By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Mississippi-based musician Ty Trehern dropped a new single “The Air,” which is now streaming everywhere.
The song formed from his personal goal to push himself to not just make something sonically powerful, but also discover certain subjects and places he hadn’t previously covered lyrically and “The Air” accomplished that from the jump.
With a new full-length record in the works, “The Air” gives fans a taste of what’s to come. It follows up his 2019 debut EP ‘The Sound,’ which was nominated for “Best Local Songwriter,” “Album Of The Year (The Sound EP)” and “Song Of The Year (Something To Find)” by Signature Magazine and FestivalSouth.
The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with him about “The Air” and more.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Mississippi to someone who has never been there before?
Ty Trehern – Mississippi is an interesting place, to say the least. I feel like recently, the state has started to see a lot of growth and notable shifts in ideals, which I’m thankful for. I also grew up in a relatively small town on the coast of Mississippi, so my experience is probably much different than those who lived or currently live in bigger towns like Jackson or Tupelo. Overall, I would say that there are things to appreciate everywhere you go, as well as things that you won’t necessarily be too fond of. I was very fortunate to meet some great people here and get some great opportunities and it will always be a home for me, regardless of where I end up in the future. There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done, but there’s also a lot more to appreciate than people may think.
Music Bugle – Are you proud of how your new single “The Air” has come out?
Ty Trehern – Proud is an understatement. I’ve been sitting on this song for almost a year now, so it feels incredible to finally put it out into the world for everyone to have as their own. We worked diligently to make sure that it had the release it deserved and I’m really fortunate to have the opportunity to work with an awesome team of people that helped make that happen in a way I couldn’t do on my own. Not to mention that the response to it so far has been incredible. I’m really grateful that people have taken the time to listen and embrace this song in the way that they have. It’s one of my favorite songs that I’ve ever written, as well as a more personal one for me, so the release is meaningful all around.
Music Bugle – What was it like making your debut EP ‘The Sound’?
Ty Trehern – Working on ‘The Sound’ EP was a special experience, but it’s safe to say that it was a soft introduction into what this process is like. I like to consider that entire process and album cycle to be a period of learning and growth for me, actually. I was working so hard on crafting my identity as a musician, whether it was recording songs in the studio, finding my way into live performance, or just becoming comfortable with myself and what I wanted to share with people. At times, all of that became really overwhelming for me. It was also my first time working with my producer and friend, Jonathan Dolese of Konkrete Studios, so in the midst of working on all of those things, we were also working on building a relationship with each other to develop our chemistry and find out how we work, both as individuals and as a team. It’s safe to say that there was a lot happening, especially since that entire process took place over such a short amount of time in hindsight. I’m still very proud of that record and those songs, but I learned a lot of valuable things that I was able to utilize on new material that really helped set it apart from anything I’ve ever done.
Music Bugle – What can your fans expect from your new full-length record, whenever it drops?
Ty Trehern – I can’t give too much away yet, but I can confidently say that we held nothing back. Get ready for the ride.
Music Bugle – Does social media make it easier or harder for a musician to stand out these days?
Ty Trehern – I think if you have a strong plan, social media can be one of the most effective platforms that a musician can utilize to stand out from everyone else. It’s so deeply integrated into our daily lives that you essentially have no choice but to use it and be knowledgeable about how you do so. It can connect you with people all over the world and that’s essentially what most musicians in the industry want to do with their music anyway, so it only makes sense to tap into that to the best of your ability. The downside of this is that, again, it’s so deeply integrated into our lives that everyone is doing it, so the challenge comes from figuring out your plan and how to give the listener a unique experience when they choose to check out your content. I think the answer to that is by focusing on making the music the best it can be and letting it dictate how you utilize your platforms to connect with your potential following.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Ty Trehern – The pandemic has changed a lot of things for everyone, especially those in the entertainment industry. Personally, my mental health took the worst hit. Being isolated and not feeling like a functioning member of society really got to me, as I’d imagine it has for others as well. Fortunately, that gave me a lot of time to pour all of myself into music and get ready to release new material. Although we had to adjust our plans – due to COVID-19 and everything else that is taking place right now in our world, I’m thankful that I had something that allowed me to redirect my focus towards being productive and in turn, happy and confident.
Music Bugle – What is it about the line “Won’t You Take Me There?” from “The Air” that you would say is most significant to you?
Ty Trehern – That line in particular stands out to me because of how it conveys a feeling of yearning for what’s out there, almost begging for it in a way. The song itself talks about my usage of antidepressants and wanting to be in this place of happiness – “the air” – because when you’re there, you’re experiencing this feeling of not really feeling anything at all… being numb to the negative feelings that you’re fighting with every day, but just because those feelings are numb or just because you’re not feeling them at the time doesn’t mean that they’re no longer there, so you question if you’re truly okay, or if you’re ever really in this place of happiness and bliss that you think you’re in, because it may not even be a real place after all. It’s important to note that everyone has a unique experience with antidepressants and there certainly isn’t one specific way that someone is going to experience using them. Something like depression is not black and white. This is just based on my personal experiences, hence why these lyrics and this song is so significant to me. I’m a firm supporter for those who use them if they work for them. It just happens that they didn’t work for me and I wanted to confront it in the only way I knew how, which was music. I owe a lot to Jonathan for pushing me to be much more vulnerable lyrically on the newer material, because I don’t think I would have had the courage to come clean about how I was feeling – regarding this and many other things – if he didn’t step up and tell me that it was time to do it.
Music Bugle – You’ve been pretty outspoken on social media about the need for positive change in today’s world, in light of current events. Do you feel we’ve made any progress there yet?
Ty Trehern – I would like to believe that we’ve made progress, but I also feel like that isn’t necessarily for me to dictate. I’m very firm in the belief that my personal role in all of this is to be an ally and a supporter of the people who are experiencing these events in their own lives. I’ll never experience the same things that they experience because the color of my skin immediately grants me a privilege that I can’t ignore, but I have a responsibility to try and use that privilege to be a valuable ally for those who are fighting this battle each and every day. An ironic thing about all of the things happening right now, to me, is the term “current events,” as if these issues are new or just now starting to become a thing. These things have been happening for a long time and in order to create the change that we need in our society, we have to acknowledge that these forms of oppression have always been present and we are to blame for that. Accountability is key and it’s our responsibility to stand up and be allies for those who need them.
Music Bugle – What do you miss the most about performing live?
Ty Trehern – The thing I miss the most about performing live is being able to connect with people through a common medium. When you go to a show, you’re surrounded by people that are all there for the same purpose. Being able to perform for people – whether it’s 30 or 300 – comes with such an amazing rush of energy that you can’t get from anything else. I can’t wait to get back out and play again. We have so many ideas to take full advantage of the experience that live music offers and we want to make it bigger and better than ever before.
Music Bugle – What has been the hardest song for you to write or compose?
Ty Trehern – The hardest song that I’ve ever had to write is actually a song that hasn’t been released yet. I was struggling to come to terms with something very dear to my heart and finally was able to do that through music. Although the process felt natural and cathartic, it was still a very hard thing to face. I believe what came out of that experience is something extremely special and I can’t wait for everyone to hear it.