Tyrone Wells
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Tyrone Wells

Los Angeles, California, United States | MAJOR

Los Angeles, California, United States | MAJOR
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Folk pop musician Tyrone Wells says his friends “call me ‘T.’ My mom used to call me Tigger because I had so much energy I practically bounced everywhere. My wife calls me ‘Mr Shwells’... I have no idea why.”

ME: Ever had a McJob?
T: Yes. When I was 16 I worked at McDonalds for 3 weeks. As a young musician trying to make music my career, I gave up the more comfortable jobs for stuff that was quick and flexible so I could keep working at music. These odd jobs include: Stacking 100 sheets of typing paper before it was plastic wrapped, Stacking shovels in a shovel warehouse (this job REALLY sucked), Laying tile, ripping carpet up and laying new carpet, and the list goes on and on. The beauty of it is that [this] allowed me to stay focused on the dream that I had. And now… Music is my career. Wooo hooo!

ME: Aside from music, what’s another creative outlet?
T: I think there is quite a bit of creativity involved in playing sports. I love sports, but have had very little time lately to play them. If I didn’t tour all the time, I would join a soccer, tennis, and basketball league.

ME: When you’re down, what keeps you going?
T: Knowing that God, my wife, my family and my friends love me. Even when I have disappointed them, they have continued to love me. That makes for a pretty good life, no matter if I'm working at McDonalds ... or touring the country playing music.

ME: What can we look forward to from you in 2009?
T: I will be touring a lot … My new CD, “Remain” is coming out on January 27th. I’m really proud of it. So, if I may be so bold, I hope to become one of your favorite new artists… listen to my stuff and you be the judge ;)

He totally gets points for being the first celebrity to smiley-face me. Play on, T…I’ll be listening. - younghollywood.com

By Aaron Fields | KSTW.com

Remain- To be left after the removal, loss, destruction, etc., of all else [Dictionary.com]

I was searching for the right words to say that could express my overall feeling of this album and while I searched and searched I came across the above definition that I feel is an accurate representation. From the title track "Remain" until the ending track "Together" you are taken through the journey of life. Through the joys, the pains, the questioning and the longing for something "More," no stone is left unturned.

When a singer sings from their heart, you know it. When they've lived the words that they sing, they show it. And when you can relate to them because you are experiencing similar occurrences in your life you are grateful to know that you are not alone and that you now have something to help you make it through those rough times.

Aside from the fact that Tyrone has an awesome voice that could sing about anything and have you believe it and buy it, he uses his voice as a tool to encourage and inspire others. The song "More" is featured on the promo for the new season of Intervention and has had life changing impacts on the lives of its listeners. Reminding us that there so much more for us to live for, this song has literally saved peoples lives.

Though this album is more pop/rock than some of his previous more soulful releases, every now and again you get a glimpse of the soul that is deeply rooted within him. With a voice so strong and diverse he is able to cross into different genres of music with an ease and sincerity that everyone can enjoy.

My favorite tracks are "Remain", "More", "Losing Ground", "In Between the Lines", "Along the Way" and "Enough." I think that speaks very highly when my favorite tracks make-up half of the album. Not to diminish anything else on the record, these are just the ones that I love to play over and over.

This inspiring collection of music is in stores NOW and be sure to check out Tyrone when he comes to Seattle, WA on February 6th at Neumos and Spokane, WA February 7th at Knitting Factory.
- kstw.com | The Beat

By Aaron Fields | KSTW.com

I am very excited to introduce some of you and further familiarize others with a very talented singer/songwriter by the name of Tyrone Wells. He's a native of Spokane, WA and courtesy of Universal Republic I had the extreme pleasure of speaking with him personally this past weekend.

What inspired you to get into music? I always loved to sing from a very young age. I was always involved with music in school. When I was in college I started a band named Skypark. Eventually I went solo and released 3 independent records and the third was picked up by Universal Republic.

Where did you first began building your music career? What was your first show like? I've always been involved in music but I began to get serious about making a career out of it in college in LA. My first show was at a coffee shop and a few of my friends were there. I can remember being nervous and shaking but it went well.

Your performing at Neumo's on February 6th, 2009, have you ever performed there before? What other places in the area have you performed? I've never played at Neumos but I've played at the Crocodile cafe, Chop Suey, Nectar, Q café, Showbox with Colbie Calliat and Bumbershoot.

