Artist of the Week: tyDi
Never would he have thought to be where he is today. But pinching Tyson Illingworth won't awake him from this dream. At the age of 22, he's the official number one DJ of Australia, had his first artist album 'Look Closer' released in May and knows the clubs in Australia like the back of his hand. Since joining Armada in mid 2008, a lot has happened to the Brisbane based producer/DJ. Supported by his fierce fan base Down Under and discovered far across the rest of the world, tyDi's 'Fool', 'Kopi Susu', 'Is It Cold' and 'Somehow' made it up above. With an unstoppable drive to top his previous successes, tyDi's constantly busy improving his skills, knowledge and spreading his musical wings out in the open. Reaching far and pushing forward, tyDi's dream of music is nothing less than the realistic truth.
Tyson:"I was about 15 years old. I heard dance music through some older friends and completely fell in love with it. Trance music especially. It was the melodies, the emotion that got me! I was hooked, and still am!" His passion for dance music may have remained at the same level, the past 7 years have been all about change to this young talent. A year after his great discovery, Tyson found himself locked inside the music room, exploring the boundaries of his musical gift. Tyson:"When I was 16 I began writing my own music. I would spend every lunchtime at high school in the music room writing music on my own. I didn't care about anything else, and all I looked forward to was writing music." Maybe he wasn't the most social boy at that time, but all the hard work sure paid off in the end. While the rest of his classmates were out there trying to mature, Tyson grew more and more into his musical identity: tyDi. Tyson:"tyDi was a nickname that I have had for as long as I can remember; I didn't expect it to be my artist name. When I was 16 I entered an Australian DJ competition, it required me to have a 'DJ name' and I could not think of anything, so I just used my nickname - 'tyDi'. I ended up winning the competition! So I kept the name, maybe it was good luck?"
Be it good luck or just a matter of hard work and the right skills, 6 years later the 21-year old tyDi was voted number one DJ and number 2 producer of Australia, on Sony's In The Mix DJ/Producer Poll.
A release to me
The road towards the number one status may seem easy for some, but it involved hundreds of gigs across Australia, even while still being in highschool. Within the years, the amount of gigs started building, slowly but steady, and the name tyDi became more than just 'one of the DJ's out there'.
Tyson:" I don't think it was as quick as it seemed. One year out of high school I was touring Australia every weekend and I was lucky enough to be voted #12. The year after I was touring even more, I played at all of the big clubs and festivals, and in 2007 I was voted #4."
It was the year 2006 though, when he'd just gone 18, that really stimulated Tyson to head off to the top of the dance-berg. Tyson:"2006 was a special year for me; this was a year where emotionally a lot changed in my life. I lost somebody that was close to me, but I learned so much from it. I convinced myself that I should follow my dream and my passion. Music was a release for me; I focused all my time on creating it. I think it was after this point that my productions became a lot stronger. In 2007 I signed my first track to my favorite label, Armada Music - I have never looked back!"
Being signed to Armada saw Tyson release his 'Fool', 'Kopi Susu' and 'Meet Me In Kyoto' in the following year. His typical progressive, housy trance sound, as a blend of classical strings, refined beats and sweetening melodies, quickly saw his tracks stand out. It was the darker progressive 'Russia', released on the Coldharbour Red label in mid 2008, that set the perfect example of the variety of sounds Tyson knows how to handle. When it comes to inspiration, it seems to be an endless, ongoing process that keeps Tyson going. Tyson: "I don't think I could ever run out of inspiration. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with new ideas for songs. Life inspires me."
Thankful, more than anything
In the same year, 2008, life gave Tyson a little treat. He was voted number one on the Sony In The Mix DJ Poll. Tyson:"I could never have expected to be voted #1 the year after though! I don't think anybody should 'expect' that. It was a wonderful honor and I am still thankful for how many people decided to support me. I am thankful more than anything, I have had the best year of my life!" Within the year, Tyson's been averaging 4 gigs a weekend in Australia, played Mainstage at the Dutch and Australian Trance Energy events and released his first artist album, 'Look Closer'. A 15-numbered highlight and collection of tyDi's career as a producer so far. Tyson:"Look Closer has been doing so, so well! In May it came in the charts as the #2 selling independent electronica CD in Australia! I could never have expected it to take off like that so it is all very exciting! The CD is very underground in parts and I am so glad that my fans are understanding it and enjoying it."
