What advice would you give to those about to start a career in music?
Tyler Ray: I would say you need to get popular in your home town first. Go outside to your local venues and network with other creatives. Know what’s going on around you and where your place in the underground movement is. You’ll be surprised by how many people are trying to make it in this industry. You’re not the only one with dreams of being seen. Build a foundation of producers, photographers, videographers, engineers, studio locations, other musicians, graphic designers, marketing experts, ext ext. This framework of collaborative people will create a ‘positive feedback loop’ of organic content. The best advice I could give is learn to network with the people around you. Nothing is worse than an artist that thinks their presence alone is a privilege. The music industry is all about mutual respect, shaking hands, and moving forward.
Which genres influence your music most?
Tyler Ray: My main musical influences are from underground Los Angeles and the Bay Area of California. Musicians like G-Eazy, Marty Grimes, E-40, P-Lo, Rexx Life Raj, Croosh, and Yung Punch to name a few.
What was your favourite part of making ‘Let It Breathe’? Writing the lyrics, the production aspect, or something else?
Tyler Ray: The writing process for ‘Let It Breathe’ was definitely my favourite. The atmosphere was thick with emotion. A lightening storm was booming at midnight right after a fight with my girl. I headed into downtown Greenville and had a drink and a conversation with a free spirited chick about how beautiful this storm was. When I got back to my place I pulled up this deep melodic instrumental and wrote this with the door open. The storm was rolling and it just poured out naturally. It was profound.
Which famous musician do you think you could create a brilliant song with?
Tyler Ray: I would love to work with Rexx Life Raj in the future. He’s a savant in the industry. I’ve studied music for years and he’s one of the most influential rappers I’ve ever come across. From teaching lessons on work ethic and overcoming adversity, to being vulnerable and teaching the acceptance of letting go. Not to mention his flow is crazy, his melodies are powerful, and his catalog is fleshed out.
How would you describe your audience? What sort of people are drawn to your music?
Tyler Ray: My demographic is anybody who feels like the world tried to give them the shortest end of the stick. I make music for people that are really on their grind and putting in the hard work to create a positive shift in their life.
Have you got any unpopular opinions regarding music or the music industry?
Tyler Ray: I get told by quite a few people that I have too big of an ego, that I’m too confident, ext, ext. I think Russ said it best, “I always knew they didn’t love themselves.” That whole message of self belief is so key in the music industry. You have to 100% feel through-and-through that you are actually that person. If people are going to try and put me down for having self love, that’s an internal issue they need to work out within themselves.
What can we expect next from you? Where is your music heading?
Tyler Ray: More music in June. Collaborations. Venues coming soon. More music. More visuals. Photoshoots. My foot is on the gas all summer.
You can listen to ‘Let It Breathe’ here: