Bristol’s own Tyler & Ryan have racked up millions of views on their YouTube page, covering songs by Jason Mraz, Ellie Goulding and Taylor Swift, among others. They’ve been involved with America’s Got Talent and The Voice, and won a battle of the bands held by Ryan Seacrest’s website. Now the brothers are preparing for a series of live appearances in RI this summer.
Cover songs have been key to Tyler and Ryan Falcoa’s success. They created their YouTube page in 2010 with the initial intent of uploading original songs, but it wasn’t until they began including covers that their view count skyrocketed into the millions. Their channel is currently holding steady at around 40,000 subscribers – not bad for two Bristol kids who can’t legally drink yet.
“The boys started together in the basement of their home about ten years ago,” says Nicole Estrella, one of band’s biggest advocates. “Ryan started on drums and Tyler started on the electric guitar. Both are self-taught musicians and were inspired by ‘60s and ‘70s classic rock to get them started. About four years ago they started their YouTube page, DirtyTAR, which paved the path they are currently on.”
Starting out on rock and making the transition to pop, the brothers honed their craft together. Tyler started out as the sole vocalist and remained so until 2011. Through the years he’s also learned to play bass, drums, piano, banjo, mandolin and ukulele. Ryan has since taken up the guitar and began singing at the time of their YouTube page launch. “Regardless of who sang, Tyler and Ryan always stuck together,” Nicole says.
A year after launching their YouTube page, they began uploading covers and the view count climbed. Their popularity got them noticed by Ryan Seacrest’s website, which was looking to pit eight YouTube acts against each other to see who had the best rendition of Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass.” Three rounds of worldwide fan voting later, Tyler & Ryan emerged victorious. A month later, they performed in front of 5,000 fans at Playlist Live at the Meadowlands Exposition Center. They’ve also been involved with both America’s Got Talent and The Voice, receiving two audition requests from the producers and advancing to various production rounds.
In addition to YouTube, Tyler & Ryan make their music available through iTunes. An incentive for fans to purchase songs is that a portion of the proceeds goes to the American Cancer Society, a cause near to the brothers’ hearts. “Their grandfather was diagnosed with cancer a couple years back,” Nicole says. “That incident opened their eyes to the opportunities they could create just by doing what they love. This was a shift in direction with their music. Their grandfather is now cancer-free and they continue to nurture that social responsibility in which they hold so high.”
That shift to a pop-oriented sound increased the quantity of their fan base. “Tyler’s biggest influence was Steve Jobs,” Nicole says. “The way he brought people together, thought about ideas and set them forward plays a huge part in the way Tyler thinks when creating with Ryan. His brother Ryan also influences him. He pushes Tyler’s creative flow. Ryan’s biggest influence is his brother Tyler. Together they push each other to be the best they can be, thus creating music that resonates well with not only their audience, but also themselves. ”
While covers have gotten them noticed, they’re prepping original music that Nicole says stays in line with their current style. “As far as original music, the boys like to keep their audience happy. If you have listened to or seen their YouTube covers, their original music does not run too far from their cover sound,” Nicole explains. “They are a pop duo so they love to play around with beats and catchy melodies. They love acoustic music, so having an acoustic sound with a colorful tone is essential. If you love a lot of bass then you will enjoy their originals, which they plan on releasing real soon.”
Now they’re getting ready to step out from viewers’ computer screens and onto Rhode Island stages. They’ve teamed up with Warwick’s Launch Trampoline Park and will be performing at a series of Teen Night shows on July 11, August 8 and August 29 at 7pm. “Tell anyone who loves to jump on trampolines and listen to music to come by Launch in Warwick, for those dates!” Nicole says.