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SoundMojo’s Interview with Solo Artist ‘Tyrone Wells’

Tyrone Wells is a singer-songwriting who’s been on the music scene for about five years but is just now starting to get some of the recognition he deserves. That’s not to say that he didn’t have dedicated fans attending his weekly gigs in a coffee shop singing along to his songs, but now he’s seeing his music used on popular television shows like Grey’s Anatomy and is getting acclaim and attention for his newest album titled “Hold On” and pretty much just hoping to reach a wider audience. He was also nice enough to answer a few of our questions and even include some advice for aspiring singer songwriters. Give the interview a read and then check out some of this talented artists music at his myspace page. Here we go:

1) The first song on your album Hold On, is called “What are we fighting for” and is definitely politically charged. Are politics something you’ve always been passionate about or was it encouraged by the music and your ability to present a subject like the ‘futility of war’ to an audience?

I do not intend to be politically charged as an artist. I think that politics typically divide people… whereas: it’s my intention to get people to unite. It’s just hard to ignore the war and the results of war. I wrote the song after watching the news one night and feeling depressed about what’s going on. It’s idealistic I know, but I keep hoping that we’ll all learn to put our differences aside and get along with one another.

2) You started off as a solo artist playing a lot of coffeehouse gigs and similar small shows. How does that shape you as an artist who’s now on his way to bigger things?

I think it just makes me more appreciative of the growth. I’m an artist that has worked hard to be where I am, and that helps me to not take it for granted.

3) What would be your advice to a young singer/songwriter who’s just starting off playing coffeehouse but has bigger dreams?

I would say that you’re doing the right thing. In today’s marketplace it’s extremely important to be a self-starter. The labels and management companies want to see someone that’s already out there doing it before they buy into an act. They want to see you packing in the fans, they want to see you selling a lot of records on your own. You can book your own shows and make your own records and start building a fan base. When you start packing them in to your coffeehouse gigs you can start booking some bigger rooms. You have to look at your career as a marathon, not a short sprint. It takes a while to grow something substantial. Be patient and work hard.

4) As someone on the verge of fame(or who is famous… I’m not sure how they calculate these things…) has it been a hard road to get to where you are now? Or has it been easy because of your dedication and love for the music?

It’s definitely been a long road to get where I am today. (I don’t think of myself as famous yet… I guess I have some regional recognition though.) There have been times when I really doubt myself and the music I make. Like most of the artists I know, I have my insecurities and wonder if I have what it takes. But, for the most part, because I am dedicated and relentless in my effort and love of making music that matters, I have found it to be easy.

5) You have a very soulful voice on this record, have you always sung that way, or did your voice evolve as you grew as a musician?

I grew up listening a lot to gospel and r & b. I have always gravitated towards music that grooves and singers with soul. I probably started developing the soul in my voice in junior high, but it has definitely matured and developed over the years.

6) In your Bio it mentions that when you were performing a weekly gig in a coffeehouse you would often try out different sounds onstage, even including yodeling! What other sounds did you incorporate and has anything stuck?

One thing that I started incorporating a lot into my set was storytelling. Not a sound I know.. but it became a vital part of my show. As far as sounds…I would beat box from time to time. Storytelling, beat-boxing and yodeling are still a big part of my show.

7) You’ve had lots of your songs used in television shows such as Rescue Me, One Tree Hill, etc… What kind of an impact has that had? It seems to me that it’s a great way for a new artist to get some exposure.

The television placements have helped spread the music a lot. I meet people at shows all the time that tell me the first time they heard me was on such and such TV show.

8) Who are some musicians that you admired when you were younger? And what are some bands/artists that you’re listening to these days?

Here’s a little mixed up list of artists I loved then and now… Stevie Wonder, King’s X, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, Ray Lamontagne, Joan Osborne, Snow Patrol, Patty Griffin

9) If you had to model your career after another musician who would it be and why?

That’s hard to say… maybe James Taylor….because he has made consistently good music throughout his career.

10) What’s next for Tyrone Wells? Touring? Recording? World Domination?

All of the above. The life of an artist really is touring, writing, and recording. The other thing in the mix that is of the utmost importance to me is having time to hang with my wife. I think a lot of artists that get to this level, see their families fall apart because of neglect. I will be an artist that nurtures my family and my art.

That’s it! Thanks for answering our questions Tyrone. The album sounds great and I wish you all the best. Cheers!