After much anticipation, Tyler Rich is finally releasing his debut album!
Teasing the body of work on Instagram yesterday, Rich’s project titled Two Thousand Miles is a reference to the distance he travels between Los Angeles and Nashville to chase his dream and be with his great love and wife Sabina. Across the 11 tracks, 8 of which he penned, Tyler reminds us about feelings all people have in common, whether they’re sharing a bed or separated by a continent —the needs for acceptance, devotion and places to call their own.
“I always try to dig deeper into concepts and release songs that not only matter to me but that would matter to other people,” Tyler tells CS Country. “I hope they just feel — ‘Adrenaline’ and ‘Take It Or Leave It’ were two songs that I wrote right when I met Sabina, when I didn’t believe in any form of love at all. My heart was just cold and frozen as it could possibly be and I was music-focused only. I really didn’t believe that I would find the person that would let me do that career — so I hope that when people listen to the album they realize that you can find love again and it will be with the right person that you can be yourself with no matter what that means.”
Adding, “I hope they have fun listening to it because there are songs on there like ‘Feels Like Home’ which makes people wanna hug each other, dance and belt at the top of their lungs. I hope ‘Real Love’ makes them want to get engaged. I hope that ’11:11′ tears at their heartstrings, and I hope they know me — I hope they hear my influences and understand who I’ve listened to growing up by the time it’s over.”
Rich’s influences are on full display on Two Thousand Miles, as his final song on the project is a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” a song that the 32-year-old says means a lot to him and his career.
“It’s definitely the scariest thing in the world,” Rich tells CS Country host Juliet Schroder when asked about releasing his studio version of the King of Pop’s iconic tune. “So many musicians before getting signed will play on Broadway to make money. My version of Broadway was I would play in Vegas or in Northern California in these casinos and lounges and in order for me to decide how much money I was going to take home that night, I had to figure out what versions of certain songs I could do that would give me the most tips.”
“I grew up being obsessed with Michael Jackson — his music videos were like movies for me when I was a kid — and I grew up playing his songs on the guitar with my uncle. So I kind of put this version together in my mind that’s a sultry bluesy, dirty country kind of vibe. I started playing that and my tips started going crazy. I was like, ‘this is for sure the cover that I’m always going to do at these lounges to make money.’
“Flash forward a couple of years and I’m hanging out with Scott Borchetta and a few people from the label and they were like, ‘hey dude you’re going to do a radio tour and see all these people… what’s one cover that you’re gonna do that you think people will think is cool?’ And I was like, ‘I love my version of Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’.’ I played it and they were like, ‘that’s it.’ I wanted it to be at the end [of the album] just because it’s so different than anything on the album and to me its kind of almost like the ‘extra track’ if we had extra tracks.”
Splitting the recording process in his two favorite places — Los Angeles and Nashville — Rich finished recording solo in Los Angeles while his producer Lindsay Rimes and musicians were in Nashville. The coolest part about making his record? Having Jason Aldean’s backing band for his songs “Take It Or Leave It,” “Adrenaline,” and “11:11.”
“When I got [to the studio], our band was Jason Aldean’s band. Walking in and seeing that they were going to be my band for those songs and then getting to be ‘Jason Aldean’ for a few songs was really cool and not a lot of people know that those guys were on those songs with me.”
Aside from releasing his album, Tyler is staying busy in quarantine by continuing to raise awareness for pet adoption through Rich Rescues, while learning to record in a makeshift home studio and connecting with fans from his couch with a weekly Instagram Live series.
For more on Tyler Rich’s music, watch our full interview below. You can connect with Tyler by following him on Instagram at @tylerrich.
Are you excited for Tyler’s debut album Two Thousand Miles? Let us know by either leaving a reaction at the bottom of the post or by sending us a tweet at @CS_Country.