When Tyler Braden sings about life in a small town — the good and the bad — he knows what he's talking about. He's originally from Holtville, Ala., also known as Slapout, located slightly northeast of Montgomery.

Braden moved to Nashville in 2016, working as a firefighter while trying to get his music career going. He signed with Warner Music Nashville in late 2019 and released "Secret" — which he wrote alone — in 2020.

Below, Braden shares the story behind "Secret," in his own words.

The Alabama native grew up in Slapout, just miles from the graveyard memorial to Hank Williams, and his influences speak to the best of the '90s and '00s: from country greats such as Eric Church, Alan Jackson and Keith Urban to singer / songwriters including John Mayer, Ron Pope and Jason Reeves. Following a move to Nashville in 2016, he spent several years committed to his job as a firefighter while building his catalogue and touring. With more than 25 million streams already to his name on Spotify alone, Braden has new music due later this year.

"Secret" is a song ... that's about being from a small town.

When you're in a small town, you get to know a lot about the people around you, whether it's good things or bad things, and people run with that in different ways. Some people, kind of negatively, talk about people behind their back, and some people support you no matter what, but when you're in a small town, you kind of have to go one way or the other, and you start to know a lot of stuff about each other.

And that's what that song's about: You've gotta kinda live with that 'cause you live with these people — you see them every day ... Some of these stories, over time, start to connect ...

I wrote this song by myself, before I ever moved to town ...

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