With the release of his new single One Step Closer, Vancouver pop singer Tyrell Witherspoon is that much closer to his own musical dreams.
Following a successful 2011 that saw him open for artists like Destineak, Wynter Gordon and Martha Wash and the release of his EP Dance With Me, Witherspoon took a step back to re-group after a realization that breaking into the music industry was not going to be easy.
“After riding high last summer after doing a ton of performances and then releasing my EP that fall, I hit this state of ‘now what – where do I go from here?’ I think taking that time away and really studying other artists and music was helpful in realizing my next steps.”
Being an out-gay artist in the music industry is something that Witherspoon says has also contributed to his self-described “up-hill battle” in past months and while he is okay with having a few doors slammed along the way as the music industry adjusts to this new reality of gay artists, he hopes that one day being gay doesn’t play such a huge role in whether he receives airtime.
“I want the fact that I love another man be removed from the equation and simply be about the fact that my songs are about love, heartbreak, happiness and the like. These feelings are relatable to anyone, no matter what your sexual orientation.”
Pointing to out artists like Adam Lambert, Ricky Martin, Jakes Shears and Frank Ocean, Witherspoon sees them as both role models and musical influences.
“The new Scissor Sisters album is amazing and I love how Jake Shears is so unafraid to just be himself in the spotlight and doesn’t care what anyone has to say about it,” he says. “Adam Lambert is such a trailblazer as well and his new album has definitely influenced my sound.”
That sound meant taking One Step Closer, which was originally written three years ago as an acoustic guitar piece, and enlisting the help of local DJ and producer Nick Bertossi to morph it into the current dance and pop version.
Taken from a time in his own life, Witherspoon says that One Step Closer, now available on iTunes, is all about repairing the inevitable mistakes you make in a relationship.
“We’ve all been through this situation,” he explains. “You screw up a relationship and you regret it. But, you won’t give up without a fight. You want to make it right. So, you work to have the person back.”
Busy promoting the new single, Witherspoon is also working on his sophomore EP that is scheduled for a fall release.
“I want this EP to sound more mature and elevated from Dance With Me,” he says. “I was happy with my debut but I have learned so much since then that I want it to reflect in the final product.