The Driftwood Gambler, a.k.a. reggae rock artist Tyler Person, might also be known as another name in the biz — Snugit Loose. For those up on up-and-coming artists, Snugit Loose broke into the industry with tenacity and heart, rendering an entire full-length album and several singles within his first year as a reggae act!
Music has always been a driving force for The Driftwood Gambler, allowing him to overcome many unprecedented obstacles.
Due to unfortunate and unpredicted circumstances involving social media, Person has recently pivoted from his Snugit Loose days to his new moniker, which, he claims, couldn’t have been a better decision. Moving forward as The Driftwood Gambler, we obviously wanted to know more! Here is what Tyler Person said about his career thus far, his embrace of change and what’s possibly to come.
You began your musical journey as ‘Snugit Loose’ last year in 2020. What opportunities surfaced that might’ve not happened, if not for being in lockdown?
- TP: Well, technically I’ve been playing music since I was about 10. I was in a band in high school for about a year and then pretty much went back to being a bedroom musician until 2019, when I started playing with Monjah in the outer banks of NC.
- After relocating outside of Raleigh in 2020, that’s when I decided to try out the new project (Snugit Loose); I saw an advantage to the lockdown as an opportunity to reach out to fellow musicians who, I assumed, had a little more free time because of the situation. It really helped me obtain all the features I had on my first 5-6 tracks.
Well, congrats on the debut album! What were your main influences behind ‘Somewhere Else’?
- Truth be told, my influences range from childhood to now. I have never once tried to sound like anything other than myself. However, I’ve been told by many people that my music sounds like a mix between 311, Bob Marley, Slightly Stoopid and The Grateful Dead — all bands that I love, by the way! But, there wasn’t a whole lot of influence on this record, other than just me wanting to get some of my music out there. This album was mainly the best songs I felt like I had written that fit well together.
Was the name ‘Somewhere Else’ chosen because we all wanted to be ‘somewhere else’ last year?
- The idea of Somewhere Else was actually based more on the thought that I’ve been told many times that my music is a little unique, in that it would make people feel like they were ‘somewhere else’… whether it’s the feeling of being by the ocean or maybe riding a kayak down a river. I take pride in creating unique music that can still fit inside a few different genres. There are a ton of copycat bands out there today and I just feel like I can bring a different sound that still achieves what a lot of these fans from other genres are searching for.
You have several features on the album! Who were you most excited to collaborate with?
- Yes! Honestly, I have to say that I love all of the features I have on the album. That being said, I’ve been a huge fan and friend of Marcos (Mellodose) for a little while now. He not only destroyed his verse on the track “Here to Stay”, but he also did some killer melodica on “Pressure and Time”. Big shoutout to all the collabs, though! Drifting Roots, The Irie, Ashley Larue, Lua Flora, Joe Sambo, Kyle Rising and Sons of Paradise.
Out of your recent works, you did a jingle with humanitarian efforts behind it. Can you elaborate on that?
- I’m assuming you’re speaking of the Muffin But Good Vibes jingle! So, Craig McKnight has become a close friend of mine and we have talked a few times about doing some type of collaboration. Eventually, I had asked if he ever thought about having a jingle for his brand. He said he’d talked about it with a few musicians, but nothing had come to fruition yet.
- I think maybe two hours later I had sent him the rough demo and we immediately knew we had to use it! Craig eventually came up with the idea of selling shirts, pins and the using proceeds from the track to donate to The Nowell Family Foundation. Anytime there is an opportunity to give to other people in need, I feel like it’s something I can’t pass up.
So, what’s next for you?
- I just released the first single off of the upcoming collab EP with T-Chronic on September 10th. The single is called “Throw Down a Party”. I wanted to do a collab album with someone for a while now and, when I heard Chronic’s style, I knew I had to do one with him! We also have a few other surprise collabs on a few tracks, as well. The EP should be released late Fall. As far as [The Driftwood Gambler] goes, I’m already working on album two material. Additionally, I’m hoping to finally start playing live shows starting Spring of 2022.