We had the good fortune of connecting with Tyler Gerald and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tyler, how do you think about risk?
When you make that decision to pursue music as a career, you have to be ready to take some huge risks, and I truly believe these risks are necessary to become successful. The biggest risk you take, in my opinion, is letting go of stability. I was stuck working a job that had nothing to do with what I wanted to do in life, but it paid my rent/bills and I could count on getting paid every two weeks. I wasn’t giving music my all and it was getting put on the back burner because I had to go to work and I had to get paid. When I finally quit my job, it was when the pandemic/quarantine first started and everything started to close down. I had so much time on my hands. I didn’t know what to do with myself. Now I had all this free time with no plan whatsoever of what I was going to do or how I was going to make money. I’m still finding my footing to this day and I would say that I’m just now really starting to get out there and getting booked a lot more than I ever have this year. It’s very hard to stay encouraged at times because your income is determined by how many times you get booked that month. You may have 10 bookings one month and only 2 or 3 the next. However, I truly believe that if you just simply keep going and keep doing what you’re doing, more and more people will see you. I always tell myself that it only takes one special event or one person to shift the whole trajectory of your life, so I make sure I give my all at every event.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve been playing the flute for almost 17 years. It started back in the 6th grade. I didn’t put much thought into playing the flute, and I really just chose it because all my other friends did. I never would’ve thought it would become such a key part of my life. I think it all changed for me once I started taking private lessons in middle school and I realized that I’m actually pretty good at this. After that realization, I just wanted to get better and better. I wanted to be the best. After high school, I thought I wanted to be a nurse but that quickly changed after my freshman year and I went on to major in music like I should have in the first place. I knew that I had something special because I felt like I never fit into any of these “boxes” they try to put you in, in school. I did grow up classically trained, but I often found myself dabbling into more modern music like RnB and Hip Hop. I started putting my songs on the internet and people were really rocking with it. This one day, I put a cover of “Mask Off” by Future on Twitter and it went CRAZY. A very short video of me playing around, and just off of that, I booked a GAP commercial! That has been my greatest accomplishment so far in life. I had no idea something so huge was possible for me until that very moment I was in New York filming with some of the greatest, most world renowned video directors and photographers. After that, I realized that literally anything is possible and there’s no limit to what I can do with this instrument. I want people, especially young people, to know that there’s nothing “lame” about playing an instrument and that there are no rules or limitations on what you can do with it. I also want there to be more representation of black women musicians.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to dedicate this shoutout to my family. They have allowed me to fully be who I want to be and has supported me the whole way with making sure I have everything I need, taking me to my events, and just being there for moral support as well. I’m extremely grateful because not everyone has that type of support from their family when they want to pursue such an unpredictable, unconventional career.

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