29 year old country artist Tyler Braden has always been surrounded by music. Growing up in Slapout, Alabama just 27 miles outside of Montgomery, both Tyler’s parents and aunts and uncles sang. He jokes that the only person in his family that doesn’t sing is his sister, and that he’s never even heard her sing. Tyler got his musical start when he was 19 performing in Breaking Benjamin and Three Days Grace cover bands. It was only after winning a local singing competetion in 2015, which gave him an opportunity to record in Nashville, that Tyler’s draw towards country music began to take shape.
Tyler moved to Nashville in July of 2016 working as a local firefighter. A few months later Braden recorded his debut single “Little Red Wine” in the attic of Kelsea Ballerini’s former front of house. Now, less than a year after being released, “Little Red Wine” has racked up over 4.2 MILLION streams and is on several of Spotify’s most coveted playlists. With a new single coming out shortly Tyler and I sat down to talk about his music and journey to Music City:
When you first moved to Nashville did you have people you knew you already wanted to write with and work with? Was co-writing something you had done before?
Tyler: I didn’t know how co-writing really worked. I’d never written with anybody. Going into it, I had thought everybody co-writes and I was worried I wouldn’t be viewed as a team player if I hadn’t done that. I learned that it’s a whole other world when I can take an idea I’m looking at tunnel visioned to another writer to get an outside perspective. It helps so much that you start to almost rely on it. I’ve even felt it already where I’ll be writing by myself and start to doubt something and think “oh I should get so and so to help me finish this”. Most writers are good about that though. If you bring them something they’ll go “oh man you’ve already got this pretty much finished and I don’t want to mess it up”. I think it’s them understanding sometimes you need to write by yourself.
Let’s talk about “Little Red Wine” and how it came to be such a breakthrough song for you:
Tyler: I actually recorded it at the beginning of the year last year (2017). I got it out in June and within a few weeks I had a lot of people reaching out to me. It did relatively well on it’s own on Spotify. Then I got a manager who is really close with John Marks. It December it got put on New Boots and since then it has built up over 4 millions streams.
What is next for you musically?
Tyler: We’ve got the second one ready now called “Leave Me Alone” that will be coming out soon. It’s pretty different from “Little Red Wine”. The beginning of the song “Leave Me Alone” has an acoustic guitar playing this picking pattern. That pattern came from a rock song I wrote 10 years ago. I play it all the time instinctually when I pick up a guitar and I realized it fit this song. “Leave Me Alone” has more of an ambiance to it than “Red Wine”.
Every artist is influenced and inspired by dozens of other artists throughout the span of their career. With that said, if you were to pick your musical parents who would they be?
Tyler: I don’t want to be too cliche with it [laughs]. My musical grandfather would be George Jones. If it had to say my musical father would be Dave Grohl. In my head I was thinking Eric Church but I bet everyone says that. He would be my alternate father [laughs]. For my musical mother part of me wants to go old school but the person that’s coming up in my head is actually younger than me and that’s Raelynn. I feel as if she has an old soul though. The first time I really paid attention to one of her songs was “Love Triangle”. That is one of the most well written songs ever.
Check out Tyler’s hand picked playlist just for the Jam Catchers’ readers below and keep an eye out for his new single “Leave Me Alone” out soon!