tyDi is a young and driven DJ/producer who has achieved more in just a few short years than many in the dance music world can hope to accomplish. With two albums under his belt already and a third one coming out soon, tyDi consistently pushes dance music forward. tyDi’s music creates a melodic getaway and his determination to create such tracks results in music that has a long lasting quality, staying within the hearts of dance music fans worldwide. Ascendance Radio interviews tyDi on his upcoming album, new releases, and so much more.
Dayanna Guerrero (Ascendance Radio): We’re here with tyDi, just hours before his set at Off the Hookah, in Ft. Lauderdale. tyDi, last time we spoke, it was March of 2012, before your Miami Music Week set at the AVA Takeover Event. If you had to pick one word for everything that’s happened in the past year and 3 months, what would it be?
Dayanna Guerrero (Ascendance Radio): That’s a good one.
Dayanna Guerrero (Ascendance Radio): “Something from Nothing” is the name of your upcoming album. According to your Facebook, we know at least one thing: There will be violins. What more can you tell us?
tyDi: Yeah. It’s a lot more than just violins in this album. I really have over my career, I’ve been known as a songwriter almost as much as I am a DJ and a producer. It’s because I’m a music geek and I have a degree in music that I spend a lot of time really carefully planning out every little element in each song. It took me a long time. My first album, “Look Closer“, going from that to my second album, “Shooting Stars“, there was a long period (there was about 2 years there) that was because I had to put so much. I wanted that album to be perfect, basically. This is now the difference between “Shooting Stars”, and “Something from Nothing” is 10 times that. I have to beat “Shooting Stars”. That album really set a bar for me. I haven’t heard a bad thing from my fans about it. The album broke a lot of new territory for me (I’m talking about “Shooting Stars” right now). It broke new grounds for what people knew me for, and the production of that album is something that I still to this day, I listen back to and I’m proud of it. I want to be able to look back on this next album in the same way. When I’m 40, I want look back and think that “Something for Nothing” was an amazing album.
It’s definitely a challenge right now, and part of fulfilling that challenge is really getting musical on it. I’ve got string quartets, I’m bringing back orchestras, one of the songs has a 120-piece orchestra. There’s acoustic guitar all through it, there’s some incredible vocalists, ones that I never thought I’d ever get to work with; singers like a band called Dashboard Confessional, who I was obsessed with when I was a little kid.
Dayanna Guerrero (Ascendance Radio): So was I.
tyDi: He’s on the album. I have so many that I can’t name that are on the album, bands like The Ready Set who are all over Top-40 radio. We’ve done these just tracks that I’m proud of. The album is shaping up well. I wish I could tell you everything on it and all the people that are working on it, but I can’t.
Dayanna Guerrero (Ascendance Radio): Leave a little mystery.
tyDi: It’s going to make “Shooting Stars” seem like I was practicing.
Dayanna Guerrero (Ascendance Radio): Something awesome happened recently. We get promos every week for new music, but we were so happy to see what came across our desk this week: “Nothing Really Matters“, featuring TyDi and Melanie Fontana, out on Republic Records. We really enjoyed it and plan to add it into our rotation soon, but do tell us more about this track.
tyDi: “Nothing Really Matters” is a track that was another one of my genre-defining tracks where I felt the need to escape a little bit. My true fans know me for having a very melodic style, very dark, very emotional, very thoughtful music; intelligent music, I like to think. Sometimes, it can make you feel trapped when you’re an artist and you have a certain style. “Nothing Really Matters” was an opportunity for me to just…I took it as the opportunity to jump out into something I didn’t know, and that was to do something a little more pop. A lot of people in EDM are scared of that word and I can understand why because pop music can be terrible.
I had a goal, and that was to write a pop song with integrity. It had to be a party song. That’s what it’s about, “Nothing Really Matters” is about getting loose, about partying, and just having fun. It can come across a little bit cheesy lyrically, but I feel like musically and that the whole songwriting behind it and the production behind it pulls it off in a way that I wanted to. Really proud of that song. It’s just another little experiment for me and I hope that every song that I do surprises my fans like that.
