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Tyler Rich: 5 Songs That Shaped the Songwriter

by Jim Casey
Tyler Rich 5 Songs That Shaped the Songwriter
(photo by David OD, courtesy Valory Music)

California-to-Nashville transplant Tyler Rich has found plenty of success since moving to Music City eight years ago. Signed to Big Machine’s Valory Music label, Tyler released his debut album, Two Thousand Miles, in 2020. The 11-song offering (Tyler penned eight of the tunes) garnered more than 445 million global streams, including Gold-certified single, “The Difference.”

And, good news. Tyler is busy at work on his sophomore album. Earlier this week, Tyler released a video for his new song, “I Know You Do,” a track he penned with Jaron Boyer and Micah Wilshire. In the meantime, the singer/songwriter is keeping a busy tour schedule, with upcoming stops in Las Vegas, San Diego, Nashville, and more.

Outsider caught up to Tyler to find out the 5 Songs That Shaped the Songwriter.

1. ‘The Dance’ – Garth Brooks (written by Tony Arata)

Tyler Rich: This song made me want to become a songwriter. The melody, the heartache, it’s all mesmerizing to me. I like to think this song shaped me, and ruined me, because I sure do love to write slow ballads.

2. ‘The Remedy’ – Jason Mraz (written by Jason Mraz, Lauren Christy, Scott Spock, Graham Edwards)

Tyler Rich: The remedy to the monotonous melodies we naturally spit out when writing is found in this song. Jason inspires me—still to this day—to get creative with vocal flows and rhythms. You can say a lot in 16 bars and he proves it with this song. 

3. ‘Man in the Mirror’ – Michael Jackson (written by Glen Ballard, Siedah Garrett)

Tyler Rich: There are many . . . but “Man in the Mirror” lands as number one on the list of songs I wish I’d written. An upbeat, feelgood, infectious singalong with a lyrical intention to change the world. I mean, come ON. 

4. ‘You’ll Think of Me’ – Keith Urban (written by Darrell Brown, Ty Lacy, Dennis Matkosky)

Tyler Rich: This one will always strike an emotional chord with me. When I write a song about heartbreak, I usually ask myself if it will hit the listener the same way this song hits me. A simple story being told with details we all have felt and think about, but forget to sometimes say. 

5. ‘Banana Pancakes’ – Jack Johnson

Tyler Rich: This one does a lot for me as a writer and performer. Playing this song—and Jason Mraz songs—in beach bars on the California coast taught me to play with my hand instead of a pick to make my acoustic percussive while strumming. I use this style every day of my life now, whether in the studio writing or on the stage.