Tyler Rich Cements His Place
A boy with a big heart from Northern California had a dream of becoming a country singer. He cemented his place in Nashville, standing on the same stage as country legends before him at the Grand Ole Opry. It was a monumental moment in his life, stepping into that iconic circle on that stage.
Tyler Rich grew up in Yuba City, California, near Sacramento. He and his peers had to do their best to stay out of trouble and find things to do for fun. One might even find their friends hanging out at the local Carl’s Jr. (Fun fact: It was one of two that were open 24 hours in the country.) “Everywhere we went, it was always the same people so it always felt like a really small town, but very farm-heavy, very nothing-to-do-heavy,” Rich recalls.
He grew up listening to all kinds of different music. He explored his eclectic taste and would describe himself as having “musical ADD.” Continues Rich, “I had so many influences that really helped me kind of craft my crazy brain into an actual brand of something that I believe is unique and cool that I can bring to the table.” He was always flipping through albums and fell in love with so many genres of music, including Garth Brooks, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, and Shania Twain, while he was obsessed with watching Michael Jackson’s music videos and had a new-found love for Usher and Boyz II Men. “As my age progressed, it changed a lot. When I first started playing guitar at the end of junior high, I got into a lot of rock, stuff like blink-182, Green Day, KoЯn and Metallica. Pretty much anything I could turn my guitar up really loud to,” shares Rich, who was in many different bands in his early 20s. He then went back to school and graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a degree in economics. Shortly after, he made the big move to Los Angeles and gave music one last shot. “I was going to do it solo or kind of on my terms, my pace. I was really just wanting something that was real, organic, genuine and storytelling,” he candidly reveals. “Before even thinking of what genre, I just really stripped back to me and my guitar, and I just started writing a bunch of songs.” While listening to all of the songs he created, a realization hit him hard: “‘Man, all these songs are about where I grew up, my ex-girlfriend that broke my heart, and going out and partying with my friends.’ I was like, ‘This was all country music, really.’”
Although Rich moved from his small town to L.A. to pursue his music career, it was challenging for him because he needed to find a producer that wanted to embark on a country project but many of them were not very familiar with country music. However, he eventually found those who believed in him. “They listened to songs, and they were like, ‘Dude, this is amazing. This is your path, and this is what you're supposed to be doing.’ It was cool because we just kind of went out on a whim and recorded a few songs. I released one on YouTube and Spotify,” Rich says.
His music started to tread through the California markets. He was playing shows acoustically which resulted in his shows growing and tickets selling. Within a six-month period, his life began to change drastically, and he made the move to Nashville. “I signed with Big Machine Label Group. I signed with my specific label, the Valory Music Co. in January of 2017,” he tells. “We spent a year building and creating before putting out the single at the beginning of 2018.” He ended up writing 100 songs within that year and tried to figure out exactly what his brand was going to be, and it was hard choosing which songs he wanted to pitch to the label. He was waiting to find that “oh-sh*t song.” Adds Rich, “There were so many meetings and opinions that’d go into what songs you should record and what songs you shouldn’t. You get one breakup song, one love song, one comeback song, one party song, and one song about loss. You can't repeat a bunch of themes so you have to pick your favorites from each theme.”
Gradually, he and his producers decided they wanted to record a song called “The Difference.” A week after the song was recorded, his entire team was so excited. They knew this would be chosen as the first single. It was that “oh-sh*t song” he had been searching for.
“One moment, one kiss, and one day can just kick-start your heart again, like adrenaline, and get you breathing again.”
“The Difference” is this feel-good love song on his self-titled EP Tyler Rich, which explores a lot of different elements. He pays homage to one of his biggest influences, Michael Jackson. (Rich’s rendition of “Billie Jean” is an exclusive song on the EP through Amazon.) “Adrenaline” is a song that holds a special place in his heart as the first song he wrote for his fiancée Sabina Gadecki. “It’s basically about finding love again in general and how when you go through something terrible, you know, you still believe in love. One moment, one kiss, and one day can just kick-start your heart again, like adrenaline, and get you breathing again,” he describes of the tune.
Rich and Gadecki got engaged in Jamaica in the summer of 2017. It was a nerve-wracking process for him trying to coordinate a proposal in another country. Upon their arrival at the resort, Rich told Gadecki that they were going to get a ton of upgrades at the hotel for the whole weekend. They planned to have lunch overlooking the ocean at their cabana but then Rich told Gadecki (who is very smart by nature to figure things out easily) that he did not even want to go to the lunch saying, “I’m so tired of these upgrades. I just want to hang out at the beach.” Gadecki had to talk Rich into going to the “planned lunch,” which was actually part of the proposal plan on his end. “I hired a local reggae musician. I wanted him to sing our song ‘Yellow’ by Coldplay to us while we were eating. She figures everything out so I hired him to play for an hour walking around the resort and look like he was playing for tips. Sabina saw him walking around and playing, and I was thinking, ‘I don't have somebody to film and tape [us]. I’m basically a dead man walking so I need to hire a film crew, as well,’” Rich elaborates. Rich ended up having this film crew walk around for an hour because he did not want Gadecki to suspect a thing. The hotel also had to gather guests to be part of the proposal (they were asked to be extras in a film). The local reggae musician was playing a Bob Marley song and Rich asked if there were any other songs he could perform and if he knew Coldplay. “Sabina hits me. She’s like, ‘Babe, he does not know Coldplay. What do you mean he might know Coldplay?’ He then just starts playing this guitar riff. It's like, in this super-beautiful reggae version of the song, and she looks at me and she goes, ‘How did he know how to play our song?’” he further explains, adding that Gadecki began to bawl her eyes out because she knew at that moment what was about to happen. She, of course, said yes. Rich does not remember popping the question, as a matter of fact, because he blacked out completely.
They would love to have a family one day. The wedding is currently the first priority on their agenda, and Rich is leaving all of that up to Gadecki. He wants her to do her thing when it comes to the invitations, ceremony, and everything else that comes with planning a wedding. “In five years, we’ll be married and have at least one little kid running around. There’s a whole new type of balance right there. I just hope I’m doing the same thing – but with a hell of a lot more fans and a hell of a lot more fun,” Rich grins.
Writer: Dylan Worcel
Photographer & Videographer: Austin Lord
Stylist: Twila Trahan (for AMAX Agency)
Men’s Grooming: Alicia Marie Campbell (for AMAX Agency - using Triumph & Disaster)
Editor: Eiko Watanabe
Special thanks to Vui’s Kitchen - fresh Vietnamese (@vuiskitchen - www.vuiskitchen.com)