Weekend Feature: Adventist Young Adult Trying to Make a Country Music Career in Nashville
by AT News Team
Tyler Moody says it was right around high school when he began to think that his passion for music might become his career. He had always loved music, had sung in choirs most of his life, and had taken eight years of piano lessons as a boy. As he neared adulthood, he found his spirituality and his sense of relationship with Christ becoming more important to him, and one of the best ways he connected with God was through the music he was listening to. And the songs he wrote.
When he sometimes sang his songs for others, he found that people expressed gratitude and they felt connected with God. He began to wonder if he could build a lifework that would bless others as he was himself blessed.
Tyler enrolled at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. He entered a Commercial Music major, which is, as he puts it, “music that’s not classical.” This program also includes classes in marketing; how to position oneself and one’s work in the marketplace; promotional skills, etc. Belmont is a hub for musicians and music professionals, and Tyler feels he has learned as much or more from informal conversations and observing all these people outside of class as he has in the formal training.
However, this has not been an entirely comfortable experience, Tyler told Adventist Today. During his first semester he began to have second thoughts. “In high school, I was always known as ‘the music guy.’ At Belmont, surrounded by people of great talent, I became a teeny, tiny little fish in a very big pond!” Tyler says.
He was suddenly confronted with three big questions: “Is it smart for me to try and do music as a career? Do I want to? How hard am I going to have to work to do this?” He remembers reading someone who said that we tend to think of someone’s gift as the most important thing, but that in fact, it’s the passion behind the gift that matters most. He thought and prayed about his life-long passion for music and when it came down to it, “I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.” He decided he would have to trust that God would lead him where he needed to go and provide for him along the way.
Tyler also made a crucial decision about what he would write. “I hope I never write a song that I’m trying to sell to some particular company or person. My music helps me because I am totally honest with myself. I see my songs as my way of putting things in my life into perspective. It helps me heal and move on. People are all human, so if I remain completely honest and true to myself, if I only write for myself, then I hope that will also help others to find perspective and healing.”
Tyler grew up in the Adventist Church. He still feels closely connected to his Adventist roots and goes to his home church when he is back in Ohio, but right now, “being a believer is more important to me” than a particular denomination. He says he is still searching into the deeper doctrinal issues. He has not connected with a local church in Nashville.
Tyler defines his music as mostly secular pop/rock, “with spirit flowing through it.” He has a five-person band called (echolove)—the parentheses represent sound waves—and a web site at https://www.echolovemusic.com where those who subscribe to his E-mail list for one or two mailings a month can down load his music free of charge.
Two of his songs are from an upcoming CD due out in April. It is named No Bad Heart. He also has a shorter musical project called The Soundwave Project, which is available on iTunes now.
Tyler says the greatest joy of his work is when people tell him that his music has blessed them, because then he knows it’s not in vain. He is connecting with people, and it is making a difference to them as it has to him.