LJ Tyson finds success with ‘Hide’

Photo courtesy LJ Tyson.

Local singer LJ Tyson’s newest release is only a week old, but it’s already outperforming all expectations.

The music video for Hide, the latest release off of Tyson’s upcoming LP, was posted to Youtube Sunday. It’s already tallied over 3,500 views as of press time. The music video for Tyson’s previous video, Locals, created and promoted with the assistance of the City of Prince Albert, has 2,470 views and was posted over a year ago on Sept. 15, 2017.

“This one has been my biggest release to date. This one took on a life of its own,” Tyson said when reached by phone Friday.

“I didn’t expect this at all. I wrote this and recorded it in my friend’s studio in Saskatoon. I made a video for it, so I expected it would pick up a little bit, but definitely not as much as it has. As a local artist, I feel really supported right now.”

The song was written as Tyson was in the process of finding his way in the music industry. Though country music is in his roots, Tyson first started playing music professionally as part of a punk band. He’s a part of other projects too, including Hyv, an electronic indie-pop project with local drummer Zachary Kerr. For his solo project though, Tyson is sticking to country.

“The driving force behind this song was me figuring out what I wanted to do next in music. I had an idea in my head of a lyric and a melody and I took it to the studio and went from there,” he said.

“It’s not traditional country whatsoever. It’s pop-country. Towards the end, I decided I wanted to put out a pop version as well, so there is a pop version coming down the line. The remix … is full pop-rock.”

Tyson said the county music community has been very welcoming. With the song’s poppy vibe, he was unsure how it would be received, but it’s been mostly positive.

The video for the song features the story of two characters and their conflicts, at times involving drinking, vaping, fighting and drinking and driving. The video includes a disclaimer before it begins saying “the makers of this video in no way promotes or advises (sic) the use of alcohol while driving. Depictions in this video were staged for entertainment purposes only. Viewer discretion is advised.”

Tyson said he received some criticism for the video.

“I did get some flak putting the smoking and drinking in the video, but it’s al fake, even what they had in the vaporizer,” he said.

Scenes, where the characters appear to be drinking out of a Jack Daniels whiskey bottle, were staged using iced tea.

“I like to promote people making good choices, and the choices made in the video by the characters are not the greatest choices. I want to stress to people that it’s a story. It’s no way reflecting who those people actually are. It’s a story, just like somebody would watch a TV show. We don’t promote that whatsoever.”

The story came from some of Tyson’s personal experiences. He didn’t want to get into specifics, instead leaving it open for interpretation.

“There are some personal things in there I think everyone can relate to and I want everyone to have that experience for themselves when they watch the video or listen to the song,” he said.

The video itself features scenes shot in Prince Albert locales, such as the skateboard park, with a pair of Prince Albert-based stars, Friends Band drummer Braden Busse and The Wolfe drummer Tesa Thompson.

“We did that on purpose,” Tyson said.

“There are a few little Easter eggs in there … people might notice from the local music scene.”

Hide is available on Spotify and the music video on Youtube.