How does it feel to come back to your hometown and perform? There's something about being from a region that makes me feel like I get more love in Spokane and Seattle. I get a lot of love from the fans and I miss the rain and the season changes. It's always good to come home.

What was your inspiration for this new album? Going to London where I recorded 4 songs and wrote 6-7 of the songs on the record. The change of scenery and the vibe of each song all helped to create each story.

What are your favorite songs on the new album? It's hard for me to say…it's like a parent trying to pick their favorite child. From front to back it's an overall solid record and I love every song.

"Before hearing 'More' I was suicidal, just wanting to end the pain, guilt and shame. While listening to the lyrics I realized even I have something to live for." – Susie How does it make you feel knowing your song had this much impact on someone's life? When I get an email like that it's like the clouds parted and God was smiling down. I think I cried when I read that. As an artist you hope your making some sort of difference and leaving some sort of a mark. When I read that I realized I'm where I'm supposed to be and I'm grateful for that. I want my music to enrich peoples lives. Inspire them and give them hope. The best music gives you a longing in your heart and soul that you can't explain. That's what I'm trying to accomplish with what I do.

How is this album different than your previous ones? It's lusher in production; we went for less of a singer/songwriter vibe and a more fuller band arrangement. I think that the production of the record is a little more intricate in detail. It's more rock whereas in the past my albums have been more soulful.

I read that you wrote 60 songs for this album, what is going to happen with the remainder of the 60 songs you recorded? There are 3-4 that would break my heart for people not to hear. In the future I could be open to the idea of selling them to other artist so that they could be heard.

Out of 60 songs how did you narrow down your choices? It was a team effort between the band, producers and myself.

If someone were to ask you why they should buy your new album, what would you tell them? I think it would be the best record that they have bought in at least a year. It's an honest, encouraging and inspiring piece of work and it rocks!

I read that you had a song featured on the first season of one of the CW's hit shows "One Tree Hill". Yea, I remember hearing it on the show. I believe it was one of my first songs to be featured on TV. I was still an independent artist then. My music being used in TV was really great. Kate Voegele from the show used to open up for us.

What other artists do you listen to? I love Snowpatrol, Stevie Wonder (my all time favorite) Patty Griffin and Ray Lamontagne. Growing up I listened to more Gospel and R&B such as Take 6 and Commissioned.

What's a little known fact that people may not know about you? When I was about 11 or 12 I used to sleep walk and pee in my closet. When you sleep walk it's usually because you have to go to the bathroom.

Any crazy fan stories? I came really close to having a restraining order put on a girl because she thought we were meant to be together and would follow me around. Needless to say I didn't feel the same way.

What more would you like to accomplish in life (in general)? I've been married for three years and at some point I would love to raise a family. I also want to align myself with causes such as Invisible Children and Habitat for Humanity. Use my music to bring more attention to those causes that make the world a better place. I have thought about writing children's books as well.

To your fans and potential new fans that are reading this, is there anything you would like to say to them? First I would like to say thank you for your support. If you're reading this and haven't heard the music I would love for you to take a few moments to check out my MySpace. For all my fans I thank you for supporting me and allowing me to live my dream.

For aspiring artist, what's something you can tell them that you wish someone would have told you when you first began? You can't wait around for someone else to make your career, you have to be extremely proactive and do it yourself, booking your own shows, building your fan base. You have to get after it. - kstw.com | The Beat

Written by David Tobin

When was the last time you were excited to go to a show?
Do you remember how you felt the night before?
How many times did you listen to their album the day of the show?
What did you feel when the curtain came up and they hit their first note?

This anticipation is what makes the live show impossible to recreate. Add to that the smell of the venue, the sensation of the bass ripping through your chest, the insane rise in humidity after the first song ended. And most importantly…how you feel the next morning after spending the evening fighting for your life in a pit.

So…who was the last band that you really got excited about? What made them different from the rest? Was it the message of the music that moved you off the couch? What is the rhythm of the band that pried you from MySpace? Or was it the hype that kept you from your XBOX? Whatever it was, it made you move. And it brought something to your life.

For me, the artist that’s getting me out on Sunset this weekend is Tyrone Wells at the Viper on Saturday the 25th. I came across this guy not too long ago. My buddy brought him up one day and then showed me his website. I checked a few tracks and kind of blew it off.

