Who needs American Idol? Or even Canadian Idol? Not Tyler Hamilton, better known as the male half of celebrated new traditional pop duo Due Voci, who released their eponymous debut album this summer. Already settled into being a carpenter, a few strokes of good luck sent him into the arms of music greats -- producer David Foster and legendary songwriter Diane Warren -- and the rest is quickly becoming sweet history. Usmagazine.com recently caught up with the Edmonton, Canada-bred singer, 32, about his big, unexpected career move. For more info on the group, visit duevoci.com.
UsMagazine.com: What did you do before all of this success?
Tyler Hamilton: My training is in carpentry. I think I'll always be a carpenter and never quit, but as long as people want to hear me sing then that's exciting. I'd rather sing than lay a hardwood floor, but whatever pays the bills.
US: What's it like to go from being a carpenter one day to singing on TV the next?
TH: It’s pretty much a Cinderella story. I don't know if a fellow can have a Cinderella story but that's pretty much what it is. I'm carrying my tools out of my truck laying a hardwood floor and the very next day David Foster says "I think you’re a fantastic singer. I think you should put your tools down and come to LA because I think you should be singing, not doing carpentry." It absolutely blew my mind and I started singing with him at some of his venues. Then he introduced me to Diane Warren who was putting together Due Voci. And I guess they say the rest is history, right?
US: Have been singing for a long time? Did you have any training?
TH: It's all natural -- I didn't have any training. I've been involved in choirs in church, but other than that I didn't have any training in actual music or theory or vocal training or anything like that.
US: You were on Canadian Idol?
TH: I was in the Top 10 of the first season of Canadian Idol. Then I got a phone call from Home and Garden Television that they wanted me to come to Home and Garden Television and be the lead carpenter on one of their new shows that was shooting the following week. I left [Canadian Idol] in seventh place and went directly over to be a part of this Home and Garden Television series.
US: Did you ever watch the Diane Warren night on American Idol?
TH: I did indeed! I said many times, even to Diane directly, that I don't think there are songs out there in the world that have touched me more than Diane's songs. And now here she stands inviting me into a project herself.
US: How did you meet David Foster?
TH: I met David through his David Foster Foundation Fundraiser. I was able to sing there and David came to introduce me to Charice and Katherine McPhee. Diane Warren discussed Due Voci with David Foster, and David said, 'Oh, I've got the perfect guy. He's from Canada. I'll send him down. His name's Tyler.' And that's how I got brought into the group.
US: Did you have to audition in front of her? Did you sing one of her songs?
TH: I did. When I went down she had written some songs for the group for Due Voci. She sent me one of the songs and said, 'Learn this song and come down and sing for us.' And so I went down and sang for them and they said, 'Can you come back in a couple of days and we'll bring Kelly in and you can sing with her?' There was an audition process for sure.
US: Have you met a lot of the original artists whose songs you’ve covered?
TH: I met Celine Dion and LeAnn Rimes.I think those are the only two so far that I've met that have done Diane stuff.
US: What did they say about your performance?
TH: I was just raving about their performances. They really didn't say anything to me! I was just in awe of meeting them. I met Celine Dion at the recording of "We Are the World," and I met LeAnn Rimes through our PBS special that we did with Diane Warren.
US: You and Kelly have some good chemistry together. Did you two instantly click?
TH: Right off the bat we definitely had a chemistry when we started singing together that was really quite easy and natural because Kelly is an amazing singer. When you get in a room and you sing with an amazing singer, it really pulls the best out of you. Kelly is obviously an amazingly beautiful girl so it's not too hard to look into her eyes and sing a love song. (laughs)
US: Any celebrity crushes?
TH: I'm a huge Angelina Jolie fan. That would be my celebrity crush right there if I had to have one.
US: Are you on tour now or are there plans for a tour?
TH: Yeah we are on tour with the Canadian Tenors and they are on the US leg of their tour. And we are going to be touring as well throughout Canada coming up in the new year. And then we’re releasing our record in Asia and Australia.