It was seemingly unlikely that Tyler Shaw & SACHA’s paths would have crossed, but sitting down with them, it becomes clear that everything happens for a reason. The two talents had never worked together before, but when their managers connected them, neither had any doubt that they wanted to work together. This special collaboration resulted in their new song “Confident”, released earlier this month. The song puts the importance of mental health at the forefront, a cause that is close to both of their hearts. Shaw has been a longtime Canadian favorite, with multiple Gold and Platinum certified tracks to his name, a JUNO nomination, and millions of streams. To her own right, SACHA is one of country music’s fastest-rising stars who blew up after her track “What The Truck” featuring the Reklaws went viral. I sat down with them at Rock ‘N’ Horse in Toronto, and although they came in all smiles, got real about the message that they are both passionate about. Below, we chat about the meaning behind the song, the importance of mental health, and what’s next for them.
Congratulations on your new single. Tell me, how did this collaboration come to be?
Tyler: I was sent the song [along with] SACHA’s amazing music through my good friend who has done many of my other songs. I listened to it, read the lyrics and I was immediately drawn to it because of the strong message. It was a speedy decision—no questions asked.
SACHA: My management team also brought it up to me and let me know about the opportunity to work with Tyler. I’ve known his music for a while and he has an incredible voice. It was a no-brainer. The message is also completely up my alley. I actually heard his voice on it first and after that I knew it was going to be something special.
How has the reaction been so far?
Tyler: It’s been great! We’re just getting cracking and it takes a couple of weeks but the initial response has been very positive.
Can we look forward to a music video?
Tyler: We actually filmed it yesterday! It was in Hamilton and it has a lot of metaphors in it. It’s basically showing how you can be comfortable not being confident and finding your confidence.
SACHA: We want people to realize that we’re [just] human. We don’t always have it together and we’re not perfect in the way we interact with others or view ourselves. I think it’s pretty cool that we have an opportunity to be able to show people the vulnerable side of both of us. On social media, people only see the good moments and the accolades and it looks like our lives are a dream, but we work hard both professionally and personally.
Tyler: Yeah, you always have to work hard on yourself.
SACHA: Confidence is something that I’ve struggled with and I’m still working through that.
What advice would you give to people who are struggling to feel comfortable and confident in themselves?
SACHA: It takes time.
Tyler: I agree. And it has to come from within. Words of encouragement from others are great but ultimately, you need to face the fear of whatever you’re trying to be confident about.
The majority of the time when I’m not feeling confident about something and I just do it, I feel good afterwards and I realize that it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Taking that step and getting that courage is such a big moment.
SACHA: That goes for anything! These days, social media holds us to an impossible standard and it is really hard to keep up with.
Tyler: I heard a really great interview the other day from an Olympic swimmer who was competing against Michael Phelps. When he was racing, he was beside Michael Phelps and instead of focusing on what he needed to do and his own time, he was looking beside him the entire time which psyched him out. I like that story because it reinforces the notion that you need to focus on yourself and what you’re doing instead of what other people are doing.
What is the relationship between music and mental health for you?
SACHA: Music has the ability to be therapeutic and help you through your deepest, darkest days. You can really feel the lyrics, even just listening to a melody can be healing. Anxiousness is a real thing in my life, and I’m so thankful to have music as a part of my life and to be able to use music as an outlet. It really helps bring people together.
Tyler: Yeah. It helps me express my emotions and show people they’re not alone in whatever they’re facing.
What kind of music do you both listen to when you’re having a bad day?
Tyler: I listen to everything from hard rock to classical. I’m not picky at all. I also like music you can listen to in the background, like lo-fi, because it’s not overstimulating.
SACHA: I was going to say that too! I love classical music. And of course, my current favorite is “Confident”.
You’ve both collaborated with various artists throughout your career. How do you decide who to work with?
Tyler: It can happen as it did with us, through social media or by meeting someone at an event. There’s no formula for it really.
SACHA: Nowadays especially you can jump on TikTok and find someone you want to collaborate with—anything goes!
What’s next for both of you?
Tyler: I’m writing my fourth album! So I’m really focusing on that. I haven’t really thought beyond that and of course, I want to focus on celebrating this release!
SACHA: I’m heading back to Nashville to keep writing and working on releases and my new album.