Tyler Hilton

Tyler Hilton

 Upton, Massachusetts, USA

Tyler Hilton is both a musician and an actor. He's known as the character "Chris Keller" on the hit CW show "One Tree Hill", and played the role of "Elvis" in the Academy Award winning film "Walk the Line". He has toured with Boyce Avenue, Gavin DeGraw, Colbie Caillat and Gloriana.


Tyler Hilton has been a songwriter and musician for most of his life. The son of an electrical contractor and a teacher, Hilton grew up in a musically inclined family in Palm Springs, Calif., where he took to playing guitar and singing at a young age. A huge fan of Elvis Presley, Robert Johnson, and Muddy Waters, Hilton spent several years performing at open mic nights and clubs, and playing blues and jazz covers for tips in coffeehouses and restaurants. I did pretty well with the older clientele because they loved that stuff, Hilton says. But Id always be shocked when a kid came up and said he liked my music, because usually it was: Oh my parents heard you at the Crab Shack and they loved your rendition of Wonderful World and Id be like, Thank you. And thats when I got the hell out of Palm Springs.

Hilton moved to Los Angeles to launch himself as a musician. After releasing a self-titled independent CD, he signed to Warner Bros. imprint Maverick Records, which released his major-label debut The Tracks of Tyler Hilton the same year that Hilton made his acting debut starring as the musically talented but totally arrogant Chris Keller on the second season of One Tree Hill. Other roles followed, including playing Elvis Presley in the critically acclaimed Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line, co-starring in the indie film Charlie Bartlett with Robert Downey Jr., and returning to One Tree Hill for its final season in 2012.

Yet while his cover songs appeared on the Grammy Award-winning Walk the Line soundtrack and his Americana-flavored originals were featured on each of One Tree Hills popular soundtracks, Hilton had yet to release another full-length album of his own. He recorded one, The Storms We Share, in the fall of 2010, but its release was thwarted by a shake-up in leadership at Warner Bros. So much had gone down at the label and I just wasnt up for going another round with them, Hilton says. In December, he was released from his contract, with the label retaining the rights to The Storms We Share. At that point, I was really down on the music industry, he says. I wasnt even sure I wanted to make another album.

But, being an artist, Hilton did what artists do and channeled all of his frustrated emotions into a batch of songs, the bulk of which make up his new album Forget the Storm, which Hilton has released on his own label, Hooptie Tune Records. It was the first time in nine years that I was in a position to make music without asking anyones permission, he says. The result is a spirited and engaging collection that finds Hilton finally representing who he truly is both personally and artistically.

What inspired Hilton to begin writing again was the sheer thrill of playing live. I was booked to play a residency at the Hotel Caf not long after leaving the label and I was not looking forward to it, Hilton admits. I thought, I don't care if anyone comes, Im only going to play music that I want to play, and if people don't like it, I've got one foot out the door anyway." He asked two of his friends, musician/songwriters Dave Hodges and Steve Miller, to join him. I said, I'm not going to pay anything, but if you guys want to have some drinks and mess around on stage, let's do it. I want to do a lot of covers; I want to do some blues songs."

The Hotel Caf shows were packed each night. We were doing Stones, Dylan, and Ryan Adams covers and lots of blues, and at the end of it I remembered that I love playing music, Hilton says. I thought if Im ever going to do another record, it should have this vibe. Whats the worst that could happen? I had been playing by the rules and it hadnt worked.

Hilton began writing with Hodges (a songwriter who has worked with Daughtry, Carrie Underwood, and Christina Perri) and his guitarist Steve Miller, and over the course of a few months, came up with the songs on Forget the Storm a title he calls a direct reference to throwing away my las


Tyler Hilton (2000)

The Tracks Of (2004)

Better on Beachwood EP (2009)

Ladies & Gentlemen EP (2010)

Forget The Storm (2012)