by Joan Ko
What makes a new artist cut through in the music scene today? With new music flooding the airwaves every day, it takes something uniquely special to go beyond mere anonymity. Kyler, a young musician hailing from Canada, has caught our eye like a light in the night despite the many stars shining in the sky. Why? Well, different types of musicians continue to emerge on a daily basis–there are those who are easy on the eyes, some move well, and others even turn out to be great at showing their authentic and relatable side. Fortunately for Kyler, he is all of these. That's why we think this new artist will be making a splash this year, and we're all ears when we had the chance to chat with him.
Check out our quick interview with Kyler below!
Chalk: Hi, Kyler! We've seen a snippet of you dancing on a YouTube video, so we know you're a great dancer. But can you tell us something more about yourself?
Kyler: I was born in the Philippines, and, ever since I could remember, I was listening to Michael Jackson, Backstreet Boys, and Gary Valenciano. Those three are my biggest musical inspirations. I've always wanted to pursue something in music even if I haven't had professional training in Canada. I knew it was what I wanted to be doing in life. I learned to play the drums when I was ten and joined church, played gospel music, and it made my passion burn even more, you know? You can say that God is my main influence. It may sound like mainstream, but one day maybe I can make a Christian type rap music.
C: So we take it you've also written your own songs growing up?
K: Yeah, I've made fifteen tracks on Soundcloud, and even though there's nothing that truly stands out that I'm super proud of yet, at least I did it. I almost didn't make it you know, because I got really into video games, playing for hours for months that I almost stopped making music.
C: We're glad you've found a way to continue. What got you back in the game?
K: My parents cut me off from video games, and I was so heartbroken. (Laughs) Then I chanelled all of my energy to music. First I got into dancing and freestyling, then I found a sweet spot for singing and rapping. Now, I’m completely head over heels for rapping. Also, I really love playing the drums and making beats which was really helpful in my pursuit of hip-hop music.
C: With the kind of life you were exposed to, how was your transition when you came to live here?
K: There’s a lot of Pinoys in Vancouver, so I grew up around this Filipino community that's why I already felt super Pinoy growing up, and I am so thankful for that. It made it so easy for me to come here because all my family that I’ve been distant with are here. Back in Canada when they ask me where I’m from, I always answer with great pride that I am from the Philippines, but I’ve never really stayed here long enough to really know much of how life is like here. I think I want to start where I was born, I want to know more about my roots, and I also want to represent where I came from.
C: You do have such an expressive voice that you incorporate with rap pretty well, but was it something that Tarsier Records initially planned for you when you were introduced to Moophs to work on a project together? How involved were you when you produced your new single?
K: I've been here for ten months, and I could say that I'm really excited to share my music with everyone and I'm just glad that Tarsier Records really listened and was able to hear me out, make a room for the kind of music that I love.
When it comes to making the single, I pretty much wrote all of it but Alex, Chris’ fiancé, helped me compose and put it together piece by piece. I freestyled on a beat for 10 minutes then we took the best pieces and put them together and recorded it. That’s where Moophs did his magic, it was just my voice and he made it come alive with his production. He would send me some things and I’ll change this and that because I really wanted to be super involved in it.
C: What the story behind your single "So Lost"?
K: I've had relationships in the past and now that I’m in the Philippines, I’m trying to just focus on myself but I’m having a really tough time doing that because there are so many beautiful and amazing girls here that are super my type. So it's a song Moophs and I did which is about me getting lost in my own consciousness and just constantly battling between “I really do like her” and “You need to really focus on your priorities.”
C: We know you're still finding your footing in the scene, so what's your advice for anyone who's trying to put their own music out?
K: I think for anyone who wants to make music the first thing to do is to actually make music. Just write, write, write, and record. You got to start somewhere, at first it might not be good but the thing that really helped me is that I always think that my next track should be better than the last. I wanted to make music not because I wanted it to be a hit but because I wanted to improve, be proud of the music and feel excited to eventually make more music to share to others.
C: That's pretty solid advice! We're curious though, aside from your own music, what else is currently in your playlist?
K: I have been listening to a lot right now. To name a few: "Sober" by Childish Gambino, "Amazing" by Kanye West, "Logic" by Bobby Tarantino II, "Slide" by Calvin Harris. I also love listening to other artists like Migos, Shanti Dope, Black Keys, Flat Bush Zombies, Chris Brown, and Drake. I go to sleep every night to Frank Ocean and Daniel Ceasar. Tarsier Records do have quite a roster of really amazing artists, and I absolutely love Kiana Valenciano's album–we always listen to her. And I’ve been bumpin' to “OMW” by Inigo Pascual.
C: Aside from being a successful musician, what else do you want to achieve in the future?
KYLER: One day I want to direct a movie. Maybe a horror, kung-fu movie or a comedy movie coz I love having fun with friends, so hopefully I could do the same thing that James Franco and Seth Rogen did--they just put money and made a fun movie. Also, I would want to make enough money to put my sister through music school, because she is super into music, too. My parents didn’t want me to go to music school 'coz they thought I would benefit more if I have the normal education because I am into computers. But if I can, I would want to be doing something that can help me support my sister do what she really likes.
While Kyler is still new to the music scene, we know things could only get bigger for this promising musician from here on out. Now we know his single just dropped, but you might have just found your next on-repeat artist right here!
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