Good Evening everyone and welcome to another Music Monday. Today I’m featuring Hit Me Like A Dream by the fantastic Tyler Levs.
Tyler is a singer songwriter from Maine in the US. I discovered him through twitch were he streams multiple days of the week. His streams are alway great fun with Tyler being very friendly and welcoming. He’s a twitch partner on Twitch which means he has a lot of people watching him and I think it so lovely that he always remembers everyone who comes into his streams.
Tyler was lovely enough to answer some questions about himself and his music, which you can read below.
You can follow Tyler on social media or watch him on twitch my clicking the links below.
How To Listen:
Tyler has some great original music that I enjoy listening to which are available on a major streaming platforms as linked below. I have included the video of Hit Me Like A Dream below!
Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m Tyler Levs and I’ve been playing live music on Twitch since December 2016. I mainly sing, play guitar and use a loopstation. I do however dabble in piano/ keyboard, drums, bass and music production. Additionally I play many covers and have original music as well.
What first got you into music?
Music was always fun from a young age. My parents listened to a lot of classic rock and modern alternative so I was constantly exposed to music. The first instrument (besides the recorder haha) I ever played was the trumpet. I realized then that music was fun and I wanted to continue learning. Unfortunately I decided trumpet wasn’t cool (my biggest musical regret) and picked up guitar instead. I spent too many years trying to teach myself, getting frustrated and then stopping for a period of time until I decided I would get back into it. I played / sang like this all through high school and college before starting my Twitch streams.
Who inspired you to make music?
My first inspirations to play music were rock/ metal bands like Zeppelin, Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, Metallica, BfMV, Linkin Park etc (the full list is incredibly long).However I started playing acoustic guitar and singing (my main style) because of John Mayer. There was something contrasted by my rock/metal taste and JMs bluesy pop style. Knowing someone could write/ perform their music by themselves felt hopeful especially as I continued to pursue music. I didn’t have many friends who played music growing up and the few who did either moved away/ disconnected or didn’t feel as interested as I was. I always wanted to play in a band but without a group and with little spare time due to sports I always played alone.
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
My music is very genre-inclusive. I’ve done a lot of experimentation with styles and continue to do so. I like to write the songs first and let the genre fall where it does. I’ve written songs in a chill singer-songwriter style, southern rock/ country, pop, alternative and even collaborative edm tunes.
What is your creative process like?
My process is exploratory. The easiest songs are the ones that just come out of nowhere with instrumentation and lyrics. They aren’t common so it’s important to be prepared for them. Otherwise I’ll typically write lyrics / melody and focus on instrumentation. I’ll sometimes work on an instrumental / loop and write what I feel comes natural over the top of it. Collaborating is my favorite part of writing because it’s extremely inspiring to work with others. Collaborating is my least experienced way of writing as well.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I’m open to many possible collaborations. I believe collaborating with many people will mutually help both parties write in more creative ways. That being said, any opportunity I have to collaborate with Joliet4 cannot come soon enough. We wrote “Caught Up” together and she’s been top podium for collaborators ever since. I still question how I got so lucky to work with her haha.
In terms of major artists, I’d really love to work with just about anyone who would be willing to work with me. I could really see myself co-writing with major singer-songwriters (Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift etc) then turning around and writing a few songs with more alternative style/ metal bands (Twenty One Pilots, The Foo Fighters, Bring Me the Horizon). I’ve been extremely obsessed with the band Valley; not sure what I would add to their songs but I would love to try.
I have 0 expectations and have been going where the opportunities take me!
If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?
It really depends on the situation. If it were a one-time open then I would want it to be for a lesser known group/ band/ person. I think it would be nice to organically connect with people in the same stage of their careers. If I were touring with an artist as an opener I would love to open for someone like John Mayer, Valley or Ed Sheeran. Opening on a tour is a little different because you are more likely to converse/ work with the artist you’re touring with. Opening one show doesn’t guarantee much especially if the headliner is a well-known artist.
What is one message you would give to your fans?
The biggest thing I tell my “fans” (I call them friends because fans don’t seem intimate enough for me) and even people who don’t like what I do for that matter is that your time is a currency. It’s extremely underrated but it truly is something you have a finite amount of and you choose how to spend it. I’m glad that my friends have spent their currency with me and I will continue to use mine to hopefully inspire others to pursue their dreams, learn an instrument, practice their craft and/or connect through music.
What is the most useless talent you have?
I’m not sure how “useless” this is but I can still play ice hockey. I played goalie my Junior and Senior year of high school and walked on to a D3 team as a back up. I played an alumni game back in Jan 2020 and was pretty surprised that I could still move as well as I did after six years of inactivity. I will say I couldn’t walk right for roughly two weeks haha.
Do you sing in the shower? What songs?
I used to sing in the shower a lot. It typically was whatever song I was into at the moment (which changed a lot I might add). One of the only go-tos that come to mind is Michael Buble’s “Haven’t Met You Yet”. There’s something about the pop/ crooning style that just feels fun. Nowadays I typically don’t sing in the shower because I sing anywhere from 30 to 40 hours a week.
What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?