Then one day I was coming back from Vegas with that same friend. He played his live CD and it pretty much knocked me on my ass. The voice alone on this guy was something to be reckoned with. He sounded amazing. The power of the Southern Blues mixed with the California vibe, it flows together with sooo much feeling that you can’t really believe what your hearing.

If you closed your eyes you’d think you were in the middle of a soul session in the South. But this whiteboy came from the state of Washington. He grew up as the son of a preacher with four sisters that were all performers in their own right. He even learned to yodel from his dad.

As time went on this singer/songwriter has came into his own. I was sitting down watching TV with a gal I was dating a few months ago and heard one of his songs on “One Tree Hill” and then I was watching “Rescue Me” the next week and BAM!... another Tyrone song. I did a little research and he’s also had songs on “Numbers”, “Ghost Whisperer”, “Summerland”, “The Mountain”, and “North Shore”.

Its kind of cool to see so many people into this guy. And that just adds to the excitement of this show. When you have a club full of people who are real fans and want to see a killer show…the energy is immeasurable. And to see this at the Viper just makes it better.

His songs range from thought provoking love ballads that are as honest as your first crush to the way you felt after your first breakup. On his live CD you can’t hide from the feeling of each song, even the one about everything he hates. In April his studio album, “Hold On” hits the streets and after that I don’t really see too many small venue shows in his future. So that’s why I’m hitting the Strip this weekend.

In three days he’s coming to The Viper Room to play one last show before he releases his latest album and people are starting to feel the same things they felt the last time they saw a killer show. They’re planning their weekend around the show. They are trying to sucker a friend into driving so they wont have to. And his CD is being played over and over again and over again.
- Campus Circle

Look out radio listeners...this stuff is great!

I am so happy to hear an artist that subscribes to the music aesthetic.
Tyrone actually gives the listener music they can relate to. Believe it or
not, thanks to Tyrone I finally got some music with great pop sensibilities.

Tyrone has it all. Good vocals, great arrangements, a tight band and a
smokin‚ recorded sound.

For those of you that really dig pop music, the type you would find on
today‚s top 40 radio stations, you will love Tyrone‚s CD. Imagine vocals
like Seal and Hootie and the Blow Fish except Tyrone can sing in key, the
recording is good and the lyrics mature. So...maybe he's not much like
Hootie at all. - South of Mainstream

The theme "Steal the Show" set the stage for a formidable musical battle on Friday night as to who owned the Spring Sing spotlight in the Los Angeles Tennis Center.

And with the good weather this year, Spring Sing drew a crowd of about 5,000 who came to be both entertained by and cheer on their fellow students' performances and laugh at the hilarious banter of Company's between-set sketch comedy.

Mark and Tyrone's virtually flawless execution of "Need," which featured Tyrone's voice accompanied by his guitar and Mark's hand drums, enabled them to walk away not only with the award for best solo/duet, but also for best overall entry.
- Daily Bruin

Tyrone WON the award for "BEST MALE ARTIST" at the Orange County Music Awards. Tyrone was also one of the top five nominees for best song, "No Good Without You." There were 650 submissions for the best song category. Tyrone will be performing live with all the winners so stay tuned. You can check out "No Good Without You" on Tyrone's latest CD, "SNAPSHOT". - orangecountymusicawards.com

For this songwriter, school is back in
Tyrone Wells plies his folky trade on the college circuit, and Low Vs. Diamond grab the alt-rock brass ring.

January 18, 2007

Things are rolling now

He has busked in Brea, strummed outside the cineplex at the Irvine Spectrum and sung over the whir of espresso machines at most any coffeehouse that would have him. But the most serendipitous 15-minute performance of Tyrone Wells' career came a year ago at
the National Assn. of Campus Activities convention in Boston.

"I played 'No Good Without You,' then I told a story," Wells says of the showcase in front of collegiate talent buyers that led to about 150 offers to play gigs. The son of a preacher from Spokane, Wash., ended up taking more than 100 of them; then, in a manner of
speaking, he ran the table on 2006, getting signed to Universal Republic, which on Feb. 6 will release his debut "Hold On."

"Sometimes I felt like I was pushing a boulder up a hill," Wells says. "Then I got to the top and everything started rolling."

Wells' stock in trade is a sincerity that gives shape to his soulful, peace-love-understanding balladry. He's as liable to lapse into storytelling at his shows as he is jamming - "Anybody can hop onstage and play a couple songs," he says - and his charisma is very real, friends say.

