Tyler Gilbert ~ OK Murphy

Tyler Gilbert

Tyler Gilbert

All of Tyler Gilbert’s hard work is starting to pay off. This Canadian singer-songwriter has hit the big time with his album titled OK Murphy. My favorite track is the lovely song The Way the World Works, so I asked Tyler to tell me the back story: “The song is about doing your own thing, because life is too short. I worked the song around the phrase: Do what you want and do it now. The song is about choosing your path in life.”

Tyler Gilbert has quite a unique sound and his songs tell wonderful stories through music. When I asked Tyler about his music influences, he gave me quite an interesting answer: “I built a triangle to help me understand my influences and explain them. At the top of this triangle are Singers. My singing influences are Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. On one end of the triangle are Guitarists, and those influences are Zakk Wylde and Dimebag Darrell. At the other end are Songwriters, Neil Young and Bob Dylan.”

I love it! No one has ever described their influences in quite that way.

Young Tyler Gilbert started singing to Michael Jackson cassette tapes at age three. According to Tyler, “I picked up the guitar in my teenage years. Then, I started working on tunes. I made multiple demos, which I wouldn’t say were great, but they helped me establish my skills as a songwriter. Experimenting helped me make better decisions with songwriting.”

A lot of Tyler Gilbert’s songs tell stories or they’re philosophical: “I have to give my dad credit. Growing up, my dad was always a philosophical person, always questioning everything. So, I instilled that into my songwriting. I want to make people think and to ask questions about things they may have overlooked in their everyday life.”

I also watched some of Tyler Gilbert’s older music videos. I love his video for the song Break Free, so I asked him to tell me more about it: “I worked with producer Rick Rock. The song tells the story of a kid who’s struggling with his family and relationships. He’s a musician, and he finds that through the music, he brings it all together and works out his problems.” Go out to Tyler’s YouTube channel and watch the video; it’s wonderful.

Tyler Gilbert performingTyler Gilbert has toured all over Canada. If you’re a musician who is thinking about scheduling your own tour, here’s some great advice: “A lot of planning is required, so be organized. I have spreadsheets galore of contacts and numbers of venues. Outline the basic route that you want to go and try not to backtrack. Once you know where you’re going, do the research, identify the venues and start phoning and emailing. It’s a lot of work.”

Then, once you’re on the road: “You definitely need perseverance. In this industry, there is no easy road. Learn to live frugally on the road.”

Tyler Gilbert also gets a lot of airplay on Canadian radio stations. How does he do it? “I have to give credit to the national CBC (Canadian Broadcast Corporation). They’ve just been awesome with supporting local and independent musicians across the country. College radios are always friendly to independent musicians. They let you come down to the station and do interviews. I worked with radio trackers in the past. They’ve done well for me and got me in commercial radio.”

When I asked Tyler Gilbert his advice for other recording artists, he told me: “Make as many connections as you can. Connections are huge in this industry, and keep those connections. Don’t burn your bridges or stop making connections, because you never know what comes out of where. Also, enjoy what you’re doing. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, then I don’t think you should be in this business.”

What’s up next for Tyler Gilbert? “In April, I’m going on a western US tour. Most of it will be situated in California, and it will include Idaho, Montana and Utah. In the summer, I’m going back into the studio and start working on the next album.”

I wish Tyler Gilbert all the best. I can’t wait to hear his next album, and I hope he comes through Portland, OR sometime soon.

The Amused Now Featured Artist Series

Tyler Gilbert with guitarTyler Gilbert

Cynthia Kahn, Founder of Amused Now