Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, Tyler Cohen is a sensational artist with a soothing sound. We had the chance to speak with Cohen about his new album Welcome To Uncharted Territory, phobias, future plans and more!
OSR: What is the backstory to your album Welcome To Uncharted Territory?
Cohen: As we navigate life, we inevitably enter uncharted territory. Sometimes we voluntarily begin these adventures in search of great treasures, and at other times, unforeseen storms thrust us upon alien shores. Regardless of where our adventures lead us we are all capable of experiencing profound growth. We realise that the adventure – and the change it inspires within us – is the real treasure. This album is a reﬂection and testament to my journey through uncharted territory and the treasure that I found therein.
If you listen to the album or even read the track titles, you can notice there is an overarching theme centred around love/feelings. That theme is what I have tried to conceptualise as the uncharted territory I have been exploring.
OSR: What was the writing and recording process like?
Cohen: The writing process has technically been going on for a few years. For example, the original lyrics for ‘How I Feel’ were written in 2016! A few songs on the album are newer/updated versions of older ones that I have written. The others, like ‘Heartbroken’, were written in the span of two days during the making of this album.
As far as recording, I worked out of my home studio (i.e. my living room). I also worked with a long-time friend Brendan Shulman, who helped produce these tracks. Because Brendan lives in Tampa Bay, this album was put together remotely. Sending sessions back and forth, re-recording, re-editing, etc. I did take two extended trips down to Tampa to work him in person for a lot of the vocal recordings.
OSR: I assume musicians have a store of tracks from which to choose when creating an album. How did you choose the ones on Welcome To Uncharted Territory and was the placement of the tracks important?
Cohen: This assumption could not be more accurate. There were three? Maybe four other songs that got canned from being on the album. Brendan and I knew that we wanted a 10-song album that did not have a run time of greater than 30 or so minutes. It is hard to get people to listen to the music as is, so we aimed to have short and concise. Ultimately, the songs we cut did not sound better than the ones we compared them to, as in the ones that made the album. There was also a small amount of bargaining – “hey Brendan, if you let me have THIS song on the album, I will let you have THAT song on the album” ?
OSR: A lot of people are collaborating remotely to produce music. What do you think would be the pros and cons of online collaboration?
Cohen: Pro: It is convenient. I can be here, you can be there and we can still be productive with a track.
Con: Not having those creative minds in person can possibly leave out great ideas for a song or an entire song in general. Sometimes, the best things happen on the spot. Things of that nature cannot be replicated via remote collaboration.
OSR: What do you hope people take from your music?
Cohen: I just hope that what I write is relatable. I hope that when I write about heartbreak I have a song for someone to vibe with when they are also going through heartbreak. Or when they are in love? I hope I provide a song that makes them feel emotions musically. I just want them to feel something and connect with me.
OSR: Do you think the Covid-19 pandemic will have a long-term eﬀect on the entertainment industry?
Cohen: I certainly hope not! However, it is going to be hard to justify cramming a few thousand people in a stadium, a festival or any venue to see a band live again like we used to do it pre-Covid. Being in the ‘pit’ as an example, squished next to complete strangers, sweating and screaming songs at the top of your lungs is probably the worst thing for controlling the spread. But man do I hope we can get that back one day. Maybe in a few years, a vaccine will have this all under control.
OSR: What is your favourite smell?
Cohen: Oreos. I have a lot of love for Oreos and have a life goal of being sponsored by them. So, mark this interview down in history and pass on the good word to Oreo.
OSR: Do you have any phobias?
Cohen: Ironically, I have a fear of heights but am also a licensed skydiver. In fact, it is one of my biggest hobbies. The perception of height is very diﬀerent at 13,000 c. I hate climbing ladders, I hate roller coasters, I hate looking over the edge of something very high up… yeah, I hate all of that! ?
OSR: What albums would you recommend we listen to?
Cohen: Welcome to Uncharted Territory by Tyler Cohen…shameless plug. ?
Ok, I’ll recommend a classic in my opinion. Parachutes by Coldplay.
OSR: Do you have any future plans?
Cohen: My future plans are working on single releases, preparing for live show performances, and creating YouTube content (music videos, live versions of songs, BTS, etc.).