Tyler Castleton: The man behind the music
Jillian Stafford - LDS Living - May 23, 2012
Songwriter, arranger, and producer Tyler Castleton has been creating the songs you love for years with big-name LDS musicians like Gladys Knight and Kurt Bestor. He’s stayed mostly hidden behind the curtain – until now.
You may not recognize the name Tyler Castleton, but odds are you’re familiar with Kenneth Cope, Gladys Knight, Kurt Bestor, and Jericho Road. Tyler Castleton has written songs and produced albums for the biggest names in LDS music—and now, he’s stepping into the spotlight himself.
Growing up in a musical family of seven boys, Castleton learned to play the piano classically at the young age of five. He learned both by reading music and playing by ear. Castleton wrote his first song for his high school graduation, calling it “a poem put to music.” He continued to write a little more on his mission, but it wasn’t until he enrolled in a songwriting class at Brigham Young University that he started to write seriously and consider a career in the music business.
He eventually studied media music at Brigham Young University. Through his education and passion for music, Castleton has been able to share his talents and fulfill his songwriting dream, as well as the dreams of artists who perform his songs, traveling to places like Los Angeles and Nashville to write music and learn from many different mentors.
In addition to writing and arranging music, Castleton is involved with many other projects that include acting as the Tour Director for the Forgotten Carols, and producing the BYU Women’s Conference Concert. He previously worked as the Director of Music at Deseret Book Company.
Hilary Weeks, whose album Every Step was the first LDS artist’s album to reach the top 10 on Billboard’s Christian Albums list, has worked closely with Castleton for years. Her recent hit “Beautiful Heartbreak” (see video below) was co-written with him. “He knows how to make a project the best it can possibly be--and he does it with dedication, commitment, and a lot of humor,” she said.
Castleton has a way of getting the very best from everyone he works with, Weeks said, and always gives his heart and soul to every project. “After years of working with Tyler, I trust and depend on his professionalism, but I am even more grateful for his kindness, sincerity, depth of character, and most of all, his friendship.”
Through songwriting, Castleton hopes to bring the spirit into his own life as well as the lives of others. He explains that the process of creating a song has two parts: “There’s a preparation side and there’s an inspiration side. . . . Once the two of those meet, then I think magical things can really happen.” Like his lyrics from Kenneth Cope's popular song "I Will Not Be Still" say, “How can I keep this gift to myself, when I can lift somebody else?” (click here to listen to the song).
Castleton sees his music gives as an opportunity to share messages about the things that mean the most to him. Now, he’s doing that in a new album titled When I Can’t Speak: The Music of Tyler Castleton.
This album contains 17 tracks that were written and produced by Castleton and pulls him out from behind the scenes and into the spotlight. The songs on the album, which released May 14th, were hand selected by Castleton and are some of his most personal and most requested. Each of them has a special place in his heart and illustrates his reason for writing. He describes the album as a “celebration of songs,” because it represents the work of so many people.
“This album is as much everyone else’s as it is mine,” Castleton said. “I feel so grateful and so blessed to have been able to work with so many talented people.”
For more information about Castleton’s new album, click here.
© LDS Living, 2012.