Kyler Tapscott’s emotive music and potent ability to layer lyrics and melody in a way that is so pleasing the to the ear, was immediately clear to me on his track, “Home.”
A more recently released track, “Cloud9”, offers a completely different side of Kyler’s musical abilities.
Kyler took the time to answer some questions I had about his musical process and inspirations in addition to what is in store for the remainder of the year.
MFL: You picked up a guitar at a young age. How and why did this instrument call to you?
Kyler Tapscott (KT): I first started playing when I was maybe 7 or 8 and it just didn’t stick. After about 5 years of laying dormant I picked up a guitar (mostly because my older brother was starting to learn) with a vengeance
and immediately fell in love with the instrument.
MFL: Your music has a very real quality to it. I hear a lot of, what I would imagine, would be REAL instruments. Who are these other musicians on your recordings and how did they come to record with you?
KT: Darcy Yates, my producer on the EP, knew some great musicians to lay it down in the studio and I also have some friends who are absolute ringers as well. They were all super pros and incredibly great to work with. On drums, the beat keeper I had Mr. Rich Knox, a Toronto based drummer who mainly works with Danko Jones. Darcy Yates from the Juno winning Canadian band Bahamas was holding down the low tones on bass and producing the project. Canadian music scene veteran Steve o’Connor was ticking the ivory on the record. A marvelous keyboard/piano player. Andrew Moljin, who plays keys and horns for Samantha Martin and the Delta Sugar kept it funky as the one man horn section. Ben Whitley lent me his skills with an upright bass for my song Home. Jimmy Bowskill from the Sheepdogs and Blue Rodeo played the strings on my song Home. I was the sole guitarist on the EP.
MFL: “Home” is such a warm track. Tell me about “Home.” When did they idea for the track come to you and did you hear the melody first or write the lyrics first?
KT: That’s a song that came to me in pieces. I think I was just strumming a Dadd11 (nerd alert) chord and that melody was just floating around my head. I gratefully stole a line about Amsterdam or Rome from “Carey” by Joni Mitchell and the song developed from there. The idea of just being able to go anywhere with someone was romantic to me. Some elbow grease and later some tasteful strings and voila, “Home” was a song.
MFL: When did you decide to pursue a career in music and do you recall the moment when you decided?
KT: I think I was lucky in that sense, I jumped in head first and was just so caught up in learning and enjoying music that it was really the only thing I wanted to do and work that hard at. My dad was also a freelance musician so he was always really supportive of me pursuing music, although was very real and warned me of the battles. Didn’t stop me.
MFL: What is typically the source of inspiration for your lyrics and melodies?
KT: It really all depends on what I feel like I need to express or communicate. Sometimes it’s because I thought a certain word sounded cool over that chord, or this melody sounded really good with this word. It’s a very protean experience. I try to listen to artists whom I really admire and strive to acquire some of their sound and mix it into my own.
MFL: While listening to music by others, what are some of the major components of a track or album that make it “good”?
KT: I listen to so many different types of music and artists that it’s hard to pinpoint. I feel like good honest songwriting is the most important thing, and people really relate to honesty. I particularly like a groove in the pocket, a nice mix and good production. When the words, the music and the production really capture a vibe it’s undeniable.
MFL: Along those lines, who are some of your favorite musicians, past and present?
KT: Wow, that is a loaded question. Stevie Wonder is always high on the list. Django Reinhardt always blows me away, Tony Rice, Donny Hathaway. Vulfpeck, Joey Landreth and Ariel Posen and The Tedeschi Trucks Band are contemporary artists that I really enjoy their sound. There could be an entire interview on just this question but those are a small portion of the greats I admire.
MFL: If you’re not writing or recording, what are you up to?
KT: I really love listening to records, cooking, taking my dog for a stroll, being with my partner. Life’s simple pleasures.
MFL: Finally, what are your major musical goals for the rest of 2020?
KT: When we can finally play live again I can’t wait to play some shows with these new songs, I really feel like i’ll be able to shine a really new and exciting light to them in a live setting. In the meantime I’m releasing the last 3 songs of my EP and I have more in the bag that I can’t wait to record and do the whole process over again.