Garrett Tyler may have just dropped one of the most important records of his life: “The Moment,” dedicated to his beautiful wife. The record was released in the month of February a week and a half before Valentine’s Day, laying down the blueprint for romance while reeling in vocals from rapper Austin Antoine.
Tyler states, “I just love community, collaboration, and making music that inspires me.”
If you’re not familiar, the Arkansas native is a well-respected drummer, multi-instrumentalist musical director, producer, and recording artist who’s toured the world, shutting down stages all across the United States, Central America, Asia, Europe, and the UK. Having played for established acts such as Judah & the Lion, for King & Country, Local Sound, Pink Laundry, Jagwar Twin, and Christy Nockels, even making an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Tyler knows a thing or two about performing and stage presence.
“The Moment” was inspired by the first time Tyler ever met his wife, with lyrics embodying that special moment when you feel like you met your soulmate and both parties are on the same page with no expectations from the very beginning.
AllHipHop: Where are you located?
Garrett Tyler: I’m based in Nashville. I was out in LA for the past couple weeks but I got back yesterday. It was good. Did a little work, a little play. It was great, staying in Los Feliz.
AllHipHop: Where are you from originally?
Garrett Tyler: OG, I’m from Arkansas. Super small town, but I’ve been in Nashville since 2015, so about 6 coming on 7 years now.
AllHipHop: You moved out there for music?
Garrett Tyler: I did. I went to grad school at Belmont and was studying commercial drum set performance at the time. Studying with legendary drummer Chester Thompson, who’s played with everybody. I came for school and while I was here, just hit the ground running and got connected. I moved to Nashville primarily wanting to drum and record. Once I got here, new passions sparked. Fell more in love with producing and writing, creating for myself. That’s what led me to where I’m at now.
AllHipHop: Do you remember when you fell in love with music?
Garrett Tyler: Totally, it’s my youngest memory actually. My mom and dad, it’s crazy because both of their worlds were completely different. With my mom, I grew up listening to more rock and roll. Aerosmith is one of my favorite bands of all time. AC/DC, everything up to more pop or 90’s style rock like Nirvana and things like that. But then my dad was the exact opposite. He was listening to Billy Ocean, Lionel Richie, MIchael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, the flipside to that coin. Even now where I find myself as a drummer: I drum in a rock band but I also have my solo project that leans heavy soul/R&B. I find reflecting back and really thinking about it, that inspiration seeped in from both worlds.
AllHipHop: Was there a turning point when you realized you could do music for a living?
Garrett Tyler: It’s always been in, I’ve always wanted to do it. But the first time I felt I could definitely do this was once I went to college. I joined a drum corps out in California called The Blue Devils, they’re based in the Oakland, Concord area. During my undergrad when I was studying, it was one of those things where I got my undergrad degree in Music Education and the whole time I was thinking of it as if the music thing doesn’t work, I’ll always have a back up. I can teach or do this. But when I joined that drum corp, I was traveling once a month for rehearsals and we’d go on tour. Meeting more people, started traveling around the world to parts of Asia, Europe, UK, Central America. That’s when it hit me like damn, I can do this. I love this, this is what I want to do. It gives me so much life.
AllHipHop: Fast forward to today, you have “The Moment” out now. How are you feeling?
Garrett Tyler: I feel good. My heart going into this project was no expectations. In 2020 when I started this whole project, when a lot of us had a lot of downtime unfortunately, that’s what sparked this whole thing of hey, I want to do this. “The Moment” just so happened to be the first song that I wrote myself. I write for other people and other bands, but as far as me and what I have to say, that was the first song. I don’t necessarily get caught up in numbers and stuff like that. To me, it’s primarily about the art and putting that first.
“The Moment” is extremely special, it’s about my wife. I’m singing, produced, drums, wrote the song, everything. I knew right from the gate I wanted Austin Antoine to rap on this track. He’s amazing. He’s based in LA. He’s actually going on the Moonchild tour, opening up for them this year. The way I got turned on to him is one of my best buds that I did drum corp with, back in undergrad, he has a band called Joomanji. It’s this badass underground, experimental hip hop soul group. They did a track with Austin called “Bustin Loose”. The first time I heard that which was over 6 years ago, I knew from that moment that one day, I’m a do a track and I’m a get this guy on it. And now we’re here. [laughs]
AllHipHop: How does your wife feel about the track?
