Hip-Hop Soul singer and songwriter, Ray Tyler was born, on April 1 in Detroit, MI. He is the 3rd eldest of 5 children born to a freelance painter, who instilled in her children the importance of self-expression and being creative. Since childhood, music was something that was always present in Tyler's life. When asked what Tyler was like as a child, his mother described him as “very rambunctious” and said that he loved attention, which made it hard for her to take him with her to run errands or to church in his early years. Subsequently, he found himself alone at home with his dad a lot and often had to be creative to keep himself entertained. He would listen to Rhythm and Blues albums that his parents owned, often citing the musical styles of artists such as Stevie Wonder and Donnie Hathaway. Tyler taught himself to sing and perform at a young age and would stage shows for his five siblings in their living room.
Later, he began to perform in his church choir and eventually in his school’s show choir. His talent was evident, however, he often found himself more interested in using his singing ability to gain female attention rather than to pursue a music career. As Tyler matured and began to experience the ups and downs of life and love, he realized that through writing music he could express his thoughts and feelings in a much more tangible way.
Thus, he began writing and recording music in his uncle's studio in Durham, NC, where he penned his earliest work, and released a collection of songs from that time period, titled, Notebook Songs, in late 2006. The album came out during his sophomore year at North Carolina Central University, featuring the song "No More," which was critically successful, gaining him credibility within the local music community. The second single, "Just Listen" was an autobiographical story of his hardships growing up in Detroit, MI and the transition down south to Durham, NC.
Eventually, pursuing his Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications shifted his focus from pursuing a music career full-time. Tyler, often described as "passionate" and “self-motivated,” continued to write songs and also found other ways to express his creativity by starting his own successful photography and graphic design company, So Real Ink Media Group in 2005. Still, he continued write songs but put his music aspirations aside, believing that he needed to “grow up” and establish himself in the corporate world after graduation. Thus, he began working in the banking industry. However, his desire for creative self-expression, beckoned him to focus more on his passion for music and songwriting.
Songs written during a very troubling time in Tyler's life in 2008 shaped his first album, NIGHT TIME, which was released on November 11, 2011. NIGHT TIME is a concept album based on his experiences dealing with the world and women. The album includes 13 original songs, all written, recorded, and mixed by Ray Tyler. The lead song of the album was, titled "Over and Over," which is inspired by the feelings about his grandmother's passing and his best friend being sentenced to 3 years in prison for armed robbery. The second release from NIGHT TIME, was the critically acclaimed successful single, titled, "The Breakup Song," which tells the story of a tumultuous 4 year on-again off-again relationship that started while Tyler was in college. The song was mastered by Calin Enache, CEO of District Sound Lab and produced by Brad Brown of Thee Band Geeks, a production team based out of Durham, NC. The video for, "The Breakup Song," directed by Ray Tyler, was released in October of 2011.
Tyler is currently working on his second release which will be titled #THINKINGOUTLOUD and is produced exclusively by Thee Band Geeks. To date, Tyler has released songs, titled, “Attention,” "Handcuffs and Blindfolds," and is scheduled to release "BrokenHearted" later this year.