Interview with

Tyler Rice 



  • Your album is an one-man-work. Was this your personal concept or are there other reasons for it?
The idea for this CD actually started by placing 3 songs out on to see if anyone would listen or not.  These were the first and only 3 songs that I had written at the time and which were actually recorded on my computer in the basement. 

Soon I was receiving e-mails asking where my CD could be purchased.  I saw that there might be an interest in my music so I gave myself 3 months to write and record 9 more songs.  I really would have liked to have used  more musicians on the CD but at the time I did not know anyone that would work for free and record at the times that I needed to record.  Also, almost everything that you hear on my CD is improvised.  I just hit record and started playing.

  • Are you content with the results of your sells at Is this a reasonable economical platform for an artist?
Right now the only money that I receive through is for P4P (pay 4 play).  I make most of my sales from people buying my CD off of my personal web site ( 

For myself I use more as a business card.  It is a great place for people to go and try it before they buy it.  It is also great for any contact that might need to hear my music before I can actually ship them a CD.  As far as other artists go, it can be very profitable.  There are some artists that make a good living off of their MP3 earnings alone. So, if anyone would like to start downloading my music I would greatly appreciate it.

  • Do you use the opportunity to come in contact with other artists for further cooperations?


Not yet.  I have built some friendships with other artists online and currently I am looking to find some musicians to do some gigs and hopefully some festivals with.  I would really like to get more exposure with the smooth jazz scene and start doing some studio work or just jamming  with other smooth jazz artists.  Up until this point I have done everything by myself, from doing everything on my CD to even owning the label that I am on (Twin Records).
  • Did you ever try to sell your album to a label? What do you think about labels? What are your experiences with your website as an alternative selling-platform?


I have not yet tried to go after the labels. Through the grape vine I have heard that they will not touch an artist unless they have met certain criteria, like selling a certain number of CD's. 

Although, I would love to get signed so that I could get some backing and promotional support.  I currently have a full time job and a family that consist of 3 year old twins.  It is hard to find the time and finances to promote myself the way that I would like to. 

I think that labels are great, especially if you can find one that will take you under their wing and help your career grow.  As far as selling CD's off of my website, sales have o.k..  I am working with an online distributer that sells my CD on sites like,,

  • Tell me some details about the production of your album.
There was not much to the production.  I am always thinking up new songs in my head and what instruments would sound good with each song.  When I sit down at the keyboard I can hear the bass, drums, piano, strings, etc.. as the song is created.  I write songs like people play with Legos.  I start out with a piano, drum, or bass idea and build on top of it until it is just the right sounds and mixture of instruments.

However, sometimes it is very easy to get to carried away and add a 20 piece orchestra in the background. Then when I have layed down each individual track I play them all together and begin to tweak each of the effects until I am satisfied.  With this CD I did it all on my computer and learned that I will be going into the studio
for the next one.

  • Which software are you using for playing in, arranging and sequencing?
I use Cakewalk Pro Audio.  It is very easy to work with.
  • You probably use Yamaha and Korg equipment. Which keyboards and other instruments were part of your album?


Actually that is all that I used.  I have a Yamaha SY77 that I use as my controller keyboard and I use the sounds from my Korg N1R.  I just midi the N1R into Cakewalk and press record.  Although I used the drum and bass sounds off of my Korg, I have actually played drums since I was 4 and bass since the age of 12.  I used to play drums in a hard rock band by the name of Third Mist.  We mainly played here in Colorado, but we also made it to the semi-finals on Star Search in '91.
  • How did you trigger the drum-patterns? By  keys of your keyboard, with mouseclicks into your sequencer or did you use drumpads?
I used the keys on the keyboard.
  • The reviews about your first album are throughout positive. Denis Poole, Brian Soergel, Lee Prosser, Mike, even the critical Jonathan Widran are writing about catchy hooks. Is this encouraging and is there a feedback in selling-rates?
I am very pleased with each review that I have received and each one of these guy's have been very nice and easy to communicate with.  I like that the common theme is that my music has catchy hooks.  However, it has not seemed to have helped sales. Since I am new at this and I am doing all promotion myself I am not sure that I am hitting a big enough audience. 

Honestly I was really hoping that these reviews would have boosted my sales a lot more than they have.

  • So the Smooth Jazz radios are still dominating the taste of audience?

I feel that they are.  Unless an artist is on the radio most smooth jazz fans don't seem to be interested in listening. Of course there are those that like looking for new stuff and you would be amazed at how much unrecognized talent there is on alone, not to mention all of the other MP3 sites.

  • Concerning the Smooth Jazz radiostations BA is probably the mightiest and most influential radio network. Are you observing a parallel developement at
What is BA?  I have never heard of it.
  • Is this an ironical answer? I guess so. BA stands for Broadcast Architecture. Broadcast Architecture, a division of Clear Channel Communications, provides research and consultation services to the radio, TV and entertainment industries. They have created the Smooth Jazz Network®. The complete Smooth Jazz package includes among others Kenny G, George Benson, Anita Baker, Sade and David Sanborn. They provide a full or partial library of Smooth Jazz music for stations that are part of the Smooth Jazz Network®. These stations are using the BA services:


Thank you for that info.  I have been doing things the hard way.  I have been e-mailing each Program manager and music director from each staton that I can find.  I even had Gavin ship 51 copies of my CD to smooth jazz stations with their magazine.  However, my CD never made it into the hands that make the decisions.
  • As a longtime artist on you may observe the developement, that offers more and more services for the artists, but also rises the payment for these services or demands a fee for services which were free of cost before. What is your comment?
I feel that has done a lot for it's artist.  Personally, it has helped me by providing a medium where anybody in the world can listen to my music 24 hours a day.  As far as the fees go, I am not to crazy about the new rule of having to be a premier member in order to get paid for downloads in April.  I guess you can't always get something for nothing.  However, there are also other sites like and that are set up for artists to showcase their music on. If you don't care about being paid for downloads is still a great site to help an artist career.
  • What are your plans for the future ?
My future plans are to become a very famous smooth jazz artist at the same time as being the best husband and father that I can.  Since the age of 6 I have wanted nothing but stardom.  Today I am 28 and I know that I will never let my dream die.  All I have ever wanted was to have my music touch someones life and make it better.  If there was someone that fell in love, had their first kiss, or just had a good time listening to my music it is all worth while.

If I could get signed to a great lable I would work my a** off to put the best CD out that has ever been heard.  All that I need is someone to believe in me and my talent.

  • Any plans for playing gigs and tours?
I would really like to get a few musicians and play live.  Right now a tour would be kind of difficult with my job and family.
  • Is there any chance that your job would allow expanding your musical activities?
I  don't think that there would be a problem taking some time off to play.  If I had the choice to make money at my job or playing music, there would be no contest.
  • Are you already working on your next project?
Not Yet.  We are moving next months and I plan on begining it once we get settled in.  In the mean time I will start thinking of musicians that I would like to work with.
  • Tyler, I thank you for this interview.



You are very welcome, and thank you for your great web site where anyone can come to learn all about smooth jazz.

 Ever since I was 5 or 6 I have wanted to entertain an audience.  I have wanted my music to effect peoples lives.  If someone had a stressful day I would want to give them relaxation through my music.  My dream is to do nothing but music for a living and to travel around meeting the great people that are true smooth jazz fans.  So I ask that anyone who reads this interview please purchase my CD and tell me what you think of it.  The best part of being a musician is the feedback from the listeners.