True Gentleman: Tyler Hilton

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By Kara Manos > Senior > Journalism and New Media > Towson University

You may remember Tyler Hilton as the confident and somewhat conceited singer Chris Keller on The CW’s One Tree Hill, but now this 26-year-old is taking a break from acting to focus on his first love: music.

As a student in high school, Hilton was passionate about music and songwriting. He planned to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston, but was tempted to focus on a music career instead.  “It was about two weeks before I was about to head to school when I decided to defer my enrollment for two years,” Hilton said.
Luckily for him, the risk paid off.  It wasn’t long before the singer/songwriter/guitarist signed with Warner Bros. Entertainment. “It was big. I felt like I made it,” he said.

But getting to that point wasn’t easy. “I had started my own indie label in high school and it was a lot of work producing my own record.” Instead of having a typical teenage social life, Hilton would spend his afternoons burning CDs on his friend’s computer and recording tracks at a family friend’s studio in L.A.

Now, after four years of studio work, Hilton is back on the road for a two-month, cross-country tour with label-mates The Spill Canvas. Hilton is also releasing a five-song EP soon. The EP, Ladies and Gentlemen, includes tracks that will be featured on Hilton’s second album, The Storms We Share, due for release this summer. 

“It took me a while to make this album because I kept feeling like there was something missing,” Hilton said. That missing piece was learning how to let go, he explained. “[Then I focused on] opening up and exploring other assets of my life.”

While Hilton is currently living a dream, he’s hoping to tour the world and acquire an international fan base one day. “I want to meet all the fans because I have such an honest relationship with them,” he said. “But first, I want to get the music out there.”

photo from

College Magazine Staff

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