About Tyler Hilton
It’s been an extraordinary year for singer, songwriter and fledging actor Tyler Hilton, one of those meteoric rises that is the stuff of entertainment legend. Happily, in the case of this diversely gifted 21-year old Palm Springs, California native, there is an abundance of pure talent and unique ability to back up any and all claims of a genuine star-in-the-making. Simply put, everything you’ve been hearing, and are going to hear, about Tyler Hilton, is true. He’s the real deal.
Evidence was forthcoming last fall with the release of The Tracks Of Tyler Hilton, the artist’s stunning major label debut on Maverick Records. With a formidable ear for memorable melodies, a keen lyric sensibility and a natural knack for heartfelt performances, Tyler Hilton quickly established himself as one most impressive new arrivals in the modern music, thanks in large part to the breakout track ‘When It Comes,’ along with Tyler’s fast-rising new single ‘How Love Should Be’ and ‘When The Stars Go Blue’ with newcomer Bethany Joy Lenz.
On the strength of a strong popular and press response, Tyler embarked on an extensive U.S. tour, both on his own and as part of the prestigious Virgin College Megatour, featuring, among other, labelmate Michelle Branch. It was in the midst of his barnstorming itinerary that, on a lark, Tyler answered an audition call for a part on the upcoming and eagerly awaited biopic Walk The Line, the story of legendary artist Johnny Cash, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon. “They were looking for someone to play a long Elvis,” Tyler recounts, “But not an Elvis impersonator. They wanted someone who was pretty much at the same point in his career, and I fit the bill so I gave it a shot.” It was a shot that paid off in spectacular fashion when Tyler promptly landed the part and spent the next few months in Memphis shooting the Fox film and recording music under the auspices of renowned producer T-Bone Burnett. “It was a great experience,” he enthuses. “We did a lot of studio work in the style of those original recordings and it was like getting a crash course in rock and roll history.”
Yet the once-in-a-lifetime chance proved only the first of Tyler’s extraordinary new opportunities. Returning to the road, he again answered destiny’s call with another acting audition, this time for the acclaimed The WB TV series One Tree Hill, a program that makes extensive and consistently innovative use of a wide range of music.
It proved to be a perfect fit. “I played a song for the producer and then went back to touring,” Tyler continues. “A few weeks later, I got a call while I was getting ready for a Rock The Vote appearance in Philadelphia. Not only did they want me for the show, but they were also interested in using some of my music.” The role Tyler landed on One Tree Hill was that of recurring character, and aspiring musician, Chris Keller. “I love the part,” Tyler continues. “It gives me a chance to stretch as an actor and at the same time stay in touch with my music.” It’s a sentiment shared by the creators of One Tree Hill: not only will Tyler appear performing his own material on eight upcoming episodes, but two of his original songs, ‘Glad,’ and the above mentioned ‘When The Stars Go Blue, are featured on the upcoming compilation Music From The WB Television Series One Tree Hill. Additionally, ‘When It Comes,’ has been used extensively in the shows on-air promotions. Tyler’s creative connection with One Tree Hill continued this spring with a sold out national tour featuring musical performances by many of artists on the series.
“Acting’s great,” Tyler explains, “and I’m very excited about the opportunities that have come my ways. But at the end of the day, I want to stay focused on my music. That’s where I really feel I can connect.” It’s passion that been evident virtually from birth, as the child of a highly musical family that included a songwriting father and a passel of singing and performing siblings and cousins. “I can’t remember a time when there wasn?t some sort of music floating through the house, he recounts. “I picked up on it and started teaching myself guitar and piano. By the time I was thirteen, I was writing songs because it just seemed like the natural thing to do.”
Natural, also, was Tyler’s affinity for a wide variety of musical styles, from Elvis to Sinatra to, most significantly, the blues. “The first CD I bought was B.B. King’s Greatest Hits,” he recounts, “and from there I got into Robert Johnson and other blues legends. I began to realize that music could express real life situations and emotions.”
It would be awhile, however, before the fledgling songwriter had a chance to express his own feelings and life lessons. “Eventually, I started playing open mike nights in clubs and coffee houses around Palm Springs,” he recounts. “I’ll never forget the thrill of seeing name in yellow chalk on a blackboard at a local hangout. It felt like I was on my way.”
Indeed he was. Quickly becoming a hometown favorite, selling out local appearances and building solid fan base throughout Southern California, the next step was inevitable: with a combination of live recordings and demos produced in a friend’s studio, he released an independent album in 2000. Shortly thereafter he found himself with a major recording deal at Maverick Records. Work began immediately on a debut album, with able assistance from producer Rick Parker, Paul Fox and Geza X.
The result is the abovementioned The Tracks Of Tyler Hilton eleven original songs highlighting the rousing ‘When It Comes,’ along with the evocative ‘Pink And Black,’ the unabashedly romantic ‘You, My Love’ and other outstanding originals.
No question about it: Tyler Hilton is on a very steep career curve. But behind all the high profile hype is a rock solid base of talent, commitment an enduring love for music that expresses who he is and what he’s about.