Garrett Tyler may have just released one of the most important records of his life: “The Moment”, dedicated to his lovely wife. The record was released in February, a week and a half before Valentine’s Day, setting the blueprint for romance while drawing inspiration from rapper Austin Antoine’s vocals.
Tyler says, “I love community, collaboration and making music that inspires me.”
If you’re unfamiliar, the Arkansas native is a highly respected drummer, multi-instrumentalist music manager, producer, and recording artist who’s toured the world, shutting down stages all over the United States. United, Central America, Asia, Europe and Great Britain. Having performed for such established artists as Judah & the Lion, for King & Country, Local Sound, Pink Laundry, Jagwar Twin and Christy Nockels, and even made an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Tyler knows a thing or two. on stage and stage presence.
“The Moment” was inspired by the first time Tyler met his wife, with lyrics embodying that special moment when you feel like you’ve met your soul mate and both parties are on the same page. without any expectation from the start.
AllHipHop: Where are you Located?
Garett Tyler: I’m based in Nashville. I was in LA the last two weeks but came back yesterday. It was good. I did a little work, a little play. It was great to stay in Los Feliz.
AllHipHop: What is your origin?
Garett Tyler: OG, I’m from Arkansas. Great little town, but I’ve been in Nashville since 2015, so about 6 to come in 7 years now.
AllHipHop: Did you move there for the music?
Garett Tyler: I did. I went to graduate school at Belmont and was studying commercial drum performance at the time. Studying with legendary drummer Chester Thompson, who has played with everyone. I came for school and while I was here I started running and logged in. I moved to Nashville, mainly wanting to play drums and record. Once here, new passions erupted. I fell more in love with producing and writing, creating for myself. That’s what got me to where I am now.
AllHipHop: Do you remember when you fell in love with music?
Garett Tyler: Totally, it’s my earliest memory actually. My mom and dad, it’s crazy because their two worlds were completely different. With my mother, I grew up listening to more rock and roll. Aerosmith is one of my favorite bands of all time. AC/DC, everything up to a more 90s pop or rock style like Nirvana and things like that. But my father was the exact opposite. He listened to Billy Ocean, Lionel Richie, MIchael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, the other side of the coin. Even now where I find myself a drummer: I drum in a rock band but I also have my solo project leaning towards heavy soul/R&B. I find by thinking and really thinking about it, that inspiration has seeped from both worlds.
AllHipHop: Was there a turning point when you realized you could make music for a living?
Garett Tyler: It always was, I always wanted to do it. But the first time I felt like I could really do it was after I went to college. I joined a drumming group in California called The Blue Devils, they are based in the Oakland, Concord area. During my undergrad when I was studying it was one of those things where I got my undergraduate degree in music education and the whole time I was thinking about it like music isn’t working I’ll have always a backup. I can teach or do that. But when I joined this drum group, I was traveling once a month for rehearsals and we were going on tour. As I met more people, I started traveling around the world to parts of Asia, Europe, the UK and Central America. That’s when it hit me like damn I can do this. I love it, that’s what I want to do. It gives me so much life.
AllHipHop: Fast forward to today, you now have “The Moment”. How are you?
Garett Tyler: I feel good. My heart going into this project was not an expectation. In 2020, when I started this whole project, when a lot of us unfortunately had a lot of down time, that’s what started this whole thing of hey, I want to do this. “The Moment” happens to be the first song I wrote myself. I write for other people and other bands, but for me and what I have to say, it was the first song. I’m not necessarily caught up in numbers and stuff like that. For me, it’s mostly about the art and showing it off.
“The Moment” is extremely special, it’s about my wife. I sing, produce, drum, write the song, everything. I knew from the start that I wanted Austin Antoine to rap on this track. He is incredible. He is based in LA. In fact, he’s on the Moonchild Tour, opening for them this year. The way I turned to him is one of my best friends I did drum corp with, back in undergrad he has a band called Joomanji. It’s this underground and experimental soul hip hop band. They did a track with Austin called “Bustin Loose”. The first time I heard that was over 6 years ago, I knew from that moment that one day I would do a track and put this guy on it. And now we are here. [laughs]
AllHipHop: What does your wife think of the track?
