Tyler Shuler is a 16-year-old manager and videographer from Columbia, SC. The city is not typically known for its creative scene, but Tyler feels as it is on the rise and really becoming a home for creatives.
Initially getting into video through his own YouTube ventures, eventually he was asked by a friend who was also an artist to shoot a music video for him. Tyler agreed and never looked back. On top of this, Shuler started managing his first of three creatives, redveil, right after the rapper released his song “soulfood.” The two have found massive success at such a young age, and they don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.
Tyler also manages Mya Salina, who has a large following on YouTube and other social media platforms, along with his newest act Baby Santana, who is only 13 years old. It’s clear that Shuler has the eye and ear for talent. As his skills and knowledge grow through experience, Tyler expressed his drive to work on short films with his group Bossuer, which is comprised of his friends and brother. With a lot on his plate and more than enough time to accomplish this, Tyler Shuler is a name that is here to stay.
Hunter: How did you create your relationships with all the creatives you manage?
Tyler Shuler: "I'll start with redveil since that was the first person that I managed. It was back in 2016; I've known redveil for a while. It was through a mutual friend; Ka$hdami asked me if I knew how to make music videos, and I told him, “Not really, but I'll try it.” We did a trial run with the video, and the video came out amazing, so then he asked me if I wanted to be in him and redveil’s group hvmor—it's kind of our little collective—so I met him through that. We didn't work on a video until 2017, but the video that we worked on was an amazing video. We started talking every day and just connecting because we are six days apart in age; I'm older.
I basically call him my twin, and we're just like brothers. When “soulfood” started to go up, I was like, “Hey, do you want me to be your manager?” because I knew simple marketing strategies, some people in the industry that could give me connections. He said he was down, because he didn't have a manager at the time; “Soul Food” was kind of taking off, so he needed a manager. I kind of stepped up into that role, and we've just been working ever since. It's been hectic all over the place, but it's really good. I'm super proud of him. He's definitely put in the work, he definitely has the talent, and then the management team just kind of backed him up with whatever he felt comfortable with. I guess that's just how we kind of became a powerhouse, and he's performing very well.
I met Mya Salina this year, as well. It was a couple of months after I started managing redveil. I had always seen her on YouTube; she was a Fortnite and 2K YouTuber, and she always seemed super chill. I remember joining one of her Twitch streams, then I asked to edit one of her videos just because I wanted some client work. I did it, we connected, and she realized some of the connections that I had and some of the information that I knew. She hit me up and was like, “Hey, do you want to be my manager?” We've been working ever since and she's very motivated on her own, so I just kind of manage her with booking and anything that she needs guidance with.
Baby Santana, I just started managing him very recently, but we've already started getting stuff done. He's definitely one to watch for next year."
Hunter: What’s the difference between managing a YouTuber and managing musicians?
Tyler Shuler: "I feel like it's very different. The only reason I feel like I can manage Mya Salina is because I used to be a YouTuber and I know what it feels like in terms of how to grind, how to do certain things; I feel like that's why we connected. It's definitely very, very different. When it comes to redveil, it’s booking calls with A&Rs, talking to different people in the industry, having article interviews by hip-hop publications like Burbs. It's just very different, because they are two totally different careers—one is a musician, and you have to get ready to talk to him about the marketing plan, the album release plan, single release plan. But when talking to Mya, I'm like, “Hey, what do you want to do with this merch? Where do you want to take your channel?” So, that's the difference."
Hunter: Congrats on Niagara hitting one million streams. What did it feel like to accomplish that?
Tyler Shuler: "We could see it coming in the near future, but the album rollout was very different and we wanted to have some step-by-step growth. Then out of nowhere, like 4-5 days after the album, all the streams just shot up, and we're all just like, “Wow, this is crazy, but we're going to keep going.” We weren't even paying attention to the numbers. Out of nowhere, we get to Spotify for Artists insights, and it says, “Congrats, you passed over a million streams on Niagara.” That's crazy, because that's really his first M on anything. His other biggest song was “Soul Food.” The fact that the whole album is a million total streams was very surreal to us, and we were all very pumped. It motivated us even more to work harder."
Hunter: Would you consider that your craziest experience so far?
Tyler Shuler: "Yeah. It's happened twice now. I never managed Ka$hdami, but I've been a very close friend of his, and he's kind of like my brother, too. To see redveil and Ka$hdami both hitting M’s with “Kappin Up” and Niagara, it just keeps me very motivated. It makes me very proud, because it's not like one person is carrying the load; it’s both of us. All of us are just going up and everybody's growing, so that's the most surreal thing to me."
Hunter: It's such a young age to be getting those types of numbers, and with a growing fan base, it’s very, very impressive.
On sustaining a growing fan-base:
Tyler Shuler: "I feel like it’s tougher as an artist. When you blow up, you have to be able to sustain it, or people are going to say you fell off. That's why I feel like it's the hardest job. It’s really all about maintaining."
Hunter: How did you get into videography?
Tyler Shuler: "I was always surrounded by videos, cameras, and technology. I used to be really heavy into the gaming community, and I used to record YouTube videos of me gaming, vlogs, and just the usual of what a kid would have done in 2016. I just kind of fell in love with music because I've always been surrounded by music. I play a couple of instruments myself, and those two clashed, so I started doing music videos and directing them. Then I met some of my friends, and our group called Bossuer. Our whole film crew—my friend Joshua Robinson, Donovan Keeffe, creative director Nasir Edwards, and my brother who's kind of like our manager, Travis Shuler. We’ve been tackling the whole 2020 music video scene right now, and they've definitely pushed me to my creative limits. That's really how I got into it, and then we got more in-depth this year when all of us started working together on films."