"He will play anytime, anywhere," says Wells' producer, Orange County-based Chris Karn. "If he's at Denny's having breakfast and meets a group of people who might be interested in his music, he will grab his guitar, stand up in his booth and play."

Wells headlines the El Rey Theatre on Saturday. - LA Times

By Misha Berson
Seattle Times arts critic

If there was more justice in the world, you could turn on the radio and hear the balmy Tyrone Wells ballad, "Sea Breeze" several times a day.

Or make that "What Are We Fighting For?," a rocking broadside that questions the state of the world.

Wells has three discs out (two indies, and the excellent new "Hold On" on Universal Republic). But for now the gifted Washington-state native will have to settle for packing the Crocodile Cafe and similar venues around the country, and hearing his audience sing along on the irresistible "Sea Breeze" — an Internet fave.

On Wednesday night, L.A.-based Wells headlined a crowded Crocodile bill of talented young troubadours.

Lanky, bald and exuding positive vibes, Wells uncorked a spacious, expressive voice with a dexterous falsetto that never faltered. His singing dominates his strumming acoustic numbers, and more rollicking electric tunes backed by piercing, Jeff Beck-style electric guitar, bass and drums.

Like many of his peers, Wells is clearly influenced by Stevie Wonder. And the best of his own songs are strong-hooked winners.

To slashing, thunderous electric chords, "What Are We Fighting For?" offers a furious counterpoint to John Mayer's more sedate "Waiting on the World to Change."

"People get ready / There's somethin' in the air," sings Wells, nodding to Vietnam War-era tunes by Curtis Mayfield and Stephen Sills.

Rocking hard, Wells goes on to decry "silent indifference" and "hunger for vengeance." He urges resistance to "violence and hatred" while asking, "What are waiting for?"

Along with what could be an anthem for the Iraq war generation, Wells has sweet and catchy love songs in his arsenal ("Baby Don't Change," "Until You Are Here").

To the crowd's roaring approval, he also performed a well-sung Bill Withers cover (the ageless "Ain't No Sunshine"), and a terrific, multigeneration R&B medley linking tunes by Wonder, Michael Jackson and Mary K. Blige.

Misha Berson: mberson@seattletimes.com - Seattle Times

Damara Popoola
Posted: 1/23/07

There are high expectations for any artist who sells out a venue, let alone an unassuming singer-songwriter whose major label debut has yet to reach stores. Fortunately, Spokane, Wash. native Tyrone Wells managed to exceed those expectations at his show Saturday night at the El Rey Theatre.

The youngest of five, Wells has been performing solo since 2000, but always knew that music was something he would do.

"As the baby of the family and the only boy, I got a lot of adoration from my sisters, and so I think it made sense for me to seek a career where I received adoration," Wells said. "I get that when I play music."

His sound is a melding of mainstream pop, old-school soul and sincerity that shines brightest in his live performances. Recently signed to Universal Republic Records, Wells' major label debut Hold On hits stores Feb. 6. While the CD is a pleasant mixture of pop-driven love songs peppered with a handful of soul-infused tracks, nothing does him justice quite like his live show.

Wells opened the show with "Need," an earnest entreaty of a love song that woke up the packed crowd that had been waiting more than three hours for his set. Songs like "Need," "Hold On," and "Falling," showcased Wells' romantic streak and established him as a contender for radio stations such as Los Angeles' Star 98.7 FM.

The album's first single "What Are We Fighting For?" is a pulsing rock anthem with a gospel vibe that encourages love in the place of violence and strife.

Wells said his song is not "a hit on the military … I am saying that I wish that it wasn't this way."

Wells' range as an artist particularly stood out when he sang "Jealous Man," a dark but intriguing track that proved his edge as he growled the song out beneath the lights. This song was a conscious departure from his normal style.

"I was writing a bunch of hopeless romantic type stuff … and I was just thinking, 'I'm such a pansy,'" Wells said.

At the other end of the spectrum are the catchy "Baby Don't You Change" and the rock-tinged funk of "Sugar So Sweet," which clarified the soul that runs deep in Wells' oeuvre.

Both songs got fans moving and set a buoyant tone for the rest of the show. Those two tracks stand out from others on the album and give Wells a large push into the blue-eyed soul category, which isn't surprising considering the influences he claims.

"If you could imagine James Taylor and Stevie Wonder had a baby boy, I would love to be that baby boy stylistically," Wells said.

Those influences also shone through in the series of covers that Wells performed. His take on Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" was sufficiently somber and seemed to be a crowd favorite.

