The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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SMU Mustang makes music

Her voice emits various melodies of blues, pop and folk music. Her bubbly personality shines through the rhythm of her songs. Her style brings a charming yet energetic presence to the stage.

Tyler Guthrie is an up-and-coming artist in the music industry with a sultry voice, impeccable songwriting skills and the power to move an audience in live shows.

A native of Newport Beach, Calif., and a junior in the journalism department at SMU, Guthrie struck gold in her music career three years ago when her demo tape was sent to Mike Pisterzi, a record producer for Dallas’ Maximedia Studios.

“She has that intangible element that makes somebody want to listen to a singer,” Pisterzi said.

Pisterzi and Guthrie have since been in the studio writing, recording and putting together her self-titled debut album. Released Feb. 2, the album includes four songs written by Guthrie, one by Pisterzi and three by guitarist Andy Timmons. The songs mix blues, pop, rock and folk and outline some of the rising star’s personal experiences in the industry.

“Let Me Go” is the song that started it all. First played on the air for KLBJ radio in Austin, it is the first song written by Guthrie and one of the most meaningful.

When she moved to Austin at age 11, Guthrie started attending Austin School of Music’s Rock’n’Roll camp. At camp, she was able to put her talent to use through learning songs and performing at local venues in Austin. Guthrie attended camp every summer until she graduated high school and wrote and performed “Let Me Go” one year while at camp. Representatives from the local Fox station saw her performance and asked her to play the song live on one of their shows.

After her success on TV, the song gained airplay in Austin, and Guthrie’s career in the music industry was underway. She left Austin for Los Angeles to attend college at Loyola Marymount, but was suddenly struck with the devastating news that one of her friends had passed away in Austin.

Guthrie felt it was best to be back in Texas, so she packed up her things after living in Los Angeles for two years and returned home. While she mourned the loss of her friend and frantically contemplated her next move in school and music, Guthrie was inspired to write her next song, “The Purpose.”

“It was a good way of getting myself out of that really deep hole I had gotten myself into emotionally,” she said. “It’s about knowing that you will find your purpose no matter what.”

Shortly after writing the song, her demo was presented to and won approval by Pisterzi, so she decided to move to Dallas. She enrolled in SMU and began working with Pisterzi and sound engineer Rob Wechsler in the summer of 2005.

Upon arriving in Dallas, Guthrie faced a few setbacks in beginning her new journey. She became ill on the drive to Dallas and was forced to return to Austin to see her doctor, delaying her production start day. Her nerves got the best of her as she stood and sang in the same studio that artists such as Mariah Carey and Mary J. Blige had recorded in.

The first recording of her vocals did not turn out as planned, so Guthrie and Wechsler worked on adjustments. Despite a few bumps, Pisterzi credits Guthrie’s stamina and professionalism in successfully completing the album.

“She’s very eager to make the best music she possibly can,” he said. “She’s very open to suggestions and experimentation, which is always a great thing for an artist because it opens up a lot of paths for an artist to expand their interests and their music.”

Guthrie is working on expanding her music by promoting her album on her MySpace page and beginning a tour of live shows. She has played shows in Austin, Fort Worth and Dallas with her band in years past. She has struggled to find a band worth keeping for now, but instead plays acoustic shows with her faithful guitar player, Spencer Deaton.

“She’s fun to work with. It’s like hanging out with one of the guys. She has a great sense of humor and makes playing shows enjoyable,” Deaton said.

Guthrie is eager to find a band and continue playing more shows. She is also anticipating her album’s release party, which will be held soon at Maximedia’s sound stage facility.

Her influences and favorite music artists include Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald and Jewel. Her biggest dream is to develop her career and have success comparable to theirs.

“I want to be able to tour and work with great writers and musicians and just come up with great music, not once but for many different albums,” she said.

“I can’t see myself doing anything else. I want to sit on a van or bus and just think about my next gig. That’s what I want to do!”

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