Hunter: Other than music videos, what have you been a part of?
Tyler Shuler: "I currently am working on a film; I’m not going to name it yet. It's taking a while to shoot—it probably won't come out to the end of 2020/early 2021. Another short film/vlog are things that I'm going to start picking up more. It's called the beach. It was a trip right when Coronavirus completely died down; we all decided that we wanted to go to the beach just to relax, and we were just kind of chilling there. I wanted to document what we were doing, because I knew that would probably be the only thing that we could do that whole summer. That’s what I've been working on, and I've been working on a lot of other films. It's more of a patience thing, as well, because you can tell when a film comes out rushed and some of the shots won't look as clean as they could be. That’s what I'm being so patient on."
Hunter: What is the dynamic like in terms of shooting music videos for the artists you manage?
Tyler Shuler: "redevil is a very self-motivated person, and he also has a very creative mind; he produced Niagara almost completely by himself, other than Sriram. Whenever we’ve done a music video, he's not just like, “Here, do whatever you want with it.” We always have to sit on Discord for four or five hours and brainstorm. He's like, “Okay, here's what I want; I want this effect, I want this transition, I want it to cut specifically here,” and I feel like that's how we've created our own aesthetic."
Hunter: What was your highest rank in CSGO?
Tyler Shuler: "I'm going to be honest with you; I was not good at CSGO. I looked on Steam when I was getting on Among Us last week, and my total hours for CSGO was like 284. I don't know why I had so many hours; I never made it past Silver 1. I could never make it past Silver 1; either I was Silver 1, or I was de-ranked."
Hunter: Tell us more about 3229:
Tyler Shuler: "It started as a clothing brand, and then I branched out later in December of 2019, I believe. I was like, “Okay, I'm going to announce the record label division later on in 2020,” because I'm one of those people that likes to plan ahead. I don't know why, but right before we went back to school, me and redveil went house shopping for three years ahead; I don't know why, but I just like to plan in advance. So, I was like, “I'm going to announce this record label in March,” and then I was like, “I want to pick up a creative writer.” There was a creative writer; her name is Cadence, she's amazing—she writes all of the articles that are on the 3229 website. As I was picking up really creative people, it just all kind of came together. I feel like that's how it established, and that's how people see it as a creative brand rather than just a clothing brand."
Hunter: What is your ultimate goal for 3229?
Tyler Shuler: "I feel like it's already being built; it just takes development, because 3229 has really been a thing for a year. I feel like we have the perfect squad now, other than just missing a few pieces, but I feel like when all of those people develop into their true potential, it will be amazing from there. I believe that the fanbase is going to be very supportive of what we do. That's my goal with that. That's my long-term goal."
Hunter: Tell us more about hvmor:
Tyler Shuler: "When they first created it and I was invited, we were always like, “Okay, when we all blow up, we're going to make this a record label, get all the papers signed, and actually establish it as a record label,” but then when everybody started taking off in their careers, we all realized like, “We can't do this. We're all under 18, and this takes millions of dollars. We can't just actually create a label like this.” That's when we kind of backed off of it, and then we all agreed that we wanted to just make it a collective. It was originally a collective where we all made music together and we all did a bunch of creative stuff together, and we did the hvmor tape. We only did one, and that was in 2018. We kind of just eased off, and then we made a streaming platform on YouTube for us to put our videos and our music on, so we wouldn't have to go to somebody like Worldstar or Elevator and pay them to get on their platform. Now, it's a platform for all of us, and we really mess with it."
Hunter: I saw that you only follow 43 people on Twitter. Why is Papa John’s one of them?
Tyler Shuler: "Back in 2018, I was like, “Man, I love Papa John’s, I wish they would follow me,” and then they followed me. I was like, “Okay, I can't unfollow Papa John’s.” Plus, I eat Papa John’s almost every Friday.
Hunter: What is it like to be 16 years old on calls with A&Rs and record labels?
Tyler Shuler: "Yeah, that's when I definitely realized it was getting real and I needed to make sure I was straight. I usually never really tell people my age because I don't want to make my age an excuse as to why I can't do something, so I want to push myself to have enough money that a 40-year-old person who works a 9-5 would have easily. I want to have enough money that a retired engineer or retired millionaire would have at a young age. I just don't want somebody to be like, “Oh, you're 16, so you can't do this.” That's why I don't necessarily mention my age like that; it's kind of my marketing strategy, because it kind of makes people more interested about me. Somebody thought I was like 22; I don't know how they thought I was 22. I don't look 22; I look 12. I never really mention my age, because I want to break barriers that a lot of people haven't."
Hunter: Is there something you haven’t had the chance to venture into yet that you really are looking forward to?
Tyler Shuler: "Bossuer is working on something very crazy. We're working on something really crazy; I don't want to mention it yet, because I don't want anybody to steal my idea. Just know that's coming in 2021... It's crazy."
Hunter: Is there an experience you’re looking forward to?
Tyler Shuler: "Yes, we're all linking up together and we want to do it very soon. I've never shot a video for redveil in my life—it's always either Brian Jackson or one of his friends—so we're trying to link up and actually get a real video shot, directed, and edited by my crew, with his direction, as well. That's the only thing that we're working on. A couple of other things are in 2021; hopefully COVID is completely gone by then, but we're waiting on a lot of really big experiences. I was supposed to go up there this summer and really link with them, but COVID really stopped a lot of our plans."
Hunter: Final thoughts?
Tyler Shuler: "I think you covered everything, but shoutout Burbs—y’all are the best."