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Tyler Shaw

Aug 01/2018
INTERVIEW Lisa Szabo PHOTOGRAPHY Riley Stewart STYLING Amber Watkins (Judy Inc.) GROOMING Brittany Sinclair (P1M)

Jacket – Diesel Shirt – Hugo Pants – Topman Shoes – Perry Ellis Rings – Vitaly

Tyler Shaw is going through a renaissance. After exploding onto the scene and the charts in 2012 with his hit single “Kiss Goodnight” and a wildly successful debut album that followed, it’s hard to imagine what the Canadian pop singer could possibly need to reinvent. But after two years of writing and exploring, Shaw has taken the reigns on developing a new album and a new sound that’s better in tune with his growth as an artist.

Just before the release of his new single “With You”, Georgie caught up with Shaw over the phone to talk about his upcoming album, mental health, and the feelings he’s harnessed into a musical renewal.

G— What were some of the biggest differences for you between making the upcoming album and making Yesterday?

TS—Yesterday was more so “I’m a new artist, I don’t really know what I want to do. This sounds cool on my voice, so does this.” With this album on the other hand, I know what I want. I know what melodies I want to go to and what I want to talk about. [Yesterday] came out in 2015, and ever since then, I mean, you go through life experiences and you go through different things and grow as a person and grow as an artist. I feel like because of all of the things that have happened in the past two years there’s been a lot of growth in my writing and producing, and storytelling.

G—Are there any growing experiences you can put your finger on?

TS—There are a bunch of things. My family dynamic is very interesting and depressing at the same time. A lot of things were coming out in my family [at that time] that I didn’t know about, and that was a darker place for me. But at the same time I’m madly in love—I recently got engaged. My new single “With You” is a story about how I met my fiancé. The album as a whole is literally just everything that’s happened in the past two years.

G— You’ve released three tracks off the upcoming album already, and particularly “Anybody out There” deals with some more contemplative subject matter. Did you explore some deeper themes on this record?

TS—Yeah, there are definitely songs like that. For instance, there’s a song called “Help Me” on the album that’s about my little brother who was going through some hard times. There’s a lot of dynamic on the album.

G— I saw some of your tweets for #BellLetsTalk, and you mention how you’ve written about some of your own experiences with mental health for the upcoming album. Was that a new experience for you?

TS—This was very new. Like I said, the creation of Yesterday was exciting, I just didn’t know myself. As cliché as that sounds, I didn’t know who I was, I didn’t know what I was doing in a sense. I knew when I would walk into sessions it was just all exciting, but this new album means a lot more to me. There’s more depth and it’s more personal.

G—I’ve heard a lot of people say that about the second album.

TS—For an artist it does take time, because when you first come out, you don’t really know what you’re doing. There’s a lucky handful who do, but there’s a lot who don’t. And the experience from the first album definitely made me think more about this album.

G— Having had a ton of success with your debut, Yesterday, and also with your own involvement co-writing and co-producing the upcoming album, do you feel like you were able to take some risks this time that maybe you couldn’t with the debut?

TS— I think because of how well the first album did I had the luxury to do the exploring and really just focus on what I wanted to portray in this album. So I mean, maybe some people would say it was a risk when they hear the album, but for me it was literally what I was feeling that day. This guitar lick feels right, that lyric feels right, this melody feels right. That’s how all the songs really came together—whatever felt right. And to some that may be too far out of the zone or whatever, but for me, this is my art and my creation and everything from my heart and soul put into song.

G—Was your goal with the album to create something genuinely “Tyler Shaw” or was that just a happy result?

TS—I guess a bit of both. We did so much exploring, and unfortunately in the music industry there’s a battle between what the industry wants and what you want to do as an artist. And I think artists now are stepping out and being like no, it’s an art, we as artists need to create our art, and if you want it cool, if you don’t, it’ll find a home somewhere. Literally this whole album was a feeling that I put into music, and it’s a sweet, sweet feeling.

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The Beaches

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