Social Ward: Coloradoan Tyler Ward is among the growing trend of musicians using social media to launch their careers.
“When I step out on the stage, there’s thousands of fans and it’s amazing. It’s so loud and intoxicating. There’s just so many people out there and they actually care, it’s awesome,” Tyler Ward explained. When Tyler steps on to the stage at one of his concerts, there’s a huge crowd of people waiting to sing along with him to their favorite songs and it’s all for a Colorado native, that a lot of people are still discovering for the first time.
Tyler, an independent Pop musician based out of Denver, has quickly climbed the ladder of popularity. His claim to fame has come through the use of social media sites to grow his fanbase. Ward has had a lot of success on Youtube, gaining nearly a million views on each video he has made and he uploads about two videos a week, on average. Most of his early success has been through the internet liking his covers of songs. That has led to the label Sony Germany signing Tyler to a record deal.
He’s a rising star and he’s from Colorado, but he has national likeability. Ward brings a new energy to the music world with his smooth vocals, sweet lyrics and overabundance of charm. Though his good looks might bring in some of his female fans, there’s definitely some musical talent here that would attract fans all across the board.
Tyler was originally born in Houston, Texas and eventually moved to Colorado, while being enrolled in the United States Air Force Preparatory School. Early in Ward’s years, he was pushed to be an athlete and that’s why he was enrolled at USAFPS, to start a football career, but his heart had always been with music. So, that’s why he’s currently a musician and music producer.
“I actually didn’t play music at an early age, because I was into sports,” Ward said. “My dad even held me back a year so I would be 19 years old when I graduated from high school, which is kind of crazy.”
At school, he didn’t have much time to be a musician outside of sports, but it was his freshman year, in high school, when he first started to produce music. As a developing musician, he didn’t know everything he was capable of, so he didn’t make any big moves during high school, but that all changed once he was out of school.
“My mom had always played classical music on the piano, so there was always music in my home, but I just didn’t how to do any of that,” Ward explained.
After his brief stay at the University of Northern Colorado, to study journalism, Ward started diving into his music writing and it was all uphill after that. Ward decided that music was his passion and tackled it head on. Music wasn’t new to him at this point and he knew what path he needed to take. So, this was around the time he created his Youtube channel and started uploading covers of his favorite songs.
“I was kind of late to the Goo Goo Dolls party, but they have been a big influence of mine,” Ward said. “Ryan Tedder, too. He has been quite influential and inspirational to me.”
While Ward was plucking away at his music, he looked to other musicians to motivate himself to keep moving forward and he didn’t have to look very far with two big groups starting their music careers in Colorado. OneRepublic and The Fray were groups that helped motivate Ward, because it showed him that it was possible to create a fruitful music following from Colorado.
“Ryan Tedder is actually from Colorado Springs,” Ward added. “I remember, three years ago, waking up on his couch after a New Year’s party and listening to some of his new music. Being around that really inspired me to be in the business of music.”
With Ward living in Los Angeles he has been able to do a lot more work with bigger musicians, even though; he really misses his family back in the midwest. His first milestone moment came when he performed a duet with The Band Perry and then eventually did a cover of Jason Derulo’s “The Other Side,” with an actual appearance from Derulo. The acoustic version they did together actually made the studio cut of Derulo’s album, as a bonus track.
The biggest help for Ward has come from Youtube and other Youtube artists. Various artists and collaborations with people like Boyce Avenue and Alex G have helped out Tyler along the way. The relationship between Ward and Boyce Avenue is what led to him opening up for Boyce Avenue on their European tour, in 2011. This could very well be the reason that Ward now has a record deal with Sony Germany. With the record deal, this means he gets help in Europe, but still remains independent outside of Europe.
“The Youtube community has been a big help to me, as well as many other musicians,” Ward said. “I’ve gotten to work with Hunter Hayes, Jason Mraz and many other huge artists. Being able to do music has truly been a blessing.”
Ward feels that he has time left for another album under his belt, as a musician, but he has aspirations to help produce other artists. He wants to provide help to other artists, just like how others have been able to offer him help. Since Tyler has come from humble beginnings, it has really been a surprise to Ward that he has been able to do so much in the last three years and doesn’t take any of his success for granted. Through all the little obstacles, Ward has finally established himself as an artist and there’s so many things that he has left to do.
“It’s all been pretty crazy,” Ward said. “I look at everything I’ve done so far, and I just think to myself, I’m just a kid from Colorado doing it!”
When Ward finally finds time outside of his busy schedule, he likes to hang out with friends and just relax, but that’s only after he gets in his work out. The inner athlete, that still remains in Ward, comes out of him when he finds time to exercise and go running.
“I love staying in shape and hanging out,” Ward explained. “But I really, really love staying in shape.”
So, in between music, exercising and having a huge crush on Taylor Swift, Ward has been able to go out, but not without getting noticed. His new found fame has him getting noticed when he goes out to the store and other places, but he quickly explained that it isn’t on a superstar level and he’s glad it isn’t.
“I don’t know how superstars do it,” Ward said. “But I really enjoy my fans.”
Ward described his fans as his friends. “They’re my frans,” Ward said. All his fans know everything going on his life, because he manages to stay connected with everyone through social media sites. They constantly get Twitter updates, photos on Instagram and even video updates through his Youtube channel, so when people start following Tyler Ward, they’re going to be added to his family.
Ward is is thankful for his fans and he’s extremely thankful to his team, because he would be lost without his partners. They do a lot for him, in the areas that Ward don’t have time for. Due to all the things that need to be done, Ward can’t handle the whole load on his own as an independent artist.
“I love my fans and I love the team I work with,” Ward said. “But my message to my fans is, without you… I’m nothing.”
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