With the 2017 release of his new EP, “Heaven on Wheels,” Kyle Stallons is stepping out of Kellie Pickler’s shadow and ready to take his career to new heights.
Nashville since 2008.
Spend time with Kyle Stallons and it’s easy to understand why the Aledo, Texas native has been able to make a career for himself in the cutthroat Nashville music industry. His Texas twang is immediately recognizable, and he has a refreshing humility that (almost) makes you overlook his chiseled physique. The journey from a small town to the Music City has been a long one, as he’s steadily worked his way from backup vocalist to an emerging solo star.
Stallons’ musical apprenticeship began at the University of North Texas, where he studied Jazz and would play country music in local bars on the weekends. He performed jazz classics such as ‘Song for Strayhorn’ and ‘Jazz Crimes’ at UNT recitals, while dreaming of a future to the north in Tennessee. “I knew I wanted to be in Nashville because it fit me more than L.A. or New York,” said Kyle. “It had everything I was about, growing up in church, playing sports, being into country & jazz music.”
Kyle moved to Nashville in 2008 and spent his first few years grinding out a living as a professional musician. He served as a backup singer to several acts, including one year with Kristen Kelly and four years on the road with Kellie Pickler. Excelling as a keyboardist and vocalist, Stallons said he loved the thrill of the day-to-day tour life as he traveled with Pickler’s nationwide tour. But after six years, the travel and hustle took a toll. “From being in a nice bus one day, to being in a van trailer the next day…From playing a hole in the wall bar to playing the Opry Grand stage…it’s like a rollercoaster,” explained Kyle.
In November of 2016, Stallons decided to leave Kellie Pickler’s tour and begin to focus on writing his own music. The next 12 months would prove to be the most difficult period since he moved to Nashville. “It was the hardest year because it wasn’t me relying on somebody else,” he said, “it was me relying on me. It was really hard. I almost didn’t even put out this EP.” He says he had to come to a realization that he didn’t need to wait for the permission and acceptance of others to put out his own music. “The best thing to do was to go ahead and do it for me, and not for anybody else.”
After nine years, Kyle is ready to move to the front and center of the stage. ‘Heaven on Wheels’, the EP he released in November 2017 and now available for online purchase, is a collection of songs that Kyle wrote over the past few years. With his six-song offering, the self-described ‘intense, hopeless romantic’ wants his fans to hear his story and see him finally making music for himself. “I think I’m ready to get out and do the real thing on my own,” says Stallons. “I put all my life and music experience in 9 years into this music project…and I hope that comes through.”
See a program from his North Texas days here.
Click to see Kyle’s ‘Heaven on Wheels’ lyric video here.
Follow him @kylestallons