Truthfully I have no clue. I quit my full-time job to pursue music as my career. I left before streaming was financially stable because I realized how short life truly is. It was sheer desperation to get myself out of a job that was fairly well paying but absolutely soul-sucking. Whatever I fall into I know that music will always remain a big part of my life. I may not always be able to say it is my full-time job but I will figure that out when the time comes.
Where have you performed? What are your favourite and least favourite venues? Do you have any upcoming shows?
I haven’t performed much outside of my stream rooms. Prior to streaming I filled in as a bassist for a band and played a small wedding in high school. I played two talent shows in college, filled in as a rhythm guitarist/ back up singer for a small show and did one open mic. Since streaming I’ve played a couple shows at a yacht club, two local open mics and did an “open mic tour” where I drove to a different state every day and played a predetermined venue. After the open mic I would drive as close to the next venue as I could, find a WalMart and sleep in the back seat of my car in the parking lot. Rinse and repeat for two weeks.
All of the in-person shows are nerve-wracking. The open mic tour gave me a lot of needed experience so I can finally say the performance anxiety feels a little more like performance excitement. I am completely in my element on stream because I’ve put almost 6000 hours into it as of now.
I currently don’t have any upcoming shows as I am focusing on recording and producing a couple of my original songs before I try to expand my audience with live shows.
How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
I feel that the internet has helped the music business in many ways. It’s more expensive now because you can reach millions of people within a very short amount of time and with a lot less effort. We no longer depend on physical shows or merchandise to get a name out there. I would say it’s even more important for independent musicians. We no longer live in a world where the top .1% of musicians make a living. As an independent creator myself the internet has completely made music viable. I am able to stream from my room and reach thousands of people who are willing to support what I do. I don’t depend on traveling with my gear and setting up shows. I don’t have to budget for travel expenses or worry about damages. Even during COVID when the live music scene was taking a hit I was able to solidify my stream as a full-time job thanks to my community. I would say there are far more positive impacts on the music business than there are negatives thanks to the internet.
What is your favourite song to perform?
I definitely don’t have a favourite. I would say I enjoy performing originals for the people who connect with/ enjoy them. Otherwise I love to play what people want to hear. I do enjoy a good number of live learn’s as well because they help expose me to new music and help me improve my skillsets.
Which famous musicians do you admire?
I have various reasons for admiring a lot of “famous” musicians. For example: I admire John Mayer’s songwriting, guitar playing and unique vocal style. I admire Ed Sheeran’s songwriting, vocals and collaborative works. I admire Taylor Swift’s songwriting, vocal/ melodic style, her undeniable ability to connect with her fans and her ability to experiment while staying true to herself. I admire A Day to Remember for their songwriting, their metal / rock / pop hybrid sound and their passion for music despite anyonelses doubts. I admire NF for his songwriting, lyrics, flow and his opposition to the popular style in his genre.
There’s a lot of love / hate around famous musicians. I personally believe we as a society have a responsibility to be a bit more selective about the type of people who become famous. Rather than hating on people we should support the ones we love and allow better people to get their shot.
What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?
I’ve never been much of a rebel or rule-breaker. One time I got pulled over for driving an unregistered vehicle. It was definitely an unfortunate situation because the vehicle belonged to my dad and I was completely unaware of the situation. I had to appear in court for it. Luckily nothing really came of it because the judge understood that it truly was an accident and I had no record. It was on my record for six months and dropped off as long as there were no other incidents (which there were not).
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
The best advice for music that I live by is actually a quote from the Deadmau5 masterclass. “If you can impact one person with your music, then it’ is pretty much worth it”. I like to take this one step farther and say even if that one person is yourself then it’s worth it. Many people think “making it” means becoming famous or making millions of dollars. Based on this quote I already feel like I’ve made it and I’ve been making it ever since I picked up a guitar. No matter what comes my way I know the reason I write and play is because I want to connect with people and express in ways that I couldn’t without music.
If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
I feel “artists” are over-valued by comparison to “musicians, producers and songwriters”. I know that the industry needs a face and a personality for people to connect with but I feel it’s too much like a “business machine” and not enough of an art form. I don’t ever see that changing because the concept of “artists” has been around for such a long time. However I think there should be more respect for the other parts of the process and luckily with the expanding amount of information available thanks to the internet we’re moving in the right direction.
What’s next for you?
I wish I could tell you., not because it’s a secret but because I really don’t know. I’m waiting at a wall of opportunity and there are so many doors. Wherever I get the knock is where I’m going. I never dreamed that I would be where I am today so rather than constantly dream bigger I’m enjoying what I have and trying to hold on to the moment. I have absolutely zero expectations. Things could explode to some astronomical level in the next month. I could lose my entire music career and have to move onto something else tomorrow. No matter the outcome I know two things to be true: 1) I will be doing something with music until the day I die and 2) I’m thankful for all of the opportunities and support I’ve been given thus far.
I would like to say thank you so much for reaching and it was a pleasure responding to these questions. All the love!
My pleasure Tyler thanks for taking the time to answer my questions!
Music Monday Playlist:
You can now listen to Tyler and all other previously featured Music Monday artists on a special playlist I’ve created on Spotify, linked below.