Tyrone Wells: Tyrone Wells' fourth full-length album, Where We Meet, ushers in a new beginning for the critically acclaimed singer-songwriter. Not only is it his first full-length release since leaving a major label, it signifies his next evolution. Embracing both sides of his sound, Wells seamlessly balances acoustic vulnerability and pop rock irresistibility over the course of eleven unforgettable anthems. Ultimately, Where We Meet is the perfect place for Wells to start anew while keeping the same ethic that has won him his loyal fan base from his early independent days.
The journey to Where We Meet actually began on the high seas in 2010. He was playing The Rock Boat, an annual floating festival that travels from Tampa, FL to Cozumel, Mexico. Out on the ship in the middle of the ocean, he had an epiphany. With two lauded major label releases under his belt—Hold On  and Remain —and countless high-profile film and TV placements including American Idol, One Tree Hill, Vampire Diaries, Rescue Me, Grey's Anatomy, My Sister's Keeper, Something Borrowed and more, Wells felt the urge to go independent again.
"I was thinking about my relationship with my record label," he recalls. "I didn't feel like they were capitalizing on the momentum that I had. So I wrote this long letter to my manager that I wanted to part ways with the label. When we reached port the next morning, my manager told me that the label actually just ended the relationship. Talk about serendipity! It's like a relationship where both parties want to go their separate ways. After that, I didn't have to worry about anyone else's timelines and concerns. I could just focus on making a great record."
Free from any constraints, Wells started working on that "great record" by penning over 80 songs. In the middle of that process, he managed to release the digital EP, Metal & Wood in 2010. Metal & Wood spent nearly three weeks at #1 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart and debuted at #14 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart. Inspired immensely, he feverishly kept writing, experimenting, and pushing himself for almost two years. Taking his time in the studio, Wells worked diligently with two producers Thomas Doeve and Bill Lefler. The result is Where We Meet. "I always wanted to make an album that was both sparse and intimate but also had these epic moments," he says of the sound. "I love singer-songwriter albums that are vulnerable, but I'm also drawn to big, epic rock music. The record really is a meeting place between those two. I truly tried to incorporate both of those flavors. For the first time, I feel like I accomplished it."
You can hear it on the album's first single "Freedom." A sunny acoustic guitar and handclaps resound as Wells delivers one of his catchiest choruses yet. It's energetic, upbeat, and utterly undeniable. About the song, he reveals, "I was listening to a lot of Simon & Garfunkel, and I wanted to write something upbeat. I was hoping they'd peek into the room and inspire me."
He continues, "So often, we try to hold on to things that aren't working. When you open up your hands and let things go, they come back to you—maybe not even in the way you expect. As an independent artist, I have the freedom to do anything. I feel like this is a fitting opening to the album."
On the other end of the spectrum is the pensive, powerful, and poetic, "I Can't Save You Now." Wells says goodbye as gorgeous instrumentation bristles in the background.
"I was crazy about this girl in college, but she was always in the middle of some sort of crisis," he remembers. "At some point, I realized I can't fix her and her problems. I couldn't be in a relationship in that capacity because it was making me totally nuts. I had never felt so ungrounded. That's what the song talks about."
The title track sums everything up for him though. He goes on, "It delves into all of the madness and chaos of the world right now. There's so much in life that we can't control, but we can control how we treat each other. The heart of the record can be encapsulated in the closing lyric of Where We Meet: 'Take my hand, all we have is a moment, so hold nothing back.'"
In some ways, Where We Meet brings Wells back to where it all began. Being independent again is like going back to his roots, except this time it is selling out venues, rather than coffee shops. He's carving his own path. "I'm not in music so I can get rich," he declares. "I have what I need and more. The aim for me isn't to get famous. The aim is to make great music that I can stand by."
With his first baby on the way and Where We Meet dropping this spring, he certainly has a lot to stand by. Wells concludes, "I'm doing what I love and if my art resonates with other people, I'm happy. I love it when someone tells me that my music is the soundtrack to their lives. I hope I can continue to provide that."
Where We Meet is just the beginning…
Andrew Belle: Andrew Belle is a new artist on the pop singer/songwriter scene. Residing in both Chicago and Nashville, he is currently a member of the critically acclaimed national tour Ten Out Of Tenn. Andrew released his debut EP All Those Pretty Lights in 2008, containing songs featured in hit TV shows including “90210” and “The Real World.” His song “I’ll Be Your Breeze” garnered nationwide airplay including Los Angeles tastemaker station KCRW. Andrew recently was named “Best Breakout Artist, Chicago” by MTV. His music and vocal stylings draw comparisons to Coldplay, The Fray, and John Mayer. Fans and critics often refer to his songs as “smart pop”—nuanced melodies and contemplative lyrics coupled with bold, infectious hooks. Look out for his debut full-length album The Ladder, released in February 2010.