Tyler Rich made his way to the bright lights of Nashville from a small farming community in Northern California. The same vicinity that gave us Jon Pardi and newcomer Devin Dawson. So it stands to reason, that what’s to come from the country newcomer is a cross between the two.
Tyler grew up listening to pop, country and rock, even fronting a few rock bands along the way. After connecting with country hitmaker Dustin Lynch, the newcomer packed his bags and set his dreams in motion.
His debut single, “The Difference,” talks about the difference between casual and meaningful words like “I love you” versus “love you.” There is a difference and Tyler learned that first hand from his fiancée, actress Sabina Gadecki.
“There’s a difference between “miss ya” and “I miss your face.” And there’s a difference in “What’s going on?” and “Baby, how was your day?” Yeah, there’s a hell of a difference in saying three words or kinda just meaning two. And there’s a difference in “Love ya” and “I love you.” And I wanna be the difference, yeah I do,” he sings in the chorus.
After promising his grandmother that he would finish college, the California native kept his promise and then moved to L.A. to pursue his music. He’s making a mark on country music already performing alongside top acts including Dustin Lynch, Sam Hunt, Brett Eldredge, Justin Moore, Cole Swindell and Dan + Shay.
How did you get interested in country music?
I always listened to country. I got country from my mom, and then rock was always from my dad. One of the guys in my band loved country as well. So we would always make the other guys cover Garth Brooks and stuff like that at our shows. Growing up in California, it is way more country than anybody thinks it is. And even that being said, I grew up around farms. Where I’m from is nothing but agriculture.
Who were you listening to growing up?
I grew up in a musical family. At family functions we’d sit around and just play Tom Petty, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Michael Jackson and the Beatles to George Strait, Garth Brooks, Brooks & Dunn and Vince Gill. I might have been raised singing George Strait and Garth Brooks, but I don’t really have a favorite genre so much as I just love music. And I don’t necessarily love artists, I just love songs.
How did you get your start in music?
I moved back down to L.A. on a whim with nothing. I was working at Red Robin and random restaurants and stuff. About two weeks in, I got an email that said, ‘Hey, we want you to work with all new songwriters and producers over here at Universal.’ And we started writing and working on songs for other people. Just kind of figuring out what I wanted to do, because I had been in so many bands prior, and I wanted to be a solo artist.
I met a couple guys, Mike and Jordan, in L.A. and they were like, ‘Okay cool, show us what you got.’ I played them a couple of my songs and they were like, ‘Man, you’re not allowed to do anything ever again. This is it.’ I was like, ‘Finally!’ We spent about a year just writing tons and tons and tons of songs. And then I eventually was like, ‘Alright, cool, I’m gonna put something out.’ And I just randomly put out this single called ‘Radio.’ It ended up doing really well online and kind of started building a little bit of a buzz.”
You’re recently engaged. Tell me about your fiancée. How did you meet her?
We met at the country festival called Stagecoach. She’s an actress [Sabina Gadecki], so she lives in L.A. and we go back and forth. Her family is from Poland, so her first language was Polish. She was born here, but her family, everybody moved here from Poland. This funny, erratic, crazy, amazing family of fun, partying, drinking—They’re just great. They’re me, but older and Polish.
Do you have a wedding date?
We don’t know yet. We wanted to do fall this year, but now it’s most likely gonna be spring next year. Schedules are just crazy. Weddings are expensive. I’d like to just go, like, run off and then maybe have a party later.
What is your single “The Difference” about?
It’s just about the person that makes the difference for you in your life. It’s really plain and simple. We live in this world and this society where this dating culture is so casual and it’s so, like, ‘Yeah, we’ll go on a date, I’ll swipe right.’ Everything is so temporary. And I feel like we’ve all become so accustomed to it, and then whether you want to meet someone or not, you always meet somebody that makes that difference to you. And obviously, that’s me with Sabina.
What attracted you to this song?
It has to sound like something I would write. It has to be something obviously I connect to lyrically. There’s just so many elements. And probably 15 seconds into listening to this song, it just had this swagger to it. And I was like, ‘Alright, what is this?’ I was like, ‘This is cool, I like this.’
Since Sabina and I have been saying ‘I love you,’ if I say, ‘love you,’ instead of ‘I love you,’ she’s literally like, ‘It’s ‘I love you.’ There’s a massive difference. She’s like, ‘Love you is casual. Love you is to friends, to family. But I love you is something that’s deeper.’ And so when I heard it, I called her, I was like, ‘Babe, I found a hit. This song’s huge. Problem is, I should have written it, like, two years ago.’
For those who don’t know you, how would you describe your sound?
“I would say it’s kind of like—I don’t know. It’s fun, it’s energetic, it’s kind of like Thomas Rhett meets Keith Urban meets Dustin Lynch maybe. I don’t know. I’ve gotten the comparison a lot with my voice, people say I remind them of Keith Urban. Keith was a huge influence for me growing up, I’ve always been a big fan of his. It’s definitely on the pop-progressive side of country. And I like to think that my genre ADD mind is evident in my music. I like to always say to define something is to limit it. And to build walls around it constricts it from being creative. So I like to incorporate any and everything into my music at all times, but still honing in on that country core. I feel like everybody just needs to do what they love and let it shine, and I feel like you do that, and fans catch on organically.
Dustin Lynch kind of discovered you. How did that happen?
I covered a 15 second chorus of ‘Mind Reader’ on Instagram when I lived in L.A. I was just always a big Dustin fan and I was just randomly sitting on my couch in Sherman Oaks, California. Then a few months later, I got an email to come to Nashville and have a meeting. And I was like, ‘Hell, I guess I’d better get to Nashville.’ I walked in that back room at the office and Dustin was in there. He was like, ‘We’ve been following you and we think you have to move to town.” I Went back to California, packed things up, and about three or four weeks later, moved out here. It’s been probably about two and a half years now.
What can we expect from you in 2018?
I’m hoping for an album to be out this fall. I’m on a radio tour for the next few months visiting stations, and then tons of festivals and dates coming in for this summer. Hoping to hop on some type of fall tour opening for somebody. And in between all that, hopefully recording more songs and getting an album out.
6 Things You Need To Know About Tyler Rich
1. I’m obsessed with puppies, all shapes and sizes and colors. I rescued my dog Abbey when she was five months old. She’s a husky. And she is now 12 and a half. She is in my music video.
2. I’m obsessed with horror movies. ‘House of 1000 Corpses’ is definitely one of my favorites. If you’re squeamish and you don’t like horror movies, do not watch it, it’s pretty brutal.
3. I’m obsessed with Disneyland.
4. I have the biggest sweet tooth in the world. If I could eat candy and not real food, I would. Just give me Skittles, licorice, Red Vines.
5. I’m a huge movie buff in general, and not just horror movies. One of my favorite hobbies is going to movie theaters alone.
6. I’m a travel junkie.