There's no doubt music is a powerful medium. It can galvanise communities, create memories and for many, provide a much-needed outlet for life's malaise. Tyler Jae Smith is one such artist empowering himself through creating original pieces. Originally hailing from South Jersey in the States, he's openly sharing his struggles and triumphs through song writing.
Afflicted with social anxiety, he's found that writing songs, producing music and singing have proven to be a natural elixir in helping him make sense of an otherwise challenging daily battle. In Australia alone, a recent federal government report revealed three million people suffer from depression and anxiety. It's a common pain and increasingly becoming a societal concern.
While Tyler is conscious of his personal journey, sharing the experience through his music is creating a melodic release, and helping to reach out to many others who can find understanding in his words.
Tell me about your song 'Awkward Situations' it's an incredibly upbeat track, but obviously written from a place that is opposite to that.
What spurred the song and can you explain the process of writing, mixing, producing and bringing it to life?
First of all, thank you for these awesome questions, you really know what to ask, so, thank you.
Awkward Situations' was a way for me to express exactly who I am, and how I feel about situations that happen to me on a daily basis. I tried not to hold anything back with my lyrics, which I think helped make the song unique.
I wrote the song after a really bad day, my anxiety got the best of me and I broke down in a bathroom at work. When I got home, I didn't want to be depressed, so I turned my negative energy into positive energy.
I went to my friend Billy Houlihan to record and produce the song. He really gets me, and knew exactly what I wanted to do. Billy is a great coach, and is able to really push my limits. He even played the banjo for me.
I read a post of your Twitter page that really struck me: 'Writing music is insane. You literally have to put your heart on the table, for everyone to see... But that's the way it should be.'
Love to know more about this. I'm anticipating this is to do with your social anxiety as mentioned on Twitter?
You are correct! The best way to get over your fears is to face them directly. Your life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
Being able to completely express yourself through music doesn't help you understand yourself better, but your friends and family get to peak through the secret window of your life.
I hope that makes sense…
What else you get up to when you are not writing and singing?
When I am not writing or singing, I am wishing I was somewhere else with my beautiful fiancé, writing and singing.
Did you know NJ (New Jersey) is the #1 moved out of state in America? That's insane.
I really like videogames too; I finally bought the DLC for Skyrim!
Any plans to further your music in 2015?
I have finally decided to go solo. I never thought I was good enough to play music by myself, but recently, I've just felt capable of anything. It's like the opposite of a quarter life crisis.
I have great friends, who are willing to help me too, which is amazing; I don't deserve any of them.
Anyway, plans, I'm going to be recording an EP, getting merchandise, and playing everywhere I can. I really hope everyone will like what I have to offer.
I tuned into 'Twigs and Leaves' on your Soundcloud page. This line is really touching, "I'm counting down in seconds, so I don't give up in minutes."
You have a really melodic way with words, do you write any fiction or non-fiction as well?
Thanks for checking out my Soundcloud. That's where my songs start off as babies, before they grow into something more. Thank you for the compliment, I write my music like the way I would talk to a friend, or anyone willing to listen to my ramblings. I hope that makes sense too, clearly, I do not have a way with words at all. I don't write anything other than music, but I love reading. I enjoy anything Stephen King has to offer, that guy makes me sleep with the lights on.
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