INTERVIEW WITH TYLER BROWN WILLIAMS: “Through my music, I try to capture what an adventure love can be”

Tyler Brown Williams. Photo © Personal archive

Have you ever wondered why we sometimes love listening to the same song on repeat? What is that song giving you? A rush of dopamine, a dose of calmness, a bit of hope in a stormy day? Or is just provoking you to connect to your inner self? No matter what your reason is, we are both here because we love music and we live to replicate the feeling of hearing a mesmerizing song on repeat. Recently I discovered the music of Tyler Brown Williams and after listening to “You” on repeat I decided that I have to share his music and story with you.

Tyler is a singer/songwriter from Dallas, Texas. His music tells stories of personal stories and dreams that beg to bring the listener along with him. His debut EP, “Earth, Sky, or Ground” was released in January of 2014 – charting at #5 on the iTunes singer/songwriter charts. Tyler has had his music featured on national/international ads, movies, and television shows. His latest EP, “Let Forever Begin” was released in the spring of 2022 and currently he is busy doing new music that will be released next year.

Oana Cernat: Hi, Tyler. Thank you for coming here, in my bubble of heart-warming music. I’m glad to have you here. How was your day so far?

Tyler Brown Williams: I’m so glad to be here! Thanks for having me. My day has been great. I spent some time working on new music and then hung out with my kids.

Tyler Brown Williams. Photo © Personal archive
Tyler Brown Williams in his studio. Photo © Personal archive

Oana: How did your musical adventure begin? What made you start doing music?

Tyler: I started playing music way back when I was about 11 years old. There was a punk band in my school that approached me about being their bass player. I lied to them and said that I played the bass and had all of the gear that I needed to be in their band. The truth was I had never touched a bass and definitely didn’t own one. My dad drove me to the guitar shop that night and bought me my first bass guitar. I ended up learning 3 songs on it that week and played my first gig that weekend with them. I guess the rest is history! I come from a whole family of musicians so playing music came really naturally to me. Both of my parents as well as my brother are fantastic guitar players and singers. I was a bass player my whole life and then around the age of 20, I started to get into playing guitar and singing. I guess it was around that same time that I started writing my own music as well.

“You” is about the journey and emotion of finding the person you’re meant to be with. It’s about looking back on what it took to get to that place and realizing it was all happening for a reason.

Tyler Brown Williams

Oana: You know that I have discovered your music through the song “You” in which I can find so much peace and calmness (especially in the acoustic version). What’s the story behind it?

Tyler: Thank you! “You” is a song that I tried to write for a while before it actually came to be. For quite some time I had wanted a chorus that was just the single word “you” but I was never quite sure how to get to that moment. I knew I wanted the chorus to be more about the melody and the emotion rather than the lyrics. Eventually, I was able to build the rest of the song around it to make it all come together. “You” is about the journey and emotion of finding the person you’re meant to be with. It’s about looking back on what it took to get to that place and realizing it was all happening for a reason. The second verse gets into the idea of whatever it took to get there was worth it.

Tyler Brown Williams. Photo © Personal archive
Tyler Brown Williams. Photo © Personal archive

Oana: Listening to your whole music feels like reading your diary. Let’s go back in time and talk about your first EP. How did your life change ever since?

Tyler: Yeah my first EP was released somewhere around 2014 I believe. I was really going for the folk/country sound at that point in time. I was born and raised in Texas so it’s hard to avoid! Those 4 songs tell really specific stories from that time in my life and I really enjoy going and reliving them every once in a while. “Earth, Sky, or Ground” is a song that will always be special to me because my wife walked down the aisle to it at our wedding. I really haven’t listened to those songs in several years but now that I’m thinking about them I might have to take a stroll down memory lane.

I’ve released 6 or 7 EPs since that first one and they’ve all been something different for me. Since the release of my first EP, my life has been a constant adventure. My wife and I have had two kids which have taken me to a whole different place with songwriting. There are several songs of mine that I wrote for my kids or about my kids. Most recently we spent 6 months living in London which was inspiring in a whole new way.

Oana: In 2020 you released the song “I’m Kissing You” – which by the way, it is hauntingly beautiful. Since then, how was it for you to make music? We’ve all been through these unprecedented times and music was the one that kept giving us hope.

Tyler: Thanks so much! “I’m Kissing You” is a cover I did. The original song was by Des’ree and released back in the 90s. It was a lot of fun to rethink that one. Absolutely everything turned upside down shortly after that song came out. I think everybody had to figure out new routines and a new way of living for well over a year. That certainly changed the way I made music. I think I found it harder during those first few months to continue being creative because everything felt so off. I ended up writing my “Do It All Again” EP in 2020 which is one I’m really proud of. Those 3 songs feel really personal to me and I think a lot of it is because of the vulnerable state that time put us all in.

Oana: One of the lessons I took during the pandemic was never to take live music for granted. What about you, what was your lesson?

 Tyler: As cliché as it may sound, the lesson I took away from the pandemic was there’s nothing more important to me than my family. For several months, my family were the only people I would interact with. Of course, it came with plenty of challenges, but we still look back on quarantine as a special time for us as a family.

Sometimes it’ll take several months of trying different things until I finally get to the point of knowing it’s done.

Tyler Brown Williams

Oana: This year you released the EP “Let Forever Begin”. Where were you when you made the songs and what was your inspiration?

