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article imageMichael Tyler, hit country songwriter, steps out on his own Special

By Adrian Peel     Mar 10, 2017 in Music
With his debut album set to launch next week, the southern-born singer/songwriter speaks to Digital Journal about the record and about his first music video to be played on CMT.
Michael Tyler is a 23-year-old 'one to watch' musician from Thayer, Missouri. Interestingly, he is a descendant of the late, great Jimmie Rodgers, 'The Father of Country Music', who essentially gave birth to the genre 90 years ago in 1927 when he made his first recordings.
On March 17, Tyler, currently on tour with LOCASH, will release 317, his debut album, on Reviver Records. The up-and-coming artist has already made a name for himself as an in-demand songwriter, co-writing Dierks Bentley's 2016 smash "Somewhere on a Beach."
Commenting on his first music video to make it onto the CMT playlist ("They Can't See"), Tyler said: “It's awesome. I grew up watching CMT, sitting on the edge of the coffee table learning the songs and lyrics to all the videos. To wake up and have a video on there of my own is the most amazing feeling.
"We actually shot the video here in Nashville. I got to put some of my buddies in it, like Shane Minor, Josh Mirenda and Charlie Monk. The video shows three different couples at three different stages of their relationship to show the growth of love. That is what I wanted to capture."
Asked where the title of the new album came from, Tyler replied: "317 is the name of my debut album because I woke up one morning to drive to Nashville for the first time by myself. I loaded up my car, left my town of 2,000 people and as soon as I pulled into Nashville, Tennessee, I looked down at the trip odometer and it read '317'.
"It was exactly 317 miles from my doorstep in Missouri to my new home in Nashville, and I’ve always remembered that as a way of never forgetting where I came from.”
317 touches on quite a few different themes. "I had a couple years to write for this album so there are a lot of experiences - personal experiences - on this album that I wanted to share with the listeners," explained Tyler.
"There are a lot of other fun things that I want them to hear and forget about. Some songs I don't want you to think about anything and just enjoy the music. There’s not one general thing I love to write about, but what I relate to most is where I grew up. I think it's cool that people get to peek inside my life."
Tyler's musical influences cover a wide spectrum, from Jason Aldean and Adam Levine to Justin Bieber and George Strait. Aldean has, like Bentley, cut one of Tyler's songs before, as have LOCASH.
Said Tyler of these associations: "Well 'Somewhere on a Beach' was actually supposed to be my first single until we got this email from Dierks Bentley's manager that said, 'Hey, Dierks heard 'Somewhere on a Beach'. I don't know how he heard it - we still don't know.
"'First Time Again' [a Jason Aldean duet with Kelsea Ballerini featured on Aldean's latest album They Don't Know] was a song that I was actually playing for producer Michael Knox one day in the car. He heard it and asked me to rewrite a couple things in the bridge and then send it to him.
"He didn't tell me why or anything, and then a couple of weeks later he was like, 'Hey, I sent that song to Jason Aldean and he really loves it and wants to record it'.
"Sometimes cool things just happen like that. As far as LOCASH are concerned, I wrote with Preston Brust a lot back before we both got really busy and on the road all the time. We wrote 'Moonwalkin'', 'Ain't Startin' Tonight' and 'Shipwrecked' [off the duo's 2016 album The Fighters for them. He has an in with LOCASH."
Of his connection to Jimmie Rodgers, whose legacy will be celebrated in a new documentary about the birth of country music 90 years ago, Tyler noted: "My relationship to him is second cousins, four times removed.
"I brought my mom into the office one day to show her where I'd been working and she sees this picture of Jimmie Rodgers on the wall and goes, 'We're related to a Jimmie Rodgers!' She went on Ancestry.com and found the Rodgers line, which is her maiden name."
Tyler is a young man full of ambition (songwriting-wise, his dream is to have Keith Urban cover one of his tunes). "I want to get the album out first of all and just let people finally hear the music I've been working on," he said. "I just want to play a bunch of shows.
"I want to get on the road and play these songs for people and connect into 2018. I'd like to play some TV shows and some big stages with big artists and see where it goes from there."
Michael Tyler's debut album, 317, will be released on March 17.
For more information, visit his official website.
More about michael tyler, Country music, jimmie rodgers, jason aldean, Kelsea Ballerini
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