Shelter Music Group's Tyson Haller on Seether, Jelly Roll, and the Ineffable Power of Music

Plus, why brands must respect an artist's vision

Tyson Haller is a promotion executive with over 20 years of experience in the music industry.

Following a distinguished career at Elektra Records, Virgin Records, Warner Music Group, ILG, ADA and Concord, Tyson is currently SVP, promotion and artist strategy, at Shelter Music Group, where he works alongside the company’s team of managers to assist in artist development, as well as create, drive and support multiple radio campaigns across the roster.

We caught up with Tyson for our Liner Notes series to learn more about his musical tastes and journey through the years, as well as recent work he's proud of and admired.

Tyson, tell us...

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and now live in South Orange, New Jersey.

Your earliest musical memory.

Ever since I can remember, my uncles would always get together at family events or during the holidays and sing John Prine songs. It still happens to this day.

Your first concert.

My first concert was tagging along with my mom, my aunt and my cousin to see Air Supply when I was around 5 or 6 years old. I fell asleep halfway through.

Your favorite bands/musicians.

My favorite musician is David Bowie. He was just the coolest, and he always reinvented himself, but still remained edgy throughout his whole career. My favorite band is New Order. They were at the forefront of electronic music, which solidified my love of the genre, and they made an impact on countless other bands after them.

How you get your music these days.

I use Amazon Music throughout the house with the Sonos app on my phone, and then Spotify when I am on my laptop or in the car.

Your favorite place to see a concert.

I think Bowery Ballroom in NYC is my favorite venue. You always know you are going to see something great and exciting there.

Your favorite music video.

The Verve "Bitter Sweet Symphony" immediately comes to mind. It's a simple video, yet very captivating. You feel drawn to watch the whole thing.

Your favorite music-focused TV show and/or podcast.

My wife introduced me to the Nile Rodgers podcast Deep Hidden Meaning, where he talks to songwriters and they give sort of a behind-the-music type story on some of their biggest hits. It's super interesting to hear the origins of where a melody comes from or how the lyrics come together from an idea or personal experience.

A recent project you're proud of.

As head of promotion at Concord, it was exciting being a part of the team that helped give Seether their first string of three consecutive No. 1 records in a row at Rock Radio. The band had put out a great album with a ton of killer tracks, and even though they couldn't tour during Covid, they were very engaged in supporting the radio campaign. They were super open to working alongside the radio team to put together creative promotions with stations that helped take each single all the way to the top. Now I work for their management company!

Someone else's project that you admired recently.

It's been great to watch all the success that Jelly Roll has been having recently. The fact that BMG has been able to have success with him at both rock and country radio is really impressive, and it's like he's creating his own genre. And aside from the music, he's also got a really moving story that I think connects with a lot of people. Fans are rooting for him to succeed!

How musicians should approach working with brands.

I think it helps for musicians to find brands that they connect with and that mean something to them. If they are aligned with a brand in that way, they will feel more comfortable embracing the relationship and hopefully developing a long-term connection that can last an entire career.

How brands should approach working with musicians.

At the end of the day, musicians are artists, and they have a vision for how they want to present their art to the world. If a brand can speak to them in those terms and realize a shared vision on who they want to reach, it can become a symbiotic relationship where everybody wins.

What music can do that nothing else can.

Music is a universal language that connects with people from all backgrounds and nationalities on an emotional level. A great song can put into words or music something that we're already feeling but haven't been able to say ourselves. I think we find comfort knowing that other people are feeling how we are feeling or going through something we may be also going through, whether it's good or bad.

What you'd be doing if you weren't in the music world.

My other career dream was to be a pilot. As exciting as that may still sound to me, I don't think I have the stomach for it. I get off a roller coaster these days and takes me a second to regain my composer.

Liner Notes is our weekly interview series, publishing every Monday, where we chat with folks in the music industry about their creative inspirations, their favorite bands and musicians, and generally what music means to them. For more about Liner Notes, and our Clio Music program, please get in touch.

Jessica MacAulay
Jessica MacAulay is a contributor for Muse by Clio. She's also a recent graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder's College of Media, Communication, and Information.

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