One might think tyDi's position as the number one is safe, but even though his fan base has spread from Australia to the other ends of the world as well, he still needs all the support he can get. With new rounds of voting already going on, it's time to secure tyDi's spot on their Top 100. So be sure you cast your vote here! If you're not from Australia, fill in postcode 4000. For all of you voters out there, Tyson's got a little thank you. Tyson:"Firstly, thanks for an amazing year! I hope that you have enjoyed my music over the last year and if it has ever moved you or made you feel something, then I would love you to support me on my adventure!"
Constantly striving forward, Tyson's keeping himself sharp and trained with a study in Music Technology. Furthermore, he has a grounding in classical theory. As the ultimate perfectionist, he always aims for improvement. Tyson:"I think it would be a sad day if I decided not to improve, even the best artists in the world can improve. The motivation to 'do better' is what drives me as an artist and I hope that I am always eager to learn more."
Next to the studying, dj'ing and producing dance music, Tyson's also been involved with some work on videogames and advertisements, of which one was a soundtrack for the commercial of the Australian Queensland government on binge drinking. Tyson:"Working on videogames, movies and ads are a whole different world to dance music. These kinds of projects help me think 'outside the square' and stretch my artistic mind. I love music for movies and games, because music is what creates emotion. Visuals show the setting, but music confirms the emotion, and it is so powerful. I am hoping to work more on movies next year."
Somehow & You Walk Away
Tyson:"It all started late at night when I was in my studio with a friend, we were coming up with chord progressions on the guitar. I made something that I thought worked well and emailed a recording of it to my friend Marcie who lives in Boston. She sent me back a nice little vocal line and it worked really well! I decided to leave the project unfinished for a month and work on something else that I had to complete first. In that time I made friends with Dennis Sheperd who had written a few songs that I really enjoyed. We decided to collab on a tune so I showed him what I had done with Marcie, after a week or so of working together we had 'Somehow'! The track is great for the dancefloor. It's tough, progressive, and has a hot vocal hook!"
'Somehow', tyDi's collab with Dennis Sheperd and vocalist Marcie will be out on the 3rd of August on the S107 imprint. In the same month, we've got another release by the Australian superstar. A collaboration with Irish singer Audrey Gallagher. 'You Walk Away' is the very trancy vocal beauty that's already featured on Armin's 'A State of Trance 2009' album. Being a big fan of Audrey's voice, this track sure won't be the last collaboration between tyDi and her. Tyson:"I have so much respect for Audrey as a vocalist and as a person. Audrey is one of the nicest and most down to earth singers I have met and she is one of the best in the game. Her voice is very sweet and I knew it would fit perfectly into the style that I was going for with 'You Walk Away', I could not be any happier with the finished product and am looking forward to the release of our new stuff!"
A summer of trance
Upcoming summer months will be hot, busy and exciting for the young Australian. Apart from the two major track releases and numerous gigs across the globe and in his home country, he's got a few surprises lined up as well. Tyson:"My new mix CD for Ministry of Sound comes out in a month. It's called 'Trance Nation' and I will be doing a massive tour to celebrate that. I have just finished a heap of remixes including one for Nadia Ali which I am very happy about. Big plans to play overseas again soon and some very special releases to come out after 'You Walk Away'."
It doesn't take a crystal ball to see that tyDi's living the dream'_
More info on tyDi, check his website.
Vote for tyDi in the Australian DJ Poll.
If you're not an Australian citizen, then fill in postcode 4000. By voting, you're in the running for a $5000 worth of Sony equipment. Voting poll ends August 2nd, so be on time!
Checkout his exclusive mix here.