Tyler: As I mentioned before, we recently spent 6 months living in London. In the months leading up to that, we had sold our home in Texas and were living with my in-laws while we waited for our London adventure to begin. I ended up writing all 3 of the songs from that EP from our bedroom at their house over a 2 week period. It was by far the fastest I’ve ever written. The writing process for me has always been fairly drawn out for whatever reason. When I wrote the song “Wherever The Wind Blows” I wasn’t sure if it was one that would make it on the EP because it felt pretty different from everything else I had put out. I think sometimes it’s easy to worry too much about writing songs that other people will enjoy instead of writing what you yourself enjoy. I’m really glad I ended up seeing that song through.

Oana: Is there a particular place where you feel most creative?

Tyler: Honestly, no! Creative inspiration tends to come to me at really inconvenient times. Sometimes when I’m driving in the car or trying to fall asleep something will hit me. My phone is loaded with voice memos of ideas. A lot of times I’ll have to get out of bed and sneak into the next room to hum a melody or idea. I’ve found that when I sit down with the goal of writing a song it won’t happen. Almost all of my songs were written through voice memos I had to take in the car or at the grocery store.

I hope people are able to listen to my songs and have them stir up the same emotions and feelings for somebody in their life.

Tyler Brown Williams

Oana: How would you describe that feeling when you realize that a song is finally finished and ready to be released to the world?

Tyler: Oh it’s incredible. The process of a song coming to life is truly so long. Like I mentioned before, I’m a pretty slow songwriter. Sometimes it’ll take several months of trying different things until I finally get to the point of knowing it’s done. Most of the time when a song of mine is released it’s been at least a year or two since I started writing it. It’s the best when it finally gets out.

Oana: What message do you try to put into your work?

Tyler: The vast majority of my music is written about my wife. I started really writing music after I met her and she’s been my muse for 90% of my songs. I try to capture what an adventure love can be. I hope people are able to listen to my songs and have them stir up the same emotions and feelings for somebody in their life.

I’ve found that when I sit down with the goal of writing a song it won’t happen. Almost all of my songs were written through voice memos I had to take in the car or at the grocery store.

Tyler Brown Williams

Oana: No matter if I am listening to the EP “Where We Belong” or the latest one called “Let Forever Begin”, I will always find a song that will make my Repeat button become hot. What’s your secret?

Tyler: I’m not sure that I have a secret! I’m usually pretty surprised by that one song on each EP that people seem to connect to the most. Most of the time I figured it would be one of the others. I just try to write music that means something to me and hopefully will mean something to somebody else.

Tyler Brown Williams. Photo © Personal archive

Oana: Who is your greatest influence in music? Who are your favourite musicians?

Tyler: My parents have played a massive role in my life as a musician and songwriter. I grew up around music being played and written in my house. My dad is who taught me to play the guitar and my mom is where my style of playing comes from. There’s no way I’d be doing what I’m doing today if it weren’t for them.

My favourite artists are always changing. Gregory Alan Isakov is almost always playing in our house. He’s definitely one of my favourite artists and has been for a long time. I also love the new Harry Styles record but who doesn’t?

Also, I can’t move on without mentioning my friend, Jordan Critz. In every song I’ve ever released, he has played a massive part in it. I bring him the songs and he truly brings them to life and makes them what they are. I wouldn’t be the artist that I am if it weren’t for him.

Oana: If you would have to make a cover right at this moment, which song would you choose and why?

Tyler: For years I’ve had some friends ask me to cover “Africa” by Toto. In my opinion, it’s one of the greatest songs of all time. However, I would never be crazy enough to attempt a cover of it. I would definitely love to stick to my 90s roots and cover something from that era, which in my opinion is the best era of music. My wife has always wanted me to cover a Celine Dion song so I’ll go with that.

Oana: What’s next? What are your plans for this summer?

Tyler: I’m currently writing my next EP to be released next year so I’ve been pretty busy with that. Aside from that, spending time with my family and travelling!

Oana: Let’s send a powerful message to the Universe. What’s your biggest dream? (And don’t forget to tell me when this will become a reality.)

Tyler: My biggest dream is to go to outer space. And unless something drastically changes in my life I’m not sure that one is going to happen. But, if it does you’ll be the first one I come to.

Tyler Brown Williams. Photo © Personal archive

Oana: When and where can we see you play Live?

Tyler: An interesting thing about me is I really don’t play live. The last time I really played live was probably in 2015 or so. I’m really just passionate about writing and creating music. If the right opportunity to play live comes up then I would absolutely do it. But, it’s just not something that’s been a part of my musical journey.

Oana: How about coming to Europe?

Tyler: I was just there! When we were living in London we took several trips to Paris and Spain. I’m pretty sure you’re asking about playing live in Europe though. I actually think I would play live in Europe before I’d play live here at home. Who knows, maybe that’s what I’ll do next.

Oana: Before we go, tell us something about you that nobody knows.

Tyler: My friends all know about this because they love to make fun of me for it. But in my early 20s, I was regularly an extra on the TV show “Glee”. I lived in Los Angeles at the time and was desperate to make money. I ended up getting into doing extra work and spent most of my time pretending to be a high schooler walking around the halls on that show. I like to tell everybody I was a TV star, but in reality, you’d be lucky if you caught the back of my head once an episode.

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Interview with Brian Fennell (SYML): “Until we die, music will hopefully continually change for all of us”

Interview with Max Avery: “I think we’ve all found peace and escapism in being able to join musicians during lockdown”

Interview with Matt Perriment: “My inspiration comes from the things that completely absorb my mind”

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