Since bursting onto the scene only a few years ago, tyDi has already achieved more than some can say in a lifetime. The 25 year old has been voted Australia's top DJ twice in a row and placed in the top 50 of last years DJ Mag Top 100 DJs. tyDi kindly caught up with us to share some of his musical wisdom.
Thanks very much for taking time out to speak to us! Can you tell the readers where you are in the world today and what you’ve been up to over the last 7 days?
I'm currently on the beautiful island of Ibiza, I'm over here for a performance at Privilege, tonight I'm flying over to the UK for the Global Gathering Festival, on Sunday I'll be in Cyprus and then back to Ibiza on Monday for another show!
How was the show at Privilege and did you get much of a chance to check out some other places and events while you were there?
The party was insane! I only just realized (on the night) that Privilege is actually the world's biggest club... it certainly blew me away! The venue can hold about 10,000 people so it's like a festival in there! I also got to visit Pacha, Amnesia and a few other parties where some of my friends were performing.
Looking at your gig list you have such a punishing schedule! How do you find time to write music with so much traveling to do? Has tyDi been known to do track mixdowns in the VIP lounge at the airport for instance?
Efficiency is my middle name! I pride myself on time management sometimes, I even surprise myself with how I'm able to keep such a crazy global touring schedule whilst writing a new album. My secret is all in the process... I do all the songwriting in various studios around the world, or on my laptop during long haul flights. The actual production however has to be done in my own studio because I know the room and how everything should sound in there. So whilst touring I'll get the musical parts of a track written (chords, melodies, lyrics..etc) and then as soon as I'm home I smash out the geeky tech side of the process.
You're probably one of the biggest musical exports to have ever come from Australia but the country is a real creative hotbed. Can you tell us how you got into music over there and what key points led to your international stardom today?
Well I got into music the same way many do, I heard it and immediately fell in love with it. From as young as I can remember I always knew that I wanted to live a life based around music, some kids were into skating or surfing... for me it was dance music! I learned to play drums and piano, I also graduated with a degree in music from the Conservatorium of Music. I believe having a classical background in music played a huge role in my success, because I knew what it took to write a proper song; not just beats... actual songs. I could write the verse, chorus, bridge, all the melodies, toplines, counter melodies..etc. But I also spent years learning the theory behind sound design and audio production. So when all combined I was able to write songs that people could relate to, and produce them up to a level that made them 'cutting edge'... It was my own original tracks that got me a record deal and lifted my career up on to that international platform.
Trance music seems to be polarizing right now between the traditional up tempo sounds and a slower scene. Last week’s Guest Reviewer John O’Callaghan said he really wasn’t digging the slowdown of the sound, do you also prefer one over the other?
To be honest I've never really been a one genre artist, my true fans don't know me for trance... sure I've written a few trance tunes in the past, but I've written just as many progressive, house, tech, pop and chillout songs. My last two albums show a lot of my diversity. Somehow along the way I did notice myself getting called a 'trance' artist, possible because I released all my work on Armada... but I've never thought of myself as trance, I write and play everything. The faster stuff isn't really my thing, I tend to DJ at a house tempo, for me it's more about the groove which comes with playing in a lower tempo. There's been a lot of DJ's complaining about the movement of genres, it never stops really. To me I don't really care... I don't give shit about genres because they are just labels; a good song is a good song, call it what you want. If you don't like what other people are producing that's fine, create the sound that you want people to fall in love with. Music is meant to be fun, it's art, let it go where it wants to go.
You’re a classically trained musician who then became an electronic music maker. How does a knowledge of traditional music arrangement, scales and performance help when you’re creating dancefloor beats and would you recommend any particular type of study to young producers reading this?
Learning the theory behind songwriting has been my biggest advantage, it's been the platform that set up my career. Knowing scales, chords, key signatures and how to write for various instruments has allowed me to get the most out of my art. Music is like a language and the more you study it, the more you can speak it fluently. I'd recommend classical training to any young aspiring producer.
Are you one of the new school of producers who keeps their studio set up focused on software rather than tonnes of physical kit? What are your current favourite production weapons right now and why?
Yeah I am actually, as much as I respect hardware I've just never needed it. Today's software is so awesome that I'm completely satisfied without needing to buy gadgets. I write everything using Apple's Logic Studio software, some of my favorite production tools are the waves plugins and anything by Izotope or Spectrasonics.
Loads of aspiring DJs and producers will be reading this. Could you give them a studio tip or trick that you’ve found useful when making music in your career?
Yep! Write your songs before you produce them... sit down on a piano and map out the chords and lead melody. Decide what will be the verse for your song, and what will act as the chorus. Even if it's an instrumental piece without a lyric, it pays to know the musical side of your song before you go and create it in the studio. Music first, then lay down the beats, synths and ear candy!
You very kindly donated a free unreleased track to fans who voted in the DJ Mag Top 100 Poll powered by Trackitdown.net and it’s stunning! Can you please tell us a little about this and what it means to be able to give something special back to the fans?
The song is called Jelly, I actually made it in a single night... it was a huge rush for me because I was asked to write the song whilst in the middle of a remix project for Andain. When I finished the remix I literally had 24 hours free before a flight to the USA, so I had to smash down some strong coffee and get crazy in the studio. The song itself is pretty tough, its all based around a driving synth line with tight percussion and vocal sample from one of my older tracks called 'Foolish'. I've played it in all of my recent sets around the world and the reactions have been fantastic!
Finally, we’re definitely having a renaissance of the superstar DJ age! What’s the most superstar thing you have done over the last 12 months while on tour!?
I once woke up naked in a random hotel room spooning with a traffic cone... is that badass enough for you?!
tyDi Track Recommendations
This tune has been out for a while now but it's still in nearly every set that I play! What a fucking weapon... Seriously these guys smashed it on this one.
Now where would I be without shameless self promotion? This is the remix I mentioned earlier, I spent a lot of time on the main drop, enjoy!
Some may call me a sell out for mentioning this one... I don't give a shit because this song is HOT. Sure it's a commercial pop dance tune, but it's a damn good one! Something about this track has me hooked.
This one needs no explanation, it's just perfect. The groove is hot, the breakdown is lush and the drop is just mental.... nuff said.
Another one by heatbeat, man these guys are on fire! The energy in this one rocks any dancefloor, I play it everywhere and haven't yet seen a bad reaction.
Tom Fall has been on my radar for a while now, it's because of productions like these!
SVD blew me away with this song, the breakdown has emotion, then the drop just steps it up even further. This tune means 100% guaranteed hands in the air.
We all know Traffic, I didn't think it could be improved... Tristan proved me wrong. HUGE REMIX!
Andy is a very good friend of mine and I believe this is one of his best tunes yet. Top quality production as usual, and a super hot vocal.
Why not finish things off with some techno? I've been getting back into it lately, this gritty little monster has put a big smile on my face :)
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