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Singer/songwriter Cristian Tyler was born on November 15, in Jacksonville, Florida. She moved to Baltimore, Maryland with her mom and little sister in the early 90’s and later joined the church, in which she participated in the youth choir. It was there she formed a gospel group called God’s Great Voices, and began to get recognition for her song writing abilities. Her love for music continued to grow as she entered into her teenage years, and at that stage in her life she was introduced to R&B/Soul music. This newly found music world lead her to form the Baltimore locally known group Audassy. They participated in talent shows and over time they were requested to attend and perform at various events as special guests.
As their popularity grew, they caught the eye of many prominent people in the music industry. Jazz (member of the R&B super group Dru Hill) was one of the many influential people who wanted to work with Audassy. He took the group under his camp Taj Entertainment along with 2 other acts he had on the roster, and with him they were able to achieve mild success with Cristian being the primary writer of the group’ material. Although Audassy had a promising future, they were not able to sustain while trying to enter into the music industry, and ultimately parted ways. Even though Cristian was not happy with the dissolve of her former group, she could not deny her love for music and began considering the possibility of a solo career.
Shortly after Cristian began to define herself as a solo artist, she recorded a summer smash “Nobody But Me” which caught the attention of Baltimore’s number 1 station for hip hop and R&B 92Q. She was now putting a brand on her writing style and bold music. Her irrefutable writing capability not only put her in a position to ghost write for many of Baltimore's local talent, but to also catch the attention of music lovers everywhere with the release of her first mixtape “The Tyler Effect”. She is known for her phenomenal vocal arranging that has often gotten her compared to her idol Brandy.
Cristian has performed with artists such as Lil Kim, The Isley Brothers & Case. She has also worked with Dru Hill, Michael Keith of 112, Day 26, Monifah, RL of Next, Sammie, Eric Bellinger and many others. Cristian prides herself on having a raw and edgy style that will shake up the industry.
Check out her debut album “Half on a Baby”, which strikes a chord with all R&B lovers!
1) How old were you when you first decided you wanted to do music?
Cristian Tyler: I was around 7 or 8 years old. I heard TLC's "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" for the first time and knew instantly that singing was what I wanted to do. In hind sight that probably wasn't the best song to have that epiphany to but it just turned out that way lol.
2) Who would you say inspires you the most as an artist?
Cristian Tyler: Hands down Brandy! There are honorable mentions such as TLC, Jodeci and Dru Hill, but Brandy is the single most reason I strive to be better everyday vocally. She embodies what it means to be a true professional and an incredible artist who has been able to sustain for over 20 years in the business.
3) Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Cristian Tyler: I see myself becoming a household name and reshaping with indie music is all about. My preference is to remain and indie artist and to help this platform grow into a major marketing field. I also see myself writing for a lot of major talent, current and up and coming.
4) What artist(s) would you like to collaborate with?
Cristian Tyler: There are so many but if I had to narrow it down it would be Brandy, Sisqo, T-boz, Tank, and new comers Ro James and DVSN. I'm old school so there aren't many new artists that have me wanting to run into the studio with them to collab.
5) What would you say is your biggest accomplishments?
Cristian Tyler: Great question! I would say the opportunity to collaborate with many of the R&B greats that I grew up listening to, which was an honor. I've worked with Michael Keith of the super group 112, RL the lead vocalist of the group Next, Two members of the super group Dru Hill (Jazz & Tao), Eric Bellinger, Sammie, Monifah, Two members of Day 26 (Willie & Mike), Jake&Papa and most recently Tiffany Evans. It's tough being an indie artist when you are the one supplying your own budget and marketing. So for these artists who have been in the game for as long as they have and have the resumes that they have to want to work with me and to tell me that "I've got it", that was huge for me. Michael Keith actually called me to tell me that I was incredibly talented! Nothing beats that feeling.
6) What is the biggest thing in your life that you regret and wish you could change (music or life in general)?
Cristian Tyler: Unfortunately I have more regrets that I'd like to, but I would have to say that the biggest thing I regret was not working hard enough and pushing myself more when I had the opportunity with Dru Hill. I was a former artist of Jazz from Dru Hill and was 1/4 of a female singing group he signed. When we broke up, I kind of gave up and went into a depression. It took me years to decide to go solo and give it another shot. Then it took a few more years to really start making a name for myself. I feel like a piece of my drive died and I could never get it back.
7) What is 1 thing that you want fans to always remember you by?
Cristian Tyler: My HARMONIES lol. That's what I'm known for and I believe that's what makes me so memorable. I have worked so hard to create my signature sound, vocal arrangements and arranging abilities and it's what has gotten me noticed the most along with my writing skills. I want to be remembered as one of the baddest vocal producers of our time.
8) What is the hardest thing about being in the music industry?
Cristian Tyler: Becoming and staying relevant without losing yourself in the process. Entertainers often have to wear masks in order to survive in this business. Which sometimes lead to selling out. I was told over and over to switch over to another genre of music because R&B is dead and will not get me anywhere, especially traditional R&B. But I refuse to sing anything else, and if only 2 people or 2 million people love what I'm doing, I'm going to continue to sing what I love to sing.
9) What separates you from other artist out right now?
Cristian Tyler: Well first thing nobody looks like me. I use to be a skinny R&B singer with locs, not a new-soul singer. Now I'm a skinny R&B singer with a short boyish cut. I can't find one girl who I resemble or who I can relate to physically. Secondly, I don't sound like anyone out right now. I'm the voice for the girls with soft raspy yet convicting voices who may lack the confidence to compete with the Jennifer Hudsons or Fantasia's of the world.
10) If you weren’t doing music what would you be doing?
Cristian Tyler: Playing football for a female minor league lol. I'm almost as obsessed with football as I am with music.
11) When it comes to music what is one thing you wish you knew five years ago?
Cristian Tyler: Another great question! I wish I knew that not having a thick skin would hold me back. It's honestly the reason why I believe I'm not further along as I should be. I am very sensitive when it comes to criticism and feedback, so that makes me go into a shell and not want to sing or play my music for anyone out of fear that nobody will like it or understand me. And my fear that people will talk down about me because I'm so skinny, which is why I don't show myself as much as I should. I'm still a work in progress in that regard because it's still something I struggle with daily.
12) Where is the strangest place a fan has every approached you?
Cristian Tyler: Hmmm....I'd have to say at a Denny's Restaurant lol. I was out eating with a friend really late at night, like well after midnight and I noticed these two girls at the next table over pointing and staring at me. I started to feel really weird about it so I tried not to make any eye contact, plus I was looking really frumpy that night lol. Finally, one of the girls came over and said "aren't you Cristian Tyler"? I was like yes, but still kept my head down slightly. She then said I'm a huge fan of your music and just wanted to tell you to keep doing what you're doing. I was in shock and totally humbled by the experience. It was an amazing feeling.
13) Musically who are you mostly compared to?
Cristian Tyler: In the early stages of my solo career I often got compared to the late great Aaliyah because I had a really soft and airy voice. Now that I've gotten older and have grown vocally I get compared to my idol Brandy and it sends chills down my spine every time someone says it.