In the world of country music there’s a lot to be said for family values. Talented country vocalist Derek James Tilley can attest to that. It was his sister who encouraged him to show the world his amazing abilities at a singing competition in his hometown of Barrie, Ontario, Canada. “I can’t thank her enough for her encouragement”, says Derek. “That day, she changed my life.” It was because of taking a chance that fateful morning that Tilley caught the ear of judges and music producers Marty Beecroft and Glenn Coulson. Derek quickly became a fan favourite and eventually went on to win the top country vocalist.
“I couldn’t believe it.” said Beecroft. “We only needed to hear a verse and we knew we had stumbled upon a genuine, unique talent.” “I stopped him after a few bars of singing at the audition and knew we could make a record with him,” added Coulson. Beecroft and Coulson are Genie Award winning songwriters and Canadian Radio Music Award winners who emerged on the Canadian music scene as half of the pop/vocal group V.I.P. with their smash hit “Just My Luck”. They have now reinvented themselves as the vocal group After Tuesday, whose singles are currently rising up the country charts.
The three began songwriting together regularly and planning for Derek’s debut country album. His distinct and comfortable sound has been called a mix of Gary Allan, Jason Aldean and Rascal Flatts – a combination of Allan’s sensitivity, Aldean’s grit and the Flatts’ vocal range.
Derek is perfectly suited for the entertainment business with the ideal balance of confidence, drive and humility giving him the ability to “sell” himself both on and off the stage. “I’m not afraid to talk”, jests Tilley. His diversity and adaptability compliments his wide vocal range putting him in the realm of artists that can bring the roadhouse down with a ‘beer selling’, scorching up-tempo, and can tug at the heart strings with a strong story-based ballad – a true performance that can bring you to your feet and to your knees.
The album was recorded in Nashville and Toronto featuring world class musicians hand-picked for their cutting-edge style of play and A-list credentials, including sessions for Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and Dixie Chicks to scratch the surface. All of the songs were written and chosen with the common goal to turn heads and tweak ears, making the listener reach for the repeat button again and again. “With Derek we wanted to keep the ‘radio listener’s ear’ in mind and pick the best songs that fit his attitude, image and vocal style,” remarks Coulson.
Three of the songs on the album are co-penned by Tilley and are in good company with other stellar contributions from some of the best writers in the business including Tim Nichols (Tim McGraw - Live Like You Were Dying), Jason Matthews (Billy Currington - Must Be Doin’ Something Right), Keith Urban (Keith Urban), Cyril Rawson (Reba McEntire, Jessica Andrews), Joel Feeney (LeeAnn Rimes - Nothing ‘Bout Love Makes Sense), Tebey Ottoh (Big&Rich - Between Raisin’ Hell and Amazing Grace), Ben Dunk (Adam Gregory - Horseshoes), Gilles Godard (Terri Clark, Brad Johner, Lisa Brokop), Marty Beecroft & Glenn Coulson (V.I.P. - Just My Luck, After Tuesday).
In the fall of 2008 Derek released a teaser single called “Do You Have to Walk in the Rain.” The song was a great success on the iTunes.ca country chart hitting #1! The full album “Angels & Outlaws” was released in Spring 2009 and reached #11 on the iTunes.ca country albums chart! The lively song “Last Train” is Derek’s most recent single released to radio in support of the highly acclaimed debut album. Within weeks of release “Last Train” was being played on at least 50 stations across Canada from coast-to-coast-to-coast!
Derek is actively working the live performance aspect of his career. He has already performed his own feature shows as well as performing with U.S. country chart toppers Emerson Drive, vocal group After Tuesday, 6-time CCMA ‘Guitar Player of the Year’ Wendell Ferguson, Canadian country icon Lisa Brokop, CCMA ‘Songwriter of the Year’ Deric Ruttan, Jason Blaine, Shane Yellowbird, and more. In March 2009 Derek performed as part of the highly successful Barrie Earth Hour Music Festival along with fellow artists David Usher, Tal Bachman and After Tuesday. Thousands poured into downtown Barrie, ON for the exciting event and to show support for the global Earth Hour cause - the fight against climate change. Other highlights of Derek’s busy 2009 included the Peterborough Festival of Lights, Innisfest, and a nomination for the prestigious Barrie Arts Awards. “Performing with these talented people, getting my music out there and meeting the country music fans are the most enjoyable aspects of this business”, reveals Tilley.
Derek James Tilley - lead vocals
other band instruments include:
- acoustic guitar
- electric guitar
"Angels & Outlaws" - album released Spring 2009
"Last Train" - single released Fall 2009, airplay on well over 50 stations across Canada.
"Gimme a Little Love" - single released Spring 2009
"Do You Have to Walk in the Rain" - single released Fall 2008