On Tuesdays and Thursdays, junior public relations major Ty Trehern spends the entire day working on his degree. Every other day, he spends his time writing music, coming up with PR plans and trying to find the best way to distribute his music.
“I was banging on pots and pans when I was an infant watching MTV on a giant console television. That’s all I did. Saturday morning cartoons were fun for me, but it was always music television or listening to old records,” he said.
As a young boy, he received his first physical CD from his aunt— a copy of “Back in Black” by ACDC.
“I’ve been jamming ever since. Music has always been the only thing I really felt passionate about. It’s the most consistent relationship I’ve ever had,” he joked.
Although he found it difficult to choose a musician that inspires him the most, Trehern feels that his biggest inspiration is his grandmother.
“My Omi, which means grandmother in German, was probably my biggest inspiration because of how strong of a person she is,” Trehern said. “She raised five kids on her own after coming to the States when she was 16. I think her story and her perspective on life are really inspiring.”
Trehern often remembers his grandmother’s view that there is no such thing as can’t.
“My Omi kept being the voice in the back of my head that inspires me to continue doing what I do. She always says, ‘If you quit, you die,’ so now I have that mentality too,” he said.
Being a college student is a full-time job by itself, so Trehern often finds himself struggling to balance a full class schedule on top of trying to build a music career.
“I think it’s too early to tell if I’m actually balancing everything at this point. I think I’m just kind of winging it and seeing what happens,” Trehern said.
In addition to balancing class with his music career, Trehern served as Director of Eaglepalooza for Student Government Association Cabinet his sophomore year at Southern Miss.
Junior criminal justice and Spanish double major Jessica Barnett is the current Director of Eaglepalooza and has known Trehern since their freshman year.
“He’s genuinely one of the hardest workers I’ve come into contact with here at USM, and I’m so proud to see him taking strides to launch his music career,” Barnett said. “I admire the amount of courage and time it takes to really put yourself out there.”
Like Barnett, sophomore marketing major Brett Benigno considers Trehern to be one of the hardest working people he knows.
“He puts over 100 percent effort into everything he sets his mind on, whether that’s his music, his school work, or the effort he puts into our chapter. He would give you the shirt off his back if he had to,” Benigno said in regard to Trehern’s involvement in the Sigma Nu Fraternity. “I think the genuineness he possesses carries over to his music, and you can hear it in his writing.”
When he began trying to create a career with music, Trehern did not expect to be supported by the Southern Miss community. However, he now feels that Southern Miss has been the main resource that has helped him succeed.
“I did not expect people to be as embracive as they have been,” Trehern said.
“The fact that I’ve been able to play shows all around the area, the fact that people I don’t even know are promoting my music is so awesome to me. Southern Miss has been able to give me a platform to broadcast what I do. It’s given me the access to actually go and meet people, share my music and play shows in the area.”
“Without Southern Miss, I probably would not have been able to do that at the rate I’ve been able to do it,” he said.
While he agrees that everyone wants to eventually become successful, fame is not Trehern’s ultimate goal. Instead, he wants to be able to say that he made a positive impact and connected with others through his music.
“If I do [become famous], that would be awesome, but there’s a lot of scary things that come with fame,” he said. “But my favorite part of being a musician is when someone tells me they listened to my song and took something away from it. Having that connection with people I’ve never met is so powerful. It makes everything I do totally worth it.”
Trehern dedicates his most memorable performance to Brewsky’s when he had the opportunity to open for Neutral Snap, a rock band from New Orleans.
“We were playing ‘Something to Find,’ our second to last song of the set list, and it was the first time we had played that song live,” Trehern said. “At the very beginning of the song, I broke a string and cut my hand open. Someone in the crowd panicked, and another person yelled that I didn’t need it. So being in the moment, I licked my hand, tore the string out of the guitar and just started jamming out,” he said while laughing at the memory.
“That experience was super weird, but it’s just good rock and roll. Having a story like that attached to the first live performance of that song is so special,” he said.
Although he is surprised at how quickly he has established his music career, Trehern is happy with his current place in life.
“I think where I am right now, I can make whatever kind of music I want, and I don’t have to conform to someone else’s desires. I’m just having the time of my life making the kind of music I want, and having other people enjoy it just as much,” he said. “If I had to have a goal, it would be to keep doing what I’m doing and just get more people involved.”
Trehern’s debut EP “The Sound” is currently available for pre-order on his website www.tytrehernmusic.com and will be available everywhere Jan. 29, 2019.