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DJ Interview - tyDi (Australia)

By Jonathan Rolandez
on Sun 28 Feb 2010
Hello tyDi!
Hello there!
First time here?
No actually not... I've been here once over a year ago in a club called Centro.
The club's closed now... But don't worry, X2 is also a great place!
Yeah I see that!
Is tyDi your real name?
No, my real name is Tyson and tyDi was a nickname I got when I was in highschool...so when I started DJing back in highschool, that was the name I used and I still keep it until now.
You're so young yet so successful already... How did it all happen?

I started when I was 14. At first, my folks were not okay with me DJing, they wanted me to learn some musical instruments and bought me a drum set. I ended up selling the drum set to buy turntables and DJ equipments and my parents were so mad at me... At first they weren't really that happy, they didn't want me to be a DJ, but now they know that's what I want to do and they kinda accepted it somehow.

I've been very lucky to be here now. Like I said, I started DJing when I was 14, so that makes 8 years already that I'm in the domain, I started with small parties in Brisbane, then I'd play more and more around Australia, Sydney, Melbourne, all by keeping it secret from my parents.

I used to sneak out on weekends saying that I'm at my friends' place or something but I actually flew all over Australia, meeting dodgy promoters, doing gigs behind my parents' back and got back home on Monday morning right before time to go to school! It was funny, but they never found out.

But then I started to produce more and more songs, getting more and more gigs from outside Australia too, so eventually my parents' found out and they kinda said, "OK, but you gotta have a degree, too." And that's what I did - I just finished my uni, got my degree, keep them happy and do what I love to do: DJing and producing.

And now your parents don't protest that you're away so often? What about your friends? And do you have any siblings? I'm the youngest in my family, I have three older sisters, two of them twins, they're 30, and the eldest one is 35, so I'm the little baby brother in the family. I was the last to leave home, and yeah it's a bit of a lonely life being a DJ, I live between flights, planes, hotels and gigs, but I don't complain, it's what I love - and I get to meet a lot of cool people, make new friends in every city I go to, so it's a bit of a great life globe-trotting too.
And when I'm back in Australia I'd meet some friends of mine, we hang around and have a good time together.

Why small t and capital D in tyDi?
Years ago when I was 16, I entered into this DJ competition cos I really wanted to make a name for myself. On the ad postcard they printed, there was a mistake in how they wrote my name, putting the t in small letter and D in capital.
But I ended up winning the competition so I thought the name must be lucky or something so I keep the name from then.
About being in the uni, what about your fellow friends there? Do they look at you like, "Oh God it's tyDi, he's a celebrity!" and treat you differently cos you're a very famous DJ?
Actually, I was always the one who came 5 minutes late after the courses began and left directly after the bell rang, so I never really got to know what the people at the uni thought about me. But I did make some really close friends at the uni and we stay friends until now.
Good thing that you went to the uni...Most other people, being famous in a young age, don't even bother to go to the uni and get their degree, but you did and that's really cool!

Well, I got a Bachelor Degree in Music Technology, so it's something that I like too - at the uni I learnt how to do a song, make it from A to Z and wrap it as a finished product ready to sell to the record label, so now I know how to master my own productions and I do everything myself.

I'm a perfectionist so I do everything by my own - you know there are some producers who got the ideas for music but they need other people to help them putting the inspirations into real life, but I couldn't stand looking at someone working on my music cos I like to do everything the way I want it to be. So I'm glad I went to uni, afterall!

So music is your life right now... but in 10 years would you still DJ or you'd be just behind a giant empire of recording company and ka-ching! Cash in the money other producers under your label make...
Actually I haven't thought about that yet but what I know is, I love making music. It's what I want to do even if I'm already 70 and on a walking stick, if I can still make music I'll make music.
Have you experienced something like a writer's block?
Well, yeah, sometimes I do.
In these three last months I've finished six songs ready to market - which is a lot! But there are times like last year when I just couldn't put any song together for some time - just because I'm not in the mood.
But there are times when I'm just lying on my bed in a hotel room and a song just pops out in my mind.
Do the inspirations come from emotional moments like, extremely happy, terribly sad?
Hmm yeah now I'll get all sappy...But actually yes.
When I was in highschool, I had a girlfriend I really loved, we dated for three years, and she left me to go to school in France - I was really upset and it inspired me to write some songs, and these songs did really well and they helped me to get where I am now.
And now that I'm all OK and happy again I make more chunky, energetic songs.
You got anyone, any DJ you look up to as a role model?
HI'd say Markus Schulz! I liked what he did and I think I'm very lucky, three years ago I used to really love his songs and now I'm writing tracks for him, do remix for his labels...It's just great.
You said you like songs that are well-thought and into which a lot of time and efforts are put...but what about commercial songs? Like David Guetta's latest album that has gone mainstream, not only for dance music but also for pop audience.
I think David Guetta has done an amazing job - dance music was underground, and in the US especially where hip hop R&B rule all, this genre was not that popular before, but he has brought dance music to a new level where he mixes it with hip hop R&B and pop artists and boom, overnight it became so successful. He definitely has made a point, made a name for himself in the US, and I think he deserves every success he has in his hands now.
Alright...well, one last question before you go: what is your favorite place to play?
I like each and every place, every city, every club I go to, but when I play in Brisbane, it's my hometown, it's my people, and the crowd always goes crazy, so Brisbane is definitely on the top of the list, even though I like a lot of other places too!
Thank you so much tyDi for your time and for the interview...Can't wait to see you tonight!
I'll start slow and go faster, more pumping as the night goes by...I'm playing a 3-hour-set so be there till the end!

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