Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn. If anybody will believe that you can do it, it should be you. You need to believe in yourself so that others will too!
As a part of our series about Nashville’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Tylar Bryant.
Known for his charismatic stage presence, electric live performances, and infamous beer showers among his audiences, onlookers would never expect Tylar Bryant to be anything but a country music entertainer. Quite the contrary.
Former MMA fighter Tylar Bryant changed his career path to pursue a passion that caught him completely by surprise. He laid down his gloves to pick up a songwriter’s pen and a guitar. A trip to Music City Tennessee spawned the unexpected change of plans.
“I came to Nashville as a fan in 2013. We took a tour of the Ryman Auditorium, and a sensation came over me;
I was covered with goosebumps. We saw Keith Urban rehearsing and a voice inside my head said: ‘THIS is what you need to do’!”
Tylar caught his first big break in 2016 when a Facebook post of his performance of “Stay A Little Longer” (Brothers Osborne) ignited. The digital attention landed him his first gig and the early and swift momentum reeled him in.
“I really love playing in front of a crowd of people and the connection. I was hooked.”
In a courageous leap of faith to chase his dream, three short years later, Tylar moved to Nashville in 2019.
“I didn’t want to live with the ‘what-if,’ or half-step it; so, I went for it!”
As a teenager, the Texas native grew up listening to an array of music from rap (Zro, Tupac, Biggie, Hawk, Pimp C) and the tunes that echoed in the background at his grand mom’s home (Al Green, Luther Vandross, The Temptations, Diana Ross).
“The music that I listened to as a kid and teenager were miles apart, but I think that helped me to develop an appreciation for a variety of music — the melodies, harmonies, lyrics, production and vibe. Yet, somehow, I’m drawn to country music; I feel like country music has substance and every country song has a story to tell.”
The fun-loving, hard-working musician (guitar/pedal steel) prides himself in his authenticity and ability to infuse a mix of styles and sounds. Influenced by some of country music’s greatest voices and performers (such as Jim Reeves, Randy Travis and Chris Young), Bryant marries modern and traditional country sounds with rock and R&B grooves for an added twist.
“’I’m not in a lane; I like to change it up a little bit musically, and I think my music draws listeners from all ages who have an appreciation for ‘flavor.’ I have a personal appreciation for the instrumentation in my music, which is enlivened by the instruments that I love. I feel like my sound is produced simply, but it makes a statement.”
Playing over 80 shows a year, Tylar’s tour schedule canvassed the Lone Star State. He has enjoyed more than 100k streams across all platforms and was welcomed to appear on various television shows including the “Texas Bucket List’’ where he performed his original tune “If You Need An Angel.” In 2017, Tylar recorded his debut EP, titled
DON’T LET GO, in Nashville co-producing the project that features all original tunes.
“I turn on my personality and let my feelings and emotions shine through, that’s what I believe enables me a ‘relationship’ with the listener, and one only found by being authentic. I believe my music appeals to all walks of life and stretches far beyond people that look like me. …and I have more to prove than my atypical peers…that notion brings me peace.”
Tylar Bryant is a soulful country recording artist whose path took him on a journey to take the stage in the country music arena. Championing the challenge, where no one saw him coming, Tylar Bryant is a new contender here to stay.
“This was something I never even thought about or never thought I would do. To discover my passion and pursue it, later in life, is challenging and rewarding. You’ve got to believe it to be in it, and I’m in it to win!”
Thank you so much for joining us in this series! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit of the ‘backstory’ of how you grew up?
I remember being very shy early on; I was so shy that would I could hardly hold a conversation with friends and even my own family members, at times. At some point, I grew out of that and became the “class clown.” (an award that frequented my name). I wasn’t the kid playing the guitar and singing. I was a troubled child. Trips to the principal’s office and after-school detention were regular occurrences. In high school, I found myself in less trouble. I got involved in sports and that became my focus.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
In 2013, what started as a family road trip to the nation’s Capital accidentally landed us in Nashville, TN, during the CMA Fest. At that time, I really wasn’t a country music fan and hadn’t given thought to be a recording artist. It just wasn’t something that I EVER thought about. But, being a fan of music overall, I enjoyed the 10 AM Broadway bar hopping. It was the tour of the Ryman Auditorium that truly inspired me. I stood backstage listening to Keith Urban warm up. I don’t know if it was his singing or just standing at the back of the stage looking outward, but full-body chills came over me at that moment and that feeling has been with me ever since.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
My most interesting stories kind of run along the same vein. When I first started out, I had a booking agent who would handle my bookings. She’d notify me of the show date and location and I’d show up. It was early on in my career, so I was virtually unknown. When I arrived at the venue, they’d think I was a band member. When I introduced myself as the “artist,” a look of worry would come over them, which would almost always be followed by: “Well what are you gonna be singing?” I guess most venues just didn’t have many performers that looked like me — and especially a country music performer.
Can you share with us an interesting story about living in Nashville?
