Tammy Hyler on Working with Taylor Swift
You may not recognize the name Tammy Hyler, but chances are you have heard her songs. Her discography includes soundtracks to Runaway Bride, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, New in Town, and Desperate Housewives. She is one of Nashville’s most sought after songwriters. She has collaborated with everyone from Shania Twain and Billy Ray Cyrus to Taylor Swift. Risen interviewed Hyler in 2015 and talked about her collaboration with Taylor Swift and how her faith has impacted her career.
Hyler shares what it is like working with Taylor Swift.
“…I’ve never seen a kid more focused and more streamlined on what she wants. She has the formula for a hook and she keeps growing as an artist. I got to be a momma hen and tell her to remember every moment. I told her, ‘You are going to travel the world and you’re going to wish you had remembered and savored every moment.’ She really cares about her fans. She stays behind and signs every autograph and she’ll remember everything about you even five years later. She reminds me a lot of Garth Brooks in that way. I would advise new country stars to always follow what Garth and Taylor do. They did it right. Taylor and I wrote a song together-it was a personal song about a friend in her high school that got killed by a drunk driver on prom night. It was one of her favorites, but it didn’t make the record because it was so personal and sad. Maybe it will come out at some point. The next record she wrote by herself and now she is writing with the guys who wrote for NSYNC. She’s really the writer and it’s the perfect collaboration.”
“Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation. By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.” Hebrews 11:1-3
Hyler opens up about how her faith has impacted her career.
“Faith has been huge. Especially in a business like this, you have to have a lot of tough perseverance. I know God put this burning in my heart to make music, play, sing and write since I was born. I had to first realize that dream in my soul. When I was in LA and stepped in a studio to sing background parts, I broke down crying because I knew I was home – I knew I was supposed to be there. If that’s not a God moment, I don’t know what is. I told God, ‘Okay, I get it.’ I was acutely aware that’s what I was supposed to be doing. You end up in Nashville and you’re writing, and your songs go to #1 or they don’t. You literally have to have faith. It’s a daily, or hourly, conversation about how you’re going to get through. We start our songwriting group sessions with prayer. We pray, ‘Give us the words and give us the music.’ I want to try and honor God through my music. Not necessarily to write a Christian song, but honor Him in some way whether it’s getting someone through pain, or giving them a completely joyful song like ‘I Love You.’ I want to please God with what I’m doing and do it for a purpose.”
Collaborate. You don’t have to be a songwriter to collaborate. While it sometimes can be easier to work alone, God designed us for fellowship and community. Look for opportunities to work with others. It can be a project, idea or event. Meet with other like-minded individuals or companies and work on something together. It can be helpful to work on something that benefits the community or a group that is outside of everyone involved.
Incorporate your faith into what you do. Whether it is starting a meeting with prayer or having a Bible study with your co-workers, look for ways that you can live out your faith on a day-to-day basis. Our faith is not meant to be only for Sundays, God wants us to live out our faith daily. Take time this week to think through how you can incorporate your faith into what you do. Be open and obedient to what God shows you.
Encourage someone. It can be someone younger in their faith, a co-worker, neighbor or family member. Write a note, take them out for coffee, and share with them the potential that you see in them. You can even share something that you learned in your life or career that you think that they would benefit from. Ask God to show you someone that you can encourage if you can’t think of anyone. Reflect on people that have encouraged you and what it meant to you. You can have that same influence in someone else’s life.
To read our entire interview with Tammy Hyler, click here.
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