On a typical Thursday night, UT’s rising country singer Tyler Dial is either hanging out with friends having a “Damn Good Time” or on a plane headed to perform the hit single.
Tyler Dial, an economics sophomore, has been getting major airplay for his single “Damn Good Time” on satellite radio stations such as The Highway and plans to release his first EP this fall. He will be opening for Kelsea Ballerini on Oct. 4 at the Texas State Fair and is currently rewording “Damn Good Time” as a new sports anthem for UT.
“It’s really cool, because a lot of times, my friends from Phoenix will text me and will be like, ‘I just heard your song on the radio’ — people who I haven’t heard from in years,” Tyler Dial said. “That’s easily the coolest feeling.”
Born and raised in Arizona, Tyler Dial started getting into music in the fourth grade. Growing up, his father and manager, Patrick Dial, was a concert promoter who passed his love of country music on to his son. Tyler Dial grew up listening to country artists such as Garth Brooks and the Dixie Chicks in the car.
“As long as I can remember, he’s had a guitar in his hands,” Patrick Dial said.
But it wasn’t until the seventh grade, when he wanted to impress a girl at the talent show, that Tyler Dial started to take guitar seriously. Watching artists such as Keith Urban perform pushed him to start his career in music.
“When I saw Keith play and how he handled a crowd and how he silenced a room and held people in the palm of his hand, I realized that that’s what spoke to me,” Tyler Dial said.
He wrote his first radio single “Damn Good Time” during his senior year of high school with a friend. Through relentless calls and his father’s connections, they got in touch with producers Bob Hoag, who produced “Damn Good Time,” and Chuck Ainlay in Nashville. Ainlay has produced artists such as Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift and George Strait and recently won a Grammy for Miranda Lambert’s “Automatic.”
“The coolest part about [Hoag] is that he doesn’t listen to country music, and he’s never produced country music before, so he gave us a really cool edge to some of the songs,” Tyler Dial said.
His upcoming EP features Garth Brooks’s fiddle player, steel player and mandolin player, as well as Alice Cooper’s bass player. Tyler Dial said he draws from a variety of influences in his new project.
Architecture junior Taylor Moore, who has been friends with Tyler Dial since the eighth grade, said his charisma and outgoing personality come through in his music.
“You can tell how much he loves it, and the energy just reflects in his performance when he’s up [on stage],” Moore said.
Besides his time on the radio and recording with award-winning producers, Tyler Dial said he leads a relatively normal college life. A competitive soccer player in high school, he turned down several soccer scholarships from top schools before coming to UT. Tyler Dial said he and his family regard academics as a priority but have been able to make it work with his music career. He is currently a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and is part of UT’s Student Government.
“For me, [my music] is not about partying,” Tyler Dial said. “It’s more about getting with your friends on a Friday afternoon, just making the most of your week and trying to turn that week around with the little time that you have. I want to write music about what I do and who I am.”