When the country artist Tyler Farr was young, he discovered that he had a natural gift for something: singing.
“When my mom saw that I could sing—that it came real natural to me—she got me involved in classical training with some voice lessons,” Farr said on an episode of American Songwriter’s Twitch show, Off The Record Live. “I started taking classical voice lessons, singing classical music. I didn’t think it was very cool—I knew my friends were gonna make fun of me—but I was good at it and ended up going to college for vocal performance and classical music.”
While Farr wasn’t too hot on the “classical” side of his training (though, he did make note that a lot of his friends ended up supporting him, rather than making fun of him), the foundations laid during his early years of musical exploration proved to be pivotal for shaping the artist he’s become. He first made waves with his 2013 hit, “Redneck Crazy”—which has racked up somewhere north of 100 million streams across DSPs. Now, he’s known as being one of the most talented vocalists in the modern country arena, exhibiting an unparalleled level of finesse and vocal control.
Amazingly, the pivot from his classical roots to his country success came about because of a true American icon: George Jones.
“When I was 16, my mom married George Jones’ lead guitar player, Dwayne Phillips, who had been playing with George for about 20 years,” Farr explained. “I went on the road with my step-dad and George for a summer and got to see all of it. After hearing him sing and tell stories, I fell in love with it. I knew that it’s what I wanted to do.”
Now, with nearly a decade of successful releases under his belt, Farr has come a long way. This past June, he unveiled his latest single, “Cover Girl,” a moving track that candidly addresses the issue of domestic violence with that classic country tact.
“This song addresses domestic violence, which is an important thing to address because it happens a lot in our country,” Farr said. “There aren’t a lot of songs that talk about that, so I wanted to write something that could provide women out there a release, a way to let go. It’s touched a lot of people, who’ve reached out to me… it’s amazing to hear how much it meant to them.”
Talking about everything from his background to his rise, his process, his new work (produced by longtime-friend, Jason Aldean), his morning routine, how Boyz II Men helped him discover himself, and more, the conversation was wide-ranging.
Watch the full interview and performances below.