Also, toward the end of his hour and a half set, Wells surprised everyone with a frenzied medley of covers consisting of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition," Michael Jackson's "Rock With You," Lauryn Hill's "Doo Wop (That Thing)," and Mary J. Blige's "Family Affair." Especially engaging was his effortless rendition of the first verse of "Doo Wop" which could give him a healthy dose of street cred in hip-hop circles.

Wells sang all but one song from his forthcoming album, and most fans seemed to favor the calm simplicity of his ballads. "Sea Breeze," an airy and breathless number, moved most in the audience to sing along.

Another obvious favorite was "Dream Like New York", a melodic, idealistic anthem that begs listeners to dream "as high as the skyline" and "aim for the stars".

While his new album includes accompaniment by a full band, Wells has three other independently released albums that were primarily acoustic endeavors, and he peppered the show Saturday with a handful of acoustic performances.

One example was "Looking At Her Face," a dedication to his wife, accompanied with only guitar and cello, which focused the attention on Wells' touching lyrics and vocals.

In traditional singer-songwriter fashion, Wells' closing number, "When All is Said and Done" was also acoustic, and the song's mournful, almost dirge-like lyrics were aptly suited for that sort of pared-down treatment.

Ultimately, Wells is a performer whose easygoing stage presence, honesty and vocal prowess can only be truly appreciated by seeing him perform live. While his new album may be the key to achieving mainstream success, his live shows seem to be the key to captivating new fans. - Daily Trojan


Remain (2009)
Hold On (2007)
Close: Live at McClain's (2005)
Snapshot (2003)

(Available in stores or online at iTunes)



Tyrone Wells has delivered an epic pop/rock album with his second major label effort, Remain. Pursuing a more collaborative process and having added a more lush production to his singer- songwriter roots, the new album proves to be a great showcase for his powerful and emotional voice.

The Spokane, WA native's desire to ‘open up the process' found him traveling to London to work with a circle of songwriters/musicians who aligned with Wells' musical direction. “Half of the album was done in London and the other half completed here in the states,” says Wells. “I didn't know what kind of record I was going to make before I got to London, but something just seemed to click while I was there that really defined what I wanted to do with this album.” Invoking a cathartic creative process from the very beginning for Remain, the songwriter penned an astounding 60 songs for the record.

Tyrone worked with songwriter/producer Martin Terefe (Jason Mraz, KT Tunstall, James Morrison) and Iain Archer (UK indie artist and Snow Patrol co-writer) in the UK, and Tim Myers (formerly of OneRepublic), David Hodges (formerly of Evanescence) and Matt Scannell (Vertical Horizon) in the U.S. Creating a work that manages to be more guitar-edged than previous Wells' efforts - but still unabashedly soul-baring - he appreciated huddling with collaborators like Terefe, who - like Wells - is a big believer in trusting one's instincts. “We had great chemistry together.” “Losing Ground,” one of a handful of production/songwriting collaborations between Wells and Terefe, was written and demoed in less than 3 hours during their first writing session together.

Wells has found himself on a new musical path on his second Universal Republic effort, but he continues to display the same gritty determination and work ethic that has enabled him to chart his own course from the very beginning. Wells launched his career unveiling his first indie release with the take-me-as-I-am motif of 2003's Snapshot. An in-demand live offering followed in 2005: Close: Live at McClain's, (the coffeehouse where he established his raved-about live rep) capturing the singer's unique intimacy with an audience.

Soon, major labels came calling. “All of a sudden, after five years of doing everything on my own steam I had all these labels interested,” says Wells. His 2007 release, the soulful Hold On, was originally his third indie record. The album was picked up by Universal Republic and released untouched as his major label debut.

The buzz surrounding Wells' inspiring wealth of songs was also beginning to land him song placements in films and TV shows. To date Tyrone has had significant placements including “One Tree Hill,” “Everyone's Hero,” “Rescue Me,” “Ghost Whisperer,” “Numbers,” “Criminal Minds,” “Army Wives,” “What About Brian,” “The 50 Greatest Moments at Madison Square Garden” and the “Rails & Ties” trailer.

Wells is particularly proud that Remain has carried him into some undiscovered territories. His voice continues to set him apart and his passion is demonstrated on this new album. “With constant touring it's important to believe in what you're singing every night. I'm excited about this new material and believe in these songs. I like where I'm going."