Born and raised in Powell River, Tyler Bartfai’s early talent was running. The Brooks Secondary School graduate attended Guelph University in Ontario, where he focused on competing in 800 and 1,500 metre races with the varsity track and field team, and achieved a degree in commerce. It was during these years he discovered a love of songwriting and performing. He is currently recording his first album.
When did you first get into music?
I got into music when I was in university. It was probably about four or five years ago now.
Who or what first inspired you musically?
I’m often inspired by songs driven by the portrayal of emotion. I’d say the catalyst for me wanting to start writing music was John Mayer’s Born and Raised album. It’s a lot folkier than most of his radio music and has a magic to it. I hope to connect to audiences the way that those songs connected to me.
What influences and inspires you as a songwriter?
As a songwriter I’m usually inspired by just venting or getting my feelings down. I’m not particularly good at communicating my thoughts or emotions on a day-to-day basis and songwriting has been a great outlet to not only express my thoughts, but to slow them down enough to actually make sense of them. Artists I listen to a lot whose musical styles definitely influence my writing include JJ Cale, John Mayer, Jason Mraz and Eric Clapton, but the list is a lot longer than that.
You toured quite a bit last summer. What have you been up to musically this year?
I spent from June until the end of September on the road with my good friend Shaun Rawlins. We played over 40 shows and put a lot of miles on my motorhome across western Canada. The furthest east we went was Lethbridge and the furthest north was Edmonton, with a lot of stops in between.
What's the most fun about touring and performing?
There are few feelings that match standing on stage belting out songs you’ve written to an audience. There’s a certain escape to it, matched with concentrated nostalgia that transports you back to the time you wrote the songs. Touring is a blast. It was great to see more of the province and meet a lot of wonderful people along the way.
What else are you passionate about?
I do a tonne of fly fishing. It’s my other main hobby along with fly tying. I used to do a lot of running. It’s what led me to Ontario to run varsity track and field and was the largest aspect of my life for quite some time until I hurt my foot.
What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’m working on my first real EP right now. Shaun introduced me to his producer John Webster, who I’m very privileged to get to work with. The stuff he’s played on and produced is amazing, and what’s done on the project so far is wicked. We’re aiming for an early 2019 release. I’m playing at Rockit Music with Austin Parise on November 17, Townsite Brewing on December 14, and a few shows on the island in December. I’ll be having a pretty light show schedule until the summer when I can get back on the road again.