Tyler Rich grew up in the mountainous Northern California town of Yuba City, and the singer says he'll always associate his formative surroundings with what country music means to him.

The singer moved to bustling Los Angeles after college, joining a series of bands before deciding to pursue his musical career as a solo artist. Since then, he's put out songs such as his 2018 debut, "The Difference," and a reflection on the importance of not putting too much stock in social media called "Rather Be Us."

Even though the latter song might emphasize the importance of putting down the phone and relishing the present moment, no one knows the power of social media better than Rich: He moved to Nashville after forging an Instagram friendship with Dustin Lynch

Still, like a lot of budding country lovers, Rich got his start the old-fashioned way: by rocking out in his car to CDs by Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw and George Strait. Read on as Rich explains what country music means to him. 

Wow. Country music to me is high school, driving around through the mountains, windows down, [singing] at the top of our lungs.

It's always been about the best sing-a-long songs. And where I come from, there's plenty of places to drive around and feel it.

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