It was New Year’s Day and I found myself going to the Nashville Palace all because William Michael replied to me on Twitter. I was thinking I was just going to hear some of my favorite William Michael tunes and head on back home. Unbeknownst to me, about 15 feet away from me sat one of my biggest influences, Randy Travis. He was there the entire time. A good night turned great;I got to meet an entertainer who is my hero.
Can you share with us a few of the best parts of living in Nashville? We’d love to hear some specific examples or stories about that.
I went to Arnold’s (which is a “meat and three”) one afternoon for a bite to eat. When I went into the restaurant, there sat Chris Young. I had a massive fan moment; I took snapchats of him and sent them to my friends. I was so unexpectedly star struck,I couldn’t work up the nerve to go talk to him. He sat there quietly enjoying his lunch and no one bothered him. When I finally got my food and my nerves under control, Chris had left. As I sat eating my lunch, an older-looking gentleman and his wife asked to join me at the other end of my table. I joined them. We sat and ate and made a little small talk. I learned they were new to town. They finished their meals and departed. Shortly thereafter, a staffer from the restaurant asked me if I knew those people, and I told them I didn’t. Turns out I had just had lunch with real estate tycoon Todd Chrisley and his wife! That was a heck of a lunch! You never know who you might see or meet in Nashville!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I had received the request to perform “You Look So Good In Love” by George Strait. I obliged and sang it for them. I got to the part of the song where George talks and I realized that I didn’t know the words. So, I decided to make up my own and said: “Darlin’ I’ve wasted a lot of years not knowing the words to this part of the song, and for the person who requested it, I apologize. But if you could forgive me this one time, next time I’ll know it.” The words just came out and I didn’t miss a beat. I learned that I should work on my comedy routine just in case this whole singing thing doesn’t work out. I still don’t know the words to that part of the song!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I am grateful for my family — their belief and support. This (career choice) is uncharted waters for my family. They don’t really know how to help me, but that doesn’t stop them from supporting me. And they do — anyway they can. All their love and support definitely helps me get through the tough times as I try to catch my next break. It’s a learning curve for me and my entire family. I’m pretty open with them about what I’m doing and what my plans are. They shower me with advice and try and help me make the best decisions I definitely wouldn’t have made it this far without the support of my family.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I am currently preparing to release my new single, “Stay Wild.” I recorded it at OMNI Sound Studio (in Nashville) with my producer Bryan Cole. It’s set to release on October 22, 2021 and I’m pretty stoked.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- The Country music industry and community is a tight-knit family. You would be amazed at how fast something came to move because someone knows someone who knows someone. In this town, the relationships you maintain and the people you meet are just as important to your career as having the talent and the drive.
- Someone could be somebody in this town! You just never know who you are talking to and what they could possibly be able to do or who they may know that could help you.
- This is 100% of the “YOU” pie. If you are going to travel down this road to pursue YOUR career, it’s on you to drive! Being a recording artist, you share a lot of the “pie,” with management, the label, the band, etc. So be prepared to BAKE it and share a slice of your pie!
- Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn. If anybody will believe that you can do it, it should be you. You need to believe in yourself so that others will too!
- Never Give Up. I used to think that was the worse advice you could give someone but now that I’m in the driver’s seat chasing my dreams, I’ve come to realize this is the best advice to offer. I’ve spent many a night, lying awake, thinking about quitting more times than I’d like to admit. But my love and passion for country music won’t let me.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
I think the biggest tip I can give is to be patient. I know a lot of times it seems like some artists came from nowhere and “boom” they’re on the radio with a hit song and become an overnight success. The reality is, they, too, most probably ground it out for years just to get to that point, and we just didn’t know about them. Your results are a direct reflection of what you put into something. So, keep grinding and be patient because the fruits of your labor will ripen.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
When I was in middle school, I went on a mission trip to Mexico to help rebuild a church. While we were there we went into the villages and played soccer with the kids; we brought toys and snacks for them and welcomed them to help rebuild the church. While I was there, we slept in this building on bed pads on the floor. There was no air conditioning, no cellphone service — none of the creature comforts we enjoyed at home. Honestly, it was pretty miserable. But at the same time, it was one of the most fulfilling times in my life. It definitely changed my perspective on life and others. It was crazy to see how something as small as a toy car could bring so much joy to a person. Granted my home life as a child wasn’t the best, I felt pretty ungrateful compared to those kids. It had such an impact on my life. I believe every child should spend a week unplugged from their creature comforts of home and devote time to lend a helping hand to people less fortunate.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Not everyone has your best interest at heart.” Keeping this idea in mind, I feel like I have been able to avoid a few potentially “bad situations” while making decisions about my music career.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
George Strait… He’s the King of Country. I’m sure under the weight of the crown, that he carries effortlessly, he as a lot of knowledge and wisdom to share. And maybe if the food and conversation is good, I could talk him into working on a collaboration together!
How can our readers follow you online?
Facebook; Tylar Bryant Music
Tik Tok: Tylar Bryant Music
This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!