legendary dad Travis Tritt share more than just a last name: The younger Tritt's hard-nosed, traditional-leaning brand of country music leans heavily into her father's musical legacy.
But she's not imitating her dad. In at least one big way, she's rebelling against him.
"He didn't even want me to do [music]," Tritt tells Taste of Country over Zoom, sitting in her apartment as her two newly-adopted kittens roughhoused in the background.
"When I went to him when I was graduating and told him that this was what I wanted to do, he literally tried to talk me out of it and get me to do anything else," she continues.
"When I finally told him that wasn't gonna happen, he was like, 'Alright. Well, I had to do this on my own. So you have to do this on your own. I'll help you — I'll give you advice whenever you need — but for the most part, you're on your own and you've gotta figure this out.'"
Of course the Tritt last name carried weight, and of course her position as the daughter of an industry legend afforded her the opportunity to cut her teeth in front of some major crowds. Now 25, Tritt debuted over a decade ago with a father-daughter duet rendition of Don Henley and Patty Smyth's "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough."
But in the years since, she says she's been on a musical journey, learning lessons that no one and nothing — except for her fans, and her relentless honesty with herself as a performer — could have learned for her. This year, she hit her stride in two new songs, "Texas Hold Him" and "Porch Light," which reflect the sense of self that she has discovered is essential to maintaining a successful country music career.
"If you don't resonate with something, if you don't feel something, it's not gonna go through to your fans," Tritt says, when asked what lesson she's had to learn the hard way.
"You can't be phony. You can't be fake. They're gonna see right through it. That's been very important, because in the beginning, there were songs I was singing that I didn't really [relate to] and I didn't really like," she goes on to say. "I'd sing it, and the crowd didn't take because I wasn't liking it."
Tritt talks about her fans like they're family friends; indeed, some of them have watched her grow up side-stage at her dad's concerts. At once recent show; she hopped offstage and did jello shots with a gang of concertgoers. The next night, she comforted a crying child in the crowd. Tritt says she's used to hearing from fans that she's more interactive than a lot of other artists.
"They're the reason we get where we get to, so you gotta give 'em credit. You gotta give 'em time," she shrugs.
It's an old-school country move. More than just twang and heartbreak — though her music has plenty of those — Tritt talks about persona and fan relationships as a part of her throwback country style. She's just as inspired by the one-on-one interactions Faith Hill, Jo Dee Messina and Trisha Yearwood have with their fans as she is by the musical stylings that make them essential to '90s country.
Now that she has a firm grasp on who she is and what music she wants to make, Tritt says she's moving towards expanding "Porch Light" and "Texas Hold Him" into an EP or a full project. Those two tracks are tied together, she explains.
"I'm definitely a huge '90s country person," she says. "You know, songs that tell stories. Songs that have meaning. I feel like both 'Porch Light' and 'Texas Hold Him' are very much my vibe and very much in the same category. Most of the music I'll be doing will probably be very similar. I'm very much [into] the throwback vibes."
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