Ever since he was a young boy, Tyler Williams has dreamed of a career in entertainment.
When he was 11 years old, that dream started to become a reality. He participated in his middle school choir, which was asked to perform with the national tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat when they came to the Fox Theater in Atlanta.
“Standing in front of 4,000 people a night for a week – I think we did eight shows in six days – at 11 years old, that was monumental,” he said when reflecting on how he first got involved in music. “It’s hard to even comprehend.”
Williams said that the company enjoyed having the choir so much the first year that they got asked back the next year when the company rolled back through town.
“At 12 years old, it clicked that okay, this isn’t just fun; this is people making career choices,” he said. “I remember that last night thinking, ‘I don’t want this to end. I need to keep doing this.’ Not necessarily Broadway or musical style performances, but I just want to be on stage.”
However, just one year later, he swore he’d never perform again after forgetting the lyrics to a song he was performing at a house party. And for the next 10 years, he never performed in public, choosing to keep his singing confined to his car. Williams turned to racing shortly after high school, which he said helped fulfill the desire he had to entertain people.
But after nearly a decade of milestones that would find him capturing his first victory lane among 15-year veterans during his fourth year as a driver and even finishing as the #2 ranking position in points in his series, one night at karaoke with a friend opened the door for Williams to return to music.
“As soon as I sang that first song, it was like, ‘This is it. I’ve been missing this’,” he said. “It was that easy. And that started what has been a 10 year journey of finding myself as an artist and as a writer.”
That journey inspired Williams to write a book titled I Have A Voice about what it took to pursue his dreams of racing and music. When asked why he decided to tell his story in a book rather than through his music, especially once he realized that was what he was truly passionate about, Williams said he didn’t feel like he could put it all together in an album and really get the full weight of what he was trying to share across.
“I was looking at writing a book as 15 year old version of me needs to hear this message in this book,” he explained. “It covers a lot of ground that an album wouldn’t have been able to cover. Yeah, we could hit some of those points that made you feel something and connect those different moments, love, heartache, losing dreams, chasing dreams. But going in depth with a book that’s 189 pages, you can really get lost in somebody’s story and through that, you can connect.”
At the same time, he decided to put out his debut EP Believe Again, because that was really the “essence” of what that story is about. That EP was followed by his second project Good For Me in 2018, which premiered inside the Top 40 on the iTunes Country Album Charts.
Now, he’s back with a brand new album Spotlight. He said that people haven’t heard anything new music-wise from him in a while, so it felt like it was time to get some stuff in front of them, especially considering how quickly people consume music these days.
The new album came together pretty quickly all things considered. Williams said he started writing songs for the project in March of this year and continued to write all through the summer. Production kicked off in August with Jared Anderson at the helm and wrapped up in mid-October. Since then, Williams has released one song per week leading up to the album’s release on November 22.
The latest track to be released is “Me to Me and You”, and you can see exclusive premiere of the lyric video above. Williams wrote this song with Anderson and Mason Thornley, who worked a lot with Williams on both this project and Good For Me.
“I think every guy at some point has had that moment of, ‘I wish this girl would go on a date with me. What do I need to do to make that happen? Do I need to be funnier? Do I need to be more suave or just to be cool? What’s it gonna take?’”, Williams said about what inspired the song. “I think it’s easy to internalize and overthink what you’re doing. And some point it’s just got to be like, “Look, I’m into this. What’s it gonna take for us to give us a shot?”
As for what’s next for Williams, he said fans can definitely expect more new music next year. But in terms of his long-term career goals, he hopes to continue intertwining his passion for music with his passion for racing.
“Being an independent artist, at this point, my goal is to get our music in front of as many people as possible,” Williams said. “And it’s been playing shows, playing shows around racetracks and elevating the story of what we’re doing. Four years ago, I think it was really hard for people understand what I was trying to do because we weren’t doing enough of it. Now we’re at a point where the music is happening and the racing is happening. So my ultimate goal is I want to be running full time on the NASCAR Truck Series and having singles go out to country radio and be touring and supporting the music and spending time with fans and interacting with people who appreciate someone who is willing to lay it all out on the line and say, ‘No matter how old you are, no matter where you come from, if you have a dream, it’s worth going out there and taking the risk to make it happen’. That’s what it’s all about for me.”
When he’s not performing on stage or behind the wheel of a race car, Williams says he still finds himself nerding out about racing.
“If you love racing, you kind of eat, sleep, breath it,” he said. “You can’t get it out of your system.”