Tyler Joe MillerOn a blazing Sunday afternoon at this year’s Boots and Hearts Music Festival, the Front Porch Stage had a special headliner: Tyler Joe Miller. As attendees eagerly awaited, there was a strong energy in the air. For many, it was their first opportunity to see the Surrey native perform live after a year of chart-topping successes.

Miller, with his forthcoming EP “Spillin’ My Truth” set to release on August 25, should be quite the sensation at this year’s Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Awards. His song with Matt Lang, ‘Never Met A Beer’, received a nod for “Musical Collaboration of the Year,” while ‘Wild As Her’ is nominated for “Single of the Year,” and his self-penned track, ‘Back To Drinkin’ Whiskey,’ earning him a “Songwriter of the Year” nomination.

But these aren’t the first of Miller’s accolades. Signed to MDM Recordings Inc. in 2019, the BC country sensation has had a fast and furious whirlwind career. His debut single ‘Pillow Talkin’’ went gold and earned him the title of iHeartRadio Future Star, while his follow-up, ‘I Would Be Over Me Too’, further solidified his place in the country pantheon, making him the first independent Canadian country artist to clinch a #1 at radio with their debut singles.

“When I think back, it’s surreal,” Miller shares. “Growing up in Surrey, country wasn’t the dominant genre, but summers and hunting trips up north with my dad instilled a love for the likes of Garth Brooks, Brad Paisley, and The Chicks. That’s what I grew up listening to.”

That rootsy authenticity reflects in his songs. Talking about ‘Should Have Known Better,’ Miller gets nostalgic. “We wrote it up in the mountains in British Columbia, right where I’m from,” he says, reminiscing about the hungover morning with Dan Swinimer and Jeffrey Darren Johnson, two of his close friends. “Jeff began strumming and said this line, ‘should have known better’. And it clicked. It was about seeing that person at the bar, someone walking over everyone’s heart, and yet, you can’t resist.”

In a short span, Miller has not only showcased his versatile songwriting prowess but also his ability to collaborate. His partnership with Matt Lang on ‘Never Met A Beer’ became a crowd favorite. “It was my first collaboration, and doing it with Matt, a good friend of mine, was exhilarating,” he beams.

The essence of Miller’s music often revolves around relationships and drinking. When asked about the recurring theme, he chuckles, “A lot of my songs are a mix of relationships and drinking. Many breakup songs are drinking songs.”

The rising star’s connection with his roots isn’t just limited to the mountains and the melodies. He founded ‘The Climb Outreach Society,’ partnering with Hope Of Life International, showcasing his commitment to building homes, schools, and rescuing malnourished children in Guatemala.

As our conversation veers back to music, Miller expresses gratitude for his CCMA nominations, particularly ‘Wild As Her’. “That song did a lot for me,” he admits. “It went gold in Canada and was top 10. I was pitched it years ago, but it felt right now.”

For those in Surrey, Miller’s success is a testament to dreams nurtured in unexpected places. Reflecting on a recent performance in his hometown, he recalls, “We just played a show in Surrey, and 7,000 country fans showed up. There’s a love for country that’s grown in Surrey, and it’s heartwarming to witness.”

Indeed, as the sun set at Boots and Hearts, Miller’s soulful voice resonating in the cool evening air, it’s evident – country might not have been Surrey’s first love, but it certainly found its star in Tyler Joe Miller.

For more from Tyler Joe Miller, visit tylerjoemiller.com.

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