Tyler Braden; Photo by Chris Hollo
Tyler Braden; Photo by Chris Hollo

Tyler Braden Talks ‘What Do They Know’ EP, “Dream Come True” Opry Debut & Teases “Big News” Coming

From working seven years as a firefighter and first responder to signing with a major label as a country artist, Tyler Braden is making a name for himself in the music industry through his rock-inspired songs and emotional-filled lyrics.

Coming off the high from being a special guest on Brantley Gilbert’s ‘Worst Country Tour Of All Time,’ Braden has something new to celebrate. Last month, the Alabama native made his debut at the Grand Ole Opry, adding another major accomplishment to his repertoire.

“It was beyond a dream come true, and it was everything I’d hoped it could be and more,” Braden told Music Mayhem. “The hospitality from the Opry crew was unmatched, and I’ll remember that debut forever.”

Braden is moving his way up to the top, as he has already seen great success in his career and has done things that some artists wait years to experience. Recently, he was nominated for MusicRow‘s 2021 Discovery Artist of the Year at the 33rd Annual MusicRow Awards as well as has been named an 2022 Music Mayhem Artist To Watch and has already surpassed 70 million streams overall. This is the time for him to hone in on his craft and find his sound and that’s exactly what he tried to do in his debut EP, What Do They Know, which contains a diverse array of sounds from ballads to upbeat rock.

“In the project I wanted to show as many sides of myself as possible – to show range in my songwriting and as an artist,” Braden shared.

His highly-anticipated What Do They Know EP produced by Randy Montana, Mark Holman, and Adam Wood was just released this past November. It features seven hard-hitting tracks including “Ways To Miss You,” “Secret,” “Better Off,” and more.

Braden recently caught up with Music Mayhem to talk about the recording process behind his latest EP, playing on stage at the Grand Ole Opry for the first time, what’s to come in the near future and more.

Continue reading to learn more about everything Braden has been up to.

Who is Tyler Braden? Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a laid-back guy from a very small town in Alabama. I spent 7 years in the fire service before venturing into a full-time spot in the music industry and I believe it really made me who I am in that I’m able to stay pretty levelheaded through all the ups and downs of an industry like this.

How would you describe yourself as a singer/songwriter and your sound?

As a writer, I’m always very focused on how a song will sound live and what it will look like in a show because that is where you connect with your fans. Our show have a strong rock influence and I love to have a good time on stage, so I show that through my music as often as possible.

Back in November, you released your debut EP, What Do They Know – what was your main goal while writing and recording this project?

In the project I wanted to show as many sides of myself as possible – to show range in my songwriting and as an artist. I love to see what type of song draws what type of fan and there’s no better way to see that than a diverse EP.

Could you walk us through the songwriting process for your EP, What Do They Know, and how did you get into the creative mindset to pen this collection?

As I said before, I tend to picture the live show and try to find the best way to make the live performance convey the emotion felt in the writing room. I was blessed to write with amazing co-writers over the years leading up to this project, so spreading that emotion out and really showing who I am was made that much easier.

Out of all seven tracks on “What Do They Know,” Which one was the most difficult to write and why?

I would have to say the hardest song was “Try Losing One” because I knew there was a lot of emotion available in the idea and really nailing the lyrics along with the melody took a lot of back and forth. I loved that process.

When your fans listen to your EP top to bottom, how would you like them to feel?

I want the fans to be able to follow the emotions of each song, to relate, and to find something that they can cling to. Everyone is different, so I hope the diversity brings something for everyone.

In 2022, could we expect you to round out the EP and make it a full-length album?

Only time can really tell when a full album will be possible, but I love putting out music, so I’m hoping the timing is right this year.

Do you have any behind-the-scenes secrets about this EP that might surprise fans?

One small tidbit is that I didn’t even care for the song “What Do They Know” when we finished it. It took a while to grow a real attachment to it along with rewriting and adding parts, but ultimately it became the most true-to-my-story song on the project.

Tyler Braden; Photo Provided
Tyler Braden; Photo Provided

Earlier this month, you made your Grand Ole Opry debut – tell me about this experience?

It’s really impossible to adequately put it into words, but it was beyond a dream come true, and it was everything I’d hoped it could be and more. The hospitality from the Opry crew was unmatched, and I’ll remember that debut forever. I was part of an amazing lineup and sang in front of an amazing crowd filled with familiar faces.

Would you say stepping into the legendary circle at the Grand Ole Opry was a career milestone for you?

Absolutely. It’s a first that I’ll always dream of repeating. I truly felt like a part of Country music that night.

Before you stepped out on stage at the Opry, did you receive a pep talk or advice from anyone?

I don’t know if I’d call it a pep talk, but I had tremendous support from so many friends and loved ones that night that I felt ready. Also, multiple crew members stopped me and told me to make sure to slow down and take it all in which really showed how much they really care about the artist’s experience.

You have some upcoming shows in the pipeline right now – what could fans expect when they see you live and in-person?

We try to make every show meaningful and memorable to everyone there, and we love to have fun, so we try to make it a party!

Is there anyone in country music that you would like to collaborate with this year?

It’s hard to wish for anything within a year, but I’d love to collaborate with HARDY one day or Brothers Osborne.

Do you have any project in the pipeline right now that fans should look out for?

We have big news in the coming months that we are keeping under our hats, but it’s going to be an exciting year!

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