Garrett Tyler: She loves it! Our story is sweet. We met in grad school, first day. It was a mutual feeling. The whole line, “From the moment I saw you, I knew that I’d always love you” — I know that’s cheesy or whatever, but it’s facts. It was real. I saw this girl, I’m like “damn, there’s something about her. She’s totally different from anyone I’ve ever been with before.” She’s so supportive. She’s a classical violinist. She’s a badass and she loves it.
AllHipHop: How did you guys celebrate Valentine’s Day?
Garrett Tyler: Through the phone, because I was gone and she was also gone on the road. I sent her flowers. You know, did the best you can. We’re both pretty 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 on each other.
AllHipHop: What do you feel when you play the drums?
Garrett Tyler: Oh man, everything. Honestly, 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. The drums is one of those instruments that is honestly extremely physical and demanding, can be taxing on your body. Whether I’m doing a rock and roll show at Lollapalooza: slamming the drums and it’s more aggressive and energetic, versus something more like my song “The Moment” that’s a little more hypnotic, laidback easy — I’d hope the way listeners feel when they hear me play is an expression of how I’m feeling in the moment. So a lot of things. [laughs]
AllHipHop: What’s your best memory on tour? You’ve toured with everyone.
Garrett Tyler: There’s a few, I’ll give you top 3. One was definitely Red Rocks, sold out Red Rocks with one of the bands I play for called Judah and the Lion. And my wife, she has a quartet and they got to play that show with us. It was pretty special. Looking up in the mountains in Colorado: sold out, beautiful. My wife’s right next to me, my best friends, that’s definitely a highlight.
Another one would be I just graduated from grad school in 2017, was really grinding. In 2018, I landed a spot playing drums for the artist at the time 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. All over Europe and the States. We closed out a night at Bonnaroo, last performance of the day. It was as far as you can see, just packed. The music’s so sick. That’s the music I really love to play, is R&B, soul and Hip Hop. That was definitely a highlight.
The last one, very opposite of those other two, would be one of my buddies. He’s a local guy, hip hop producer, artist and writer named Sansol. My first post-pandemic show was with him. It was this really special feeling of I haven’t played a live show in over a year, and that’s an emotional thing. We played the rooftop of Acme in downtown Nashville, sold it out playing music I love with my friends. Wow, this is what I love about music and this is what I’ve been missing for the past year. It’s exciting to be back.
AllHipHop: 3 things you need in the studio at all times?
Garrett Tyler: Incense always. They say of all your senses, your sense of smell is the most directly related to memory and nostalgia. For a long time now, I’ve always written, practiced being on stage with my incense going. When it’s there, it makes it comfortable and gives me a sense of ease. I have to have one of my boys. I hate writing music by myself. Music is meant to be shared with people, written and collaborated on. I definitely have to have a homie in the room. Lastly, an open mind. I always have to be open-minded. I never want to go into the studio or work with anyone who’s close-minded to anything. Those are my top 3: incense, a homie, and an open mind.
AllHipHop: What are you most excited for next?
Garrett Tyler: Definitely releasing the full EP. I have 3 singles out so far of my own stuff, and I’m excited to put the whole thing out. 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 spot in Nashville called The Flamingo Cocktail Club. Angela’s a dope human being from New York, opened it up. Coffee shop by day, club by night. A lot of my favorite in town musical experiences have happened there. They do a Wednesday night jam, it’s always the vibe. I plan on doing my first show there. I’m really excited, working on that. I’ve been doing a lot of production, working with some peeps out in LA. Just excited about some new music that’s going to be coming out.
AllHipHop: Anything else you want to let the people know?
Garrett Tyler: Something I always say at the end of my stuff is stay focused and be blessed. I stand by 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.