After taking time out of the spotlight, Tyler Shaw is back with a new single released from his upcoming album set to drop in Fall 2018. The album, which Shaw took two years to write and record, features songs that reflect his growth as an artist and his ability to open up about real issues.
His latest single, 'Anybody Out There', addresses struggles like depression and anxiety. This single is honest and transparent, and reveals another side to Shaw that wasn't necessarily uncovered in his earlier hits.
We caught up with Tyler to discuss the release of his new single, his upcoming album and the creative process he went through over the past two years.
Winslow: Anybody Out There has a much more raw and emotional feel compared to some of your previous pop anthem songs like Cautious, which dropped in January, or Kiss Goodnight .... what was the inspiration behind writing Anybody Out There?
Tyler Shaw: Well, the whole album I’ve written is based off of everything that’s happened in the last two years. We took two years to write the album and I went through a lot of personal changes and just, you know, figuring things out so to speak... figuring myself out as a person and artist and really getting in tune with reality.
The song Anybody Out There, in particular, is about feeling alone. There were definitely times during those two years that I was feeling isolated even though throughout the whole industry you’re surrounded by people all the time… there’s just this feeling you get sometimes that there really isn't anybody out there – pun intended (laughs). And not only myself, but I know a few of my family members have gone through some depression and anxiety, so I was able to hear their stories and but that emotion into the song as well.
That being said, from the growth of Kiss Goodnight to Cautious, which is the other side of the album... like I said, the two years I took to really take the time to figure out what I wanted to write about with this album really came in handy and I’m really glad I took that time because I feel like we came out with something special.
Winslow: That’s amazing and yeah, that time you took is definitely reflected in the music. Going off of that, music plays a significant role in the movement around raising awareness about mental illness and reducing the stigma around mental health - what do you hope your music adds to the conversation?
Tyler Shaw: Exactly what you said – a conversation. You know, let’s start a dialogue on how we can make things better for people with mental illness and put the dialogue into action… Because there’s a lot of talk but not a lot of action. I feel like with the music I have coming out, I think it will stimulate conversation... and with that in mind, I’m ready to put my conversation to action.
Winslow: These issues can be hard to address in music. What factors do you think helped you grow a person and as an artist to be able to start addressing issues like anxiety and depression outright in your music?
Tyler Shaw: You know, honestly, I think I made mistakes… And you learn from them. It’s not necessarily a great thing but I feel like in order to figure out yourself you almost have to make mistakes .. so I made them. I went on adventures, I took chances, I leaped for things I didn’t think I could leap for... I fell madly, madly in-love.. I’m newly engaged.. so it’s all of these other factors that really help you explore yourself and challenge yourself as a person and as an artist. It shows in the growth of your artistry, at least for me.
Winslow: And that’s a really special thing for fans, to hear your growth in your music... That said, with the release of this single, you’ve explained that you experienced a great deal of emotion and anxiety moving from Vancouver to Toronto. What advice would you give to an artist who may be following in those same footsteps, where they’re new to the Toronto scene, or any new city for that matter, to pursue their artistic dreams while trying to navigate all those changes alone.
Tyler Shaw: I mean you have to work hard at it… The music industry when I was fresh into it, I thought was really easy going, but that’s not the reality of it. There’s definitely challenges and obstacles that you need to be ready for. And you need to work at it very very hard – day in and day out. Put yourself out there, play shows as much as you can, be creative as much as you can, talk to people as much as you can, and just be a positive influence and a positive energy because that’ll go far.
Winslow: That's true, positivity attracts positivity. Like we were discussing earlier, Cautious has a very different feel than Anybody Out There… The full album is set to come out in fall. What can fans expect for the overall theme and vibe of the album?
Tyler Shaw: This whole album is based off of a feeling, with that being said, every session I went into I wasn’t overthinking things… it was more so: this chord progression feels right, this lyric feels right, this melody feels right… This feels right, singing this song. If it didn’t feel right I didn’t record it. So, all of these songs you’ll hear in the album this fall or in my live shows this summer, is everything that has come straight from the soul and straight from the heart.
Tyler's full album is set to drop fall 2018. Watch his music video for Anybody Out There featuring Amaal Nuux below.