Signed to MDM Recordings Inc. in 2019, Surrey, BC’s Tyler Joe Miller quickly began to make a name for himself in Canadian country music and continues his meteoric rise with the release of his latest single, “Wild As Her.” After releasing his gold-certified debut single, ‘Pillow Talkin’’ at the end of 2019, the catchy tune quickly earned him the title of iHeartRadio Future Star, and became his first #1 single at Canadian country radio. What followed was an unprecedented and record-breaking climb with the single “I Would Be Over Me Too,” which steadily rose on the charts and earned Miller the distinction as the first independent Canadian country artist to reach #1 at radio with their first two singles. His debut EP ‘Sometimes I Don’t, But Sometimes I Do,’ has amassed over 20 million combined streams to date, with sophomore single “Fighting” hitting the Top 10 and title track “Sometimes I Do” reaching the Top 5 respectively.
Growing up in Surrey, British Columbia, many summers were spent out in the woods at the family cabin – dirt biking, hunting, boating – a place where maybe you were just as much in tune with the sound of music, as you were with nature. How would you say these experiences attributed to your growing love for music over the years?
Tyler Joe Miller (TJM): “I think being out in the country up at my cabin and being out in nature really contributed to my love for music because that’s where I remember listening to a lot of the music I grew up on. I remember listening to those CD’s for the first time and coming up with song ideas of my own and just feeling like it came to me so naturally out in that environment. It made it easier for me once I started writing songs because I could just write about things I had experienced and that fit so perfectly into country music.”
Your work in a church led to an opportunity to take a trip to Guatemala. Working hand-in-hand with Hope of Life, your non-profit organization, The Climb Outreach Society, provides housing, drinking water sources, as well as emergency food funds and healthcare for newborn babies across Central and South America. How have you found your passion for music is congruent with your passion for helping others?
TJM: “I think that my passion for helping those in need directly fuels my passion for music. Music brings people together, especially country music, and I think it has a heartbeat for people. I started doing country music with the intention of using my platform (if I ever got one), to influence others to help where they can and bring people together. I’m still building that platform and can’t wait to bring it together with my non-profit work and see what we can do together.”
While down there on the trip, your path to Country music became clearer. Tell us about the moment you were told that not only would people want to hear what you would have to sing, but to say.
TJM: “I remember playing a few songs I wrote with a couple of people out on the patio at night and the next day someone from our group asked me if it was me singing the night before. I said yes, and he questioned why I wasn’t pursuing country music. I explained that I was happy running my contracting business and doing non-profit work and he put the idea in my head that I could potentially help more people if I make a name for myself with music and use that to encourage others to help where needed, and here I am!”
Flash forward some time; you’re now signed to MDM Recordings Inc., your debut single “Pillow Talkin,’” goes #1, and “I Would Be Over Me Too” charts at #1. What was the feeling like after seeing that success, and what has it meant to someone like you who’s been doing all you can to get to where you are today?
TJM: “It’s hard to say what that feeling is like because it still hasn’t sunk in, I don’t think it ever will -it’s one of those things where it’s more than what you could have ever imagined as an artist; it feels like it’s too surreal for it to be reality. It was crazy to hear ‘Pillow Talkin’’ on the radio for the first time and to have it go #1 was nuts. It was the coolest thing I could have experienced as an artist other than a crowd singing it back to me. To have a song you wrote be loved just as much or more by your fans is truly an unreal experience.”
How has the writing process of a song like “Fighting” allowed you to be more vulnerable with the music you’ve created and will continue to create?
TJM: “I think the cool thing about writing my song ‘Fighting’ was that we all agreed to not even think about radio or streaming or anything other than just writing something we loved and felt connected to. We ended up getting that support from the industry with this one going Top 10 on the charts, but the biggest win was how the fans connected to this song so much, and wrote themselves into the song with their own stories of how they’re fighting with themselves. It made me realize how important these songs can really be, not just to us as writers, but to everyone else who hears them. I’m going to keep writing songs that way with my whole heart, for the story, and the people.”
Your track “Wild As Her” is to be followed by a new batch of songs that you describe as being a ‘new chapter’ to Tyler Joe Miller. Tell us about the single, and what we could expect from the songs to follow.
TJM: “I do believe my latest single and the next batch of songs coming out is a new chapter of my music. I think ‘Wild As Her’ showed a bit of a different side of myself musically. I wouldn’t normally do a vocal run as that melody has, but since it got stuck in my head when I heard the demo, I knew it would get stuck in other people’s heads, and I think that’s a good thing! You can expect the same thing with my new music – trying new things musically and just refining my sound as we move along.”
Recently, you took home Male Artist, Single, Album, and SOCAN Songwriter of the Year at the BCCMA’s. Tell us about what it all means to you, and your biggest hope for yourself and your career moving forward.
TJM: “That night was awesome! My BC Country fam are the ones who encouraged me to pursue my own career in music when I was a guitarist and background singer for other artists after I got into the industry. It was one thing to pursue country music, but another thing to be the frontman, and they really helped push me along the way. I’m very grateful that my BC Country family still supports me enough to throw me votes for those awards – it means the world to me. Now that I have the support provincially, an obvious next goal is to try to get that support nationally at the CCMA’s and see what we can accomplish. Awards have never been my goal but it’s awesome that I’ve got a few under my belt now. The ultimate goal for me is for people to love and connect to my music, and I think we’ve won there.”
This past week you opened for Luke Combs at Cavendish Beach Music Festival; an event that has grown to become Atlantic Canada’s largest multi-day outdoor music festival. What was it like for you to not only have shared the stage with, but be support for an artist you’ve always looked up to?
TJM: “Opening for Luke Combs is one of those goals that you think will never happen and we just did it…crazy! It was my first time in P.E.I. and at Cavendish, and the fact that my first time there I got to open up the stage for one of my favourite artists, at the biggest festival crowd we’ve ever played, was amazing. The anticipation was more of an anxiousness of wanting to just get out there and play with my buddies and prime the crowd for Luke as best as I could. It wasn’t too hard because the crowd came thirsty for country music and ready to party. To have that big of a crowd singing my songs back to me, and learn that Luke and I have the same fans, was pretty damn special to me!“
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