Exclusive: Tyler Braden Talks Rise To Fame And Relationship With Brantley Gilbert

Tyler Braden: "I want to be who I want to be. I don't want to end up changing because the industry wants me to."

Before Tyler Braden lit the country music genre on fire with his powerhouse vocals, he was putting out flames across Nashville as a first responder.

The firefighter turned country breakout star was far from an overnight sensation, as Braden spent several years chasing his music dream. When he wasn’t aiding the civilians of Music City, he was performing at local hotspots or wiggling his way into elite songwriting circles. The Alabama native is now known as one of the fastest rising musicians in the honky tonk town. CMT caught up with Braden to speak about his career change, how A-listers became mentors, and the primary motive behind his artistry.

While tucked away in a decked-out trailer before a show in sunny California, he looked around and compared the greenroom on wheels to a bright red firetruck. He began to recall his experience working in the firehouse and said that it made him into the man and musician he is today.

“I was in the fire service for seven years, but I’ve always said it helped a lot. It kind of made me who I am,” said Braden. “It helped control emotions because there are a lot of ups and downs in both careers. I would’ve been a completely different person. So, I’m glad it happened the way it happened.”

As Braden’s music career began to pick up speed, he told CMT that he turned to seasoned singer-songwriters for guidance to build a supportive community.

“I’m blessed to have a lot of people that I can really turn to,” he mentioned full of enthusiasm. “I’ve got a lot of artist friends. I’m friends with Breland, Chase Rice, and the guys at my management,” he added.

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