Garett Tyler: She likes it! Our story is sweet. We met at the graduate school, the first day. It was a mutual feeling. The whole line, “From the moment I saw you, I knew I would always love you” – I know that’s corny or whatever, but those are facts. It was real. I saw this girl and I was like, ‘Damn, there’s something about her. She’s totally different from anyone I’ve been with before. She is so supportive. She is a classical violinist. She’s a badass and she loves it.
AllHipHop: How did you celebrate Valentine’s Day?
Garett Tyler: By phone, because I was gone and she was also gone on the road. I sent her flowers. You know, you did the best you could. We are both very busy and we do what we can. We love Valentine’s Day, but we don’t necessarily need a holiday to find an excuse to love ourselves.
AllHipHop: How do you feel when you play the drums?
Garett Tyler: Oh man, everything. Frankly, it depends on the style. Again, I have this artist project, but I also drum for a lot of different people. I play a lot of different styles of music. Drums are one of those instruments that is honestly extremely physical and demanding, can be taxing on your body. That I do a rock and roll show at Lollapalooza: slam the drums and it’s more aggressive and energetic, compared to something more like my song “The Moment” which is a bit more hypnotic, laid back – I hope that the way listeners feel when they hear me play is an expression of how I feel at the time. So many things. [laughs]
AllHipHop: What is your best memory on tour? You toured with everyone.
Garett Tyler: There are a few, I’ll give you the top 3. One was definitely Red Rocks, sold out Red Rocks with one of the bands I play for, Judah and the Lion. And my wife, she has a quartet and they were able to play that show with us. It was quite special. Staring into the mountains of Colorado: exhausted, beautiful. My wife is right next to me, my best friends, it’s definitely a highlight.
Another would be that I had just graduated from graduate school in 2017, it was really hard. In 2018, I landed a job as a drummer for then-artist called R.LUM.R, who was an up-and-coming R&B/soul artist. He had a song called “Frustrated” and we toured all year. Throughout Europe and the United States. We closed an evening at Bonnaroo, the last performance of the day. It was as far as you can see, just packed. The music is so sick. That’s the music I really like to play, it’s R&B, Soul and Hip Hop. It was definitely a highlight.
The last one, very opposed to these two others, would be one of my friends. He’s a local guy, hip hop producer, artist and writer named Sansol. My first post-pandemic show was with him. It was that really special feeling of not having played a live show in over a year, and that’s an emotional thing. We played on the Acme rooftop in downtown Nashville, sold out playing music I love with my friends. Wow, that’s what I love about music and that’s what I’ve been missing for a year. It’s exciting to be back.
AllHipHop: 3 things you need in the studio at all times?
Garett Tyler: Always incense. They say that of all your senses, your sense of smell is most directly linked to memory and nostalgia. For a long time, I always write, I practice being on stage with my incense lit. When it’s there it makes it comfortable and gives me a sense of ease. I must have one of my boys. I hate writing music by myself. Music is meant to be shared with people, written down and collaborated on. I absolutely have to have a buddy in the room. Finally, an open mind. I always have to be open-minded. I never want to go into the studio or work with someone who is closed-minded about anything. These are my top 3: incense, a buddy and an open mind.
AllHipHop: What are you most excited about next?
Garett Tyler: Definitive release of the complete EP. I’ve released 3 singles so far of my own stuff, and I’m excited to release it all. And I’m really excited to play my first show as Garrett P. Tyler, which will be cool. My plan is there’s a really dope place in Nashville called The Flamingo Cocktail Club. Angela is a dope human being from New York, she opened. Cafe by day, club by night. Many of my favorite musical experiences in town have happened there. They do a jam on Wednesday night, it’s always the atmosphere. I plan to do my first show there. I’m really excited to work on this. I did a lot of production, I worked with friends in Los Angeles. Just excited about the new music coming out.
AllHipHop: Do you have anything else to let people know?
Garett Tyler: Something I always say at the end of my business is stay focused and be blessed. I stick with that. Keep your head down, keep grinding and live a blessed life. Wherever the season takes you, lean into it and don’t resist it. Find joy in everything you do.