Remember Tyler Hilton? If not, let’s recap for you…
Familiar name? No, he’s not related to Paris or Perez. This Hilton is HOT, but isn’t an heiress or a gossip queen.
Familiar face? You might remember Tyler as the musically gifted but oh so jerky Chris Keller in the CW’s “One Tree Hill”. Or you might have seen him play Elvis Presley on the big screen in “Walk The Line” alongside Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon. Or maybe you remember him as the mohawked punk in “Charlie Bartlett” with Robert Downey, Jr.
What about that voice? Tyler Hilton has been traveling around the country performing since 2003. You might have seen him live opening for one of your favorite artists or perhaps on a local TV appearance.
Now, Tyler Hilton is gearing up for his second full-length album, The Storms We Share, while touring with The Spill Canvas. To get his loyal fans ready, Hilton released an EP version of the album called Ladies & Gentleman available on iTunes now.
In a new interview with StarShine Magazine, Tyler discussed the three-year process of his new album. “The record I was trying to make only ended up being half of it,” he says. “And the experience of making that record ended up being the other half. The songs I wrote to keep me going, that kind of ended up being the other half of the record.”
By the end of it all, Tyler did not get the album he wanted. The final product turned out better.
“At the end of the day, you kind of hope like ‘God, for all this work I hope I get exactly what I want’,” he explains. “ And true to form with life and true to lessons of love that I’ve been learning is I didn’t get what I want. I got something way better. I’m so excited about it and so proud of it.”
With a soulful voice and an acoustic guitar driven sound, some might describe Hilton’s music as country. However, he doesn’t think so. “There’s a couple of tunes that may have a more rootsy feel, but I don’t know if country is the right word necessarily. I come from a folk music background and real rootsy music. A lot of those elements are the same in country music,” he explains. “I don’t think the lyrics are country. I’m not a southern guy. My outlook isn’t from southern rural life, but I really dig that kind of California country thing, you know that Jackson Brown thing, so some of the songs kind of have that tinge.”
Over the past few years, Tyler feels musically stronger as an artist. The Storms We Share will be the first album he set out to make professionally. “I think my lyrics are a little clearer [now],” he says of his new material. “I can’t say that it’s better or that I did it differently because the last record I wasn’t thinking about it when I made it. I wrote those songs just because that was the thing to do while I was in high school. I wasn’t trying to make a record.”
Hilton feels this time around, he learned more about creating an album than he ever has in the past and thinks he’ll be able to make future records quicker.
While on the road with The Spill Canvas, Hilton is getting a chance to play the Ladies & Gentleman EP live for old and new fans. He told StarShine how happy he is to see fans singing along to his music. “I think it’s just a testament of how hungry everyone was for music. And I can’t believe they’re still around and still wanted to buy it. It’s so killer to me,” Tyler gushes over the fans who practically grew up with him. “The fan base that I have are immensely loyal, I can’t believe it. So many of them I met when they were in high school and now they’ve all graduated college. They’ve really grown with me. I want to see them at shows for the rest of my life. I’m glad I wasn’t a phase.”
Playing for The Spill Canvas crowd has been exciting for Hilton as well since it gives him a chance to broaden his fan base. “It feels like we’re winning a lot of people over on this tour,” he says.
Although, Tyler doesn’t have a favorite song to perform, he does lean toward “Say It Like A Lie”. “The more you say something, the more it’s true. I sing that song every night and so it’s kind of cool to sing those lyrics, ‘this world will turn your way’ so many times in a month. It’s making me feel really optimistic,” he laughed.
But the song Tyler would dedicate to his fans? “Keep On”.
“There are songs that probably say thank you and how much [the fans] mean to me and how much they’ve made things possible for me,” Tyler began. “But as a gift, I would really want to give them a song like ‘Keep On’. It’s just kind of like a little mantra, just something to say to yourself. I really hope the best for my fans. I would want to give them a song that would encourage them in everything they do,” he says sincerely, but then decides to throw in a joke. “Whatever gives them the disposable income that’ll keep them coming back for my show.”
With the release of the album later this year, Hilton’s main goal is to explore the rest of the world and bring his live show overseas, which is something he has yet to do. “I would really like to establish myself as an international artist.”
Hopefully, Tyler can make that dream come true. The rest of the world needs a grassroots artist with solid music. With so much talent vocally, musically and with his ease on stage, on camera, and with people make Tyler Hilton the type of artist you want to keep around for a while.
Stop what you’re doing and go to www.tylerhilton.com. Listen to “Keep On”, watch some Tyler TV, stare into those blue eyes and hope he comes to your part of the country—or the world—soon!