Artist of the Week: Sean Tyas

Artist of the Week: Sean Tyas

November 5th, 2009

It’s the unquestionable, addictive sound of Sean Tyas that makes a difference in the trance scene of today. The past 5 year belonged to Sean Tyas, as he used his time to climb the charts and DJ polls, win the souls of numerous EDM fans and hear his originals and remixes devastate the floors. Give him 5 more and Sean Tyas reaches a higher top than the peaky Swiss Matterhorn. New singles ‘Ivy’ and ‘Tingle’ may not be moving any mountains, but they’ll surely give the trance scene a push in the right direction: up, up and about.

A total gearwhore
It’s quite an extraordinary story. Sean has been feeding himself with beats and melodies ever since that hot summer of 1990, when he discovered a true and everlasting love for dance music. Sean:”Same as most I think’_I was given a cassette tape around 1990 in the summertime of a couple of mixes of the track ‘Apotheosis – O’Fortuna’. Fell in love with this type of sound immediately.”

It took a few credit cards, a sh*tload of vinyl and even more gear and equipment till Sean finally made the move to producing. Sean:”I bought turntables simply to listen to vinyl’s I bought. Because vinyl, especially then, was the only medium on which to find most of the music I really liked. After a year or two I was more curious about the whole production aspect. So that is what I really started first, buying a couple pieces of kit like the Yamaha AN1x and Novation Drumstation to start off, then realizing I’d need a ton more to actually do a full track. Virtual Plugin synths were out of the question at this point. So I opened up, stupidly, several credit cards and became a total gearwhore.”

NY to GER to CH
Sean made sure to do plenty of experiments to get the hang of the necessary tricks and hitting the right knobs. But things didn’t really get started until the EDM junkie and NY Yankee moved to Germany. A big move to follow his new dream. A dream that used to be all about animation. Sean:”Up until about 2002 or so, all my life I expected to end up working as an animator for either Disney or an Anime production team. I went to school for visual art, not music. Funny how things actually do pan out.”

Indeed, cause only 10 months after moving to Germany to produce for DJ Beam and gain studio experience he made another move. This time to the beautiful countryside of Switzerland. Sean:”It certainly is a change! But I had a buffer of moving to Germany first to do studio work for 10 months in 2004. Each night when I went home from his studio to my apartment there, I’d then start work again on crappy PC speakers and Logic to get cracking on my own stuff. Also during this time I had come into contact with another studio, coincidentally in Switzerland (just after I started dating my future wife). After a while, they had said they’d be able to provide me work if I did move. I wanted another change and it was right there put on a plate for me. Right time, right place. So, not actually speaking a word of German at the time yet, it certainly helped me prepare for what it would be like here now (in this area it’s Swiss German speaking). Inspiration-wise, I still pull most of my inspiration simply from the dancefloor and those type of memories, so I guess location never really affected it.”

The seeds
Location certainly did affect the chances of getting a release. While USA was mostly taken by the mainstream pop music, the 90′s and early years of the millennium in Europe were all about dance music. Sean: “In NY at the time, the only real labels were only commissioning out commercial type projects. You’ll notice I started my first few ‘real’ projects with Aguilera, McCloud, Pink, and Bedingfield. Hated that stuff. I cringe!” Luckily, Sean ended up in the right place at the right time. And he was definitely up for a lift.

Hard work
Sean:” The dj’ing only began about 3 and half years ago after ‘Lift’ really started getting a ton of support, and I figured why not? So I really just went with the flow from then onwards.”
That flow brought along a slew of refreshing remixes and cutting edge originals, like ‘Drop’ and ‘One More Night Out’. Sean also won a remix competition for Sander van Doorn’s ‘Punk’d’. All of Sean’s hard work finally paid off. Sean:”And hard work still does. That’s the really cool thing about this career. There is no limit. Not to learning, and not to accomplishment. There is always more to do! I love that and it keeps it really exciting. Those 2 projects, the remix and ‘Lift’ getting the attention, around that time, is pretty much where my dj’ing started’_those were the seeds.”

Confirmation of making the right type of stuff came with the support of the DJ elite. Sean:”Seeing people like Armin and Paul van Dyk playing my tracks live and on videos, and in being in total awe. It’s not like seeing the people really go for it during my tracks made up my mind to stick with this, but it certainly helped me believe in myself.”

The Tyas sound
If it wasn’t the support of the big DJ’s, it was the mass of clubbers and trance purists that backed him up. The Tyas sound became a known and loved phenomenon. Some said he brought back the true trance sound of the early 90′s, others claimed he was one of the names to bring a completely new one to the speakers. One thing’s for sure. Sean’s sound is emotional, melodic and energetic. Does he agree? Sean:”Simply put, it’s really just hard trance music but NOT Hard Trance, if that makes sense’_ Driving and pushing, with an edge, but at no time ever neglecting the most important heavily melodic aspect of trance music.”

But it’s not just praise he’s getting. Despite working under different aliases and tasting the different styles of dance music, some people still believe he’s a one trick pony. Sean:”After a few mold-breaks this year such as ‘Seven Weeks’, ‘Rulebook’, and an upcoming techno track, I would hope they can see that’s not entirely true. But what IS true is I certainly have tunnel vision with what I like. I am trying to expand but I just don’t like a whole lot of styles.”

So even thought Sean also knows how to handle a bit of progressive and techno, it’s still the trance genre that appeals him most. Sean:”It’s the emotion it carries with it. I know people can try to argue this with me and it’ll go on forever. So for sake of argument, ‘I feel’ most other styles of dance music are much colder and focused on different aspects of the dance world. House, for example, appeals to the trendy posh type look-pretty crowds, techno to the type that strives to go against the grain and be underground. Trance is just about wanting to feel good and happy.”

Ivy/Tingle
Two new trance babies have left the Tyas studios and will be making waves across the scene after its release on Pilot 6 on November 9th. Sean:”They’re pure trance. ‘Ivy’ is a very cute throwback to old-school Gouryella feel with what I call a ‘make-out’ breakdown, and ‘Tingle’, a slightly different style of melody, based more on a repeating melody that has the main changes occur under it. I really hope people enjoy dancing to them! ” We’re pretty sure they will, Sean. Another certainty is that Sean is not even near the end of his game. No matter where he’s residing or finds his inspiration, this world traveler has plenty of challenges left. Sean:”In the near future, you’ll certainly hear a wider range of sounds. And I want to get more involved with vocal projects, albeit ones that I really can get behind and believe in. So if you are reading this and you sing, male or female, send me a demo, I’d love to hear how your voice would sound on the dancefloor. Also, I’ll finally step back as far as originals for the next 6-8 months to get the brunt of my album work done”. Like we said, a whole lot more will be coming from the beautiful country of Switzerland’

More info on Sean Tyas, check his website.