American artist TJ Doyle has a global perspective, a love for Earth, and an understanding of what it takes to take care of the planet we live on. Additionally, he takes a song, gives it a melodic but compelling musical backdrop, and performs it with a sense of humor, responsibility, and strong but understated Americana sensibilities. The outcome is astounding success on a global scale, with his two most recent releases from his second album, “Everything” and “Living in Our Dream,” entering 2018 at the top of the Radio Indie Top 40 Charts. For TJ Doyle, being at or near the top of the charts is nothing new. His song “Anonymous,” which peaked in the Top 5 of the Indie Top 40 in late summer 2017, was followed by “Unconditional” and “Living In Our Dream.” He later spent more than two years in the Indie Weekly Top 40.
On September 30th, 2021, TJ Doyle released a brand-new 5-Song EP titled “A Different View.” He believes that music can bring peace at a time when conflicts seem to be so loud in people’s minds. As a result, he offers suggestions that can help stop the internal debate that is so pervasive in our society right now. In general, Doyle says that his music “helps people make sense of themselves and the world.” With “Anonymous,” TJ was nominated for a prestigious Round Glass Award in the Rock Song category. The Award honors musicians who compose music with social responsibility in mind for wellness, environmental awareness, and peace.
(Let Your Light) Shine is the 35th single since the release of his debut album in 2009. (Let Your Light) Shine has received a lot of airplay on the Radio Indie Alliance and on Independent radio stations around the world. All of his music is about Nature and the nature of everyone. Check out the song and the exclusive interview below:
1. Can you tell us a bit about where you come from and how it all got started?
TJ DOYLE: I was living in Madison, Wisconsin long ago, and found an agent. My band started touring and playing my original music and some covers. We did this for about 3 years playing all over the Midwest, almost nightly. We ended up playing in a lot of the same towns at clubs to increasing larger audiences.
2. Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
TJ DOYLE: Mostly self-taught. I had a wonderful piano teacher that made me learn the first half of a piece and let me write the other half. It was a great experience until she passed away.
3. Who were your first and strongest musical influences and why the name ‘TJ DOYLE’?
TJ DOYLE: This is a hard question. From my earliest memories, I wanted to create music that would help people to understand themselves better. Musically, I’ve had my own style that has grown over the years.
4. What do you feel are the key elements in your music that should resonate with listeners, and how would you personally describe your sound?
TJ DOYLE: Simplicity, and a vehicle for my lyrics. All my music is a vehicle for my lyrics.
5. For most artists, originality is first preceded by a phase of learning and, often, emulating others. What was this like for you? How would you describe your own development as an artist and music maker, and the transition towards your own style, which is known as COUNTRY?
I am not really a country artist. I have always had my own sound which has been difficult because people have always reconciled in their minds who someone sounds a little like. I do get compared to Neil Young because of my vocal sound, but not my writing style.
6. What’s your view on the role and function of music as political, cultural, spiritual, and/or social vehicles – and do you try and affront any of these themes in your work, or are you purely interested in music as an expression of technical artistry, personal narrative, and entertainment?
I am more interested in imparting wisdom to a younger generation. It might be more Spiritual in this regard, but I have always wanted to help people, and I look for ways to do this with my lyrics.
7. Do you feel that your music is giving you back just as much fulfillment as the amount of work you are putting into it or are you expecting something more, or different in the future?
I have no expectations for my music. Just making it brings me joy. The most recent song (Let Your Light) Shine has more of a response than any of my previous 34 songs released in 10 song albums, “One True Thing” in 2009 and “On The Horizon” in 2015. The rest have been singles until a 5 song CD last year and now my most recent single release.
8. Could you describe your creative processes? How do usually start, and go about shaping ideas into a completed song? Do you usually start with a tune, a beat, or a narrative in your head? And do you collaborate with others in this process?
I can feel songs hanging around me usually, and then I sit down with my guitar and usually get a first verse and a chorus. Then I start developing the song.
9. What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music career so far?
TJ DOYLE: The loss of my 13-year-old brother, John, when I was 10 years old is the most difficult experience. Also spending so much time and money on making my first album, and not having a clue how to promote it.
10. On the contrary, what would you consider a successful, proud or significant point in your life or music career so far?
TJ DOYLE: My latest song (Let Your Light) Shine has made inroads for me that no other song has. While it is getting airplay on Independent radio stations worldwide, and another set of non-reporting stations worldwide, it very possibly will end up on some reporting stations in the next few weeks.
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