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'Keeping A Grip on Reality'
Singer-songwriter Tyrone Wells masterfully blends pop, soul and rock infusing each song with energy and passion. Tyrone has a classic and powerful voice that can fill a thousand seat capacity venue while singing a cappella or rocking out with his band. His cool-headed stage presence seems to radiate with his love for people and his longtime passion for “music that matters.”
In his five years on the music scene as a singer-songwriter, Tyrone has evolved in an honest and organic manner, first scrambling for gigs and selling albums from the trunk of his car to eventually packing out The House of Blues, The El Rey Theatre, Troubadour and having his songs featured prominently on television programs. Wells’ major label debut Hold On for Universal Republic Records is a fresh release filled with new promises.
The first single from the record “What Are We Fighting For?” exemplifies his ability to mingle different styles into a seamless composition. A pulsing rocker fueled by a love for R&B, the song blends organic acoustic guitar, choir vocals and chiming organ into a complete array of sound. Lyrically, “What Are We Fighting For?” is just as multifaceted, addressing subjects like the difficulty of relationship, racial reconciliation and the futility of war.
Taking it from the top and what were your musical influences growing up and how many still factor into your music today? "Being the son of a preacher man, I was mostly exposed to gospel music growing up. I then got into a lot of r&b, such as the Commodores, Stevie Wonder, Take 6, etc. In the last several years I have really got into James Taylor, Simon & Garfunkel, Patty Griffin, and Ray Lamontagne."
For the Average Joe who may not have heard of you, and was thinking of buying your new CD how would you yourself describe your sound? "Soulful, alternative songs with pop sensibilities."
Please reveal to us what you went thru in those early days scrambling for gigs and selling albums from the trunk of your car? Was it as desperate and as scary as it sounds? "The early years of my independent career were actually pretty rewarding. Of course, there were those gigs that I would've rather skipped ... and some very discouraging times. But each time someone bought a record it helped me to believe that what I was doing was connecting. And it encouraged me to keep on pushing. I learned that when you want something bad enough you just have to be consistent and continue to work hard. And eventually you can achieve whatever it is your attempting to achieve. Sounds a little like a motivational speech, I know but I really believe it. It has proven true in my life!"
Please tell us more (in a quick fashion!) about what was going on in your life when these songs were being written and recorded:
'What Are We Fighting For?' - "I watched the evening news and got depressed about all the people dying as a result of the wars that are going on. I tried to write a song that dealt with the way I was feeling."
'Baby Don't You Change' - "I was thinking about my now wife (then girlfriend) and all of the women in the world that feel a lot of pressure to be something they are not. Pressure from the fashion world's depiction of beauty ... and pressure we men put on them."
'Dream Like New York' - "I wrote this song with my wife, Elina, the first time I visited New York City. We ran all over the city and were inspired by the electricity and granduer of the city. We thought of the countless faces from all over the world that move to the U.S., through New York City and hope to make a better life for themselves. We took a guitar to Central Park and penned the song."
It seems from looking at your press photos that you're a very thoughtful, concerned young man. Does you not smiling in your photos mean just that in real life or is this just a 'music image,' perhaps? "I need to smile more in press photos! I'm not as serious as all that. I don't typically feel totally comfortable in photo shoots, so maybe that's why I appear so concerned."
What 80s (and possibly cheesy!) pop/rock song would you love to cover, today if asked ... and why?! "'Hello' from the Commodores. (I think it's from the 80's). In junior high I wore that cassette out, and I've always been a hopeless romantic!"
Lastly, Exclusive Magazine love Penguins ... do you?! "Not a day goes by without me feeling an intense longing to hold one close. "Hold on, Hold on to me" ... (shameless plug for my album)"