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A rising pop prince

Missouri’s own Adam Tyler might be the next big thing on Top-40 radio

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January 17, 2013 | 12:00 a.m. CST

It’s true — most of us can’t help but tap our feet when we hear Lady GaGa’s “The Edge of Glory,” but there’s a new pop star that’s on the edge of glory, and he’s from Missouri.

Born in Columbia and raised in Kearney, 24-year-old Adam Tyler describes his music as emotional electronic pop. He loves computerized effects and synthesizers but also takes pride in the revealing lyrics of the songs on his debut album, Shattered Ice, all of which he wrote.

“Some of the lyrics are a bit dark and kind of emo, but they sound uplifting because the music is still dance and pop music,” Tyler says.

“I don’t wanna suffocate,” he sings in “Like A Drug.” “Just want you to mask the pain/Without you I’d fall apart.”

Tyler’s love of pop music emerged when he was in grade school. He specifically remembers watching the Spice Girls perform at the MTV Video Music Awards and thinking: “Wow, this could actually be a job. This is amazing.”

Since debuting his album Shattered Ice in 2011, Tyler has performed in Sweden, the United Kingdom, Japan, Spain and all over the United States. He says his best performance happened at WorldPride 2012 in London, during which he played for 50,000 people. “The fact that one venue had 10 times as many people as the town I grew up in — you know, I don’t know if it’s really sunken in yet, but it’s really crazy,” he says. “It’s still kind of surreal.”

Being able to perform at pride fests is special to Tyler because of what they represent and advocate. “I’m definitely all for equal rights,” he says. Tyler hopes his music can be a source of comfort for gay people who are bullied. “It seems pointless to me, and it’s sad that people are still doing that,” he says. “If I’m able to help someone through my music that’s experiencing something like that, then that’s fantastic.”

Tyler participates in many LGBTQ events. Notable venues include 2011’s Stockholm Pride and June’s Kansas City Gay Pride Festival, which was Tyler’s first performance in his home state. “For me, the pride shows are always my favorite just because of the energy there,” he says. “Everyone is always just so uplifting and energetic.”

His goal is to release another full-length album this year, which means that throughout all of his touring, he’s also been writing.

“My creative space is always flowing,” he says. And lucky for us, a show here might be in the near future. “I would love to do a show in Columbia,” he says. “I’d be very curious to see how my music would go down there.”

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