Singer/songwriter Tyler Filmore reflects on the dreams that took root in his home state of Missouri.

Country music powerhouse Tyler Filmore, who performs under the stage name Filmore, would be the first to admit that he has everything he has ever dreamed of in Nashville. He has established a career there that has already snagged him a slew of hit songs. He is also surrounded there by family, friends, and his wife. But there is something missing. “I miss the willow trees in Missouri,” the singer and songwriter says quietly. “Nashville has a lot going for it, but it doesn’t have those pretty willow trees.” Tyler played baseball, went to St. Louis Blues games, and ventured out to the Lake of the Ozarks every summer. On the back roads near his hometown of Wildwood, he began to ponder a life immersed in music. “I know it sounds so weird, but my house was pretty much right there off of Strecker Road, and I remember that road was kind of a pastime for me,” says Tyler, who began seriously envisioning a country music career during his senior year of high school and took that dream with him after snagging a music scholarship to the University of Missouri in Columbia. “I’d take the top off my Jeep and listen to country music, and I ended up putting that road in a lot of songs.” For as long as he can remember, the stories told within the chords of country music were something that intrigued him, but he was just as intrigued to find ways to push the boundaries of country music, both sonically and lyrically. But no matter the sound of the song, his love for Missouri has long found its way into his songwriting. “When you write songs, you really do pull from real experiences, whether that’s road names or the color of the drapes in the house you grew up in,” says Tyler, who is quickly making a name for himself with songs such as “Slower,” “Love That About You,” and his latest singles, “Nothing’s Better,” from his debut album State I’m In, and “Who Cares.” “I really love the detailed part about songwriting and being able to put my personal story in my lyrics. I always tell my story in different ways, and Missouri somehow pops in there a lot.” He now shares that love with his fans who are attracted to his eclectic nature and electric live show. In recent years, Filmore has snagged exposure on major tours alongside the likes of Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, and Sam Hunt. And come November, Filmore will make a tour stop in Kansas City as a special guest on Brett Young’s The Weekends Tour. “The Midwest runs deep in my veins and is still a huge part of who I am,” he says. “You can’t really shake your roots in that aspect. When I look back on the memories of my childhood, my high school, even college, it’s all Missouri.”

Photo by Dove Shore