Dayanna Guerrero (Ascendance Radio): Awesome. Let me quote something you said on Facebook last week, “When I’m on tour, I like to mess with room service staff in hotels by requesting that they send nuclear weapons to my room.” Given the recent NSA surveillance scandal, how long do you think it will be before you’re paid a visit by a blacked-out SUV and men in dark suits?
tyDi: I don’t think I’m a most wanted person yet. I’ve done some crazy things when I’m on tour. Ordering nuclear weapons to my room is…sure, I can request it, they’ve never arrived. If they did arrive, I’m not sure what I’d do with them. No, I don’t think I’m a target just yet. I think it’s okay.
Dayanna Guerrero (Ascendance Radio): Today is Friday, so we thought it’d be appropriate to tell everyone listening if you’re not following you on Twitter they should be. You’ve always got something insightful, inspirational, or downright funny to say. That leads me to my next question: What’s the funniest thing that has ever happened to you while on tour?
tyDi: Wow. Some of the funniest things that have happened to me on tour are some of the things that aren’t funny at the time, but I look back on them as being hilarious. One time, I locked myself out of a hotel room and I was completely naked. That happened…I didn’t mean to do that. I was on my phone and I was naked, I just got out the shower, I was on my phone, and I’d realized that my room service was sitting in the hallway. You know how you leave your room service outside the room to get it changed? I was kicking it out the door, and I kicked it a little too far. I just got distracted by the phone call and realized that the door shut behind me. I was stuck in the hotel lobby completely naked. It was probably one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. Looking back on it, I’d say that was pretty hilarious.
Dayanna Guerrero (Ascendance Radio): That tops a lot of mine. At the start of the month, you played at Sutra, in Costa Mesa, California. You did a giveaway of sorts; you threw your headphones into the crowd and they ended up ripping it to pieces. Two questions for you: 1; has this made you reconsider crowd surfing, and 2; do you usually give away stuff like this?
tyDi: Question Number 1: I’ve never tried crowd surfing. I have always wanted to do it. I haven’t found the opportunity. Actually, I have found…there’s been plenty of giant crowds to do it on, but I’ve always been scared that if I do jump on the crowd, I’m not going to get back to the stage. Being an artist performing on stage, if you’re not back there soon enough, the music will stop. Generally, I think to be a crowd surfing DJ, you need to be in a duo, so at least there’s…like Above and Beyond, or someone where you’ve got like other people up there who can look after it. If I was to jump in the crowd and they were to take me like right out into the depths of the crowd, I’d fear that I wouldn’t get back in time to mix the next track.
To answer your second question, giveaways is something I do occasionally. I’ve probably thrown 10 to 20 pairs of headphones into the crowd before. It’s something that I do nearly monthly. I just pick and choose when I’m going to do it; it depends. I’m very lucky because I have some good friends at Pioneer Headphones who hook me up with new pairs when I decide to have a little too many drinks and throw them out. What I didn’t expect with Sutra is that they would rip them up. I thought that someone would grab them and they would keep them, but it ended up like piranhas, everyone went home with pieces of my headphones.
Dayanna Guerrero (Ascendance Radio): Have you ever thought of throwing other things so that you get like free stuff? Like, “New shoes: I’m going to throw shoes and get a sponsor.”
tyDi: No, I haven’t done that, but I have had bras and underwear thrown at me…
Dayanna Guerrero (Ascendance Radio): There you go.
tyDi: Which is kind of cool.
Dayanna Guerrero (Ascendance Radio): A lot of our listeners know you for your songs, and especially Global Soundsystem, which airs every Friday night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on our Elevation Channel. How is the show doing for you?
tyDi: Global Soundsystem is great. It’s a very big driving force in the success of my career. I’ve been doing it for many years now, and it’s just been growing and growing. There’s countries that I’ve never even DJ’d in yet, that have my show there. Places like Mexico, there’s many places in Mexico where you can listen to Global Soundsystem every week. It’s really prepped up the crowd for a Mexico tour which is cool because I’m thinking at the end of this year I’m going to be traveling to Mexico to do a full tour.
Dayanna Guerrero (Ascendance Radio): Tour/vacation, or just…
tyDi: Every tour is slash vacation. To go out there and know that the show is successful there, it definitely helps my live show because people are going to be coming out to see me perform because of the radio show. Global Soundsystem is been going really well, we’re in more than 35 countries now. It’s got a strong fan-base as a podcast.
Dayanna Guerrero (Ascendance Radio): Awesome. Florida is just one of many stops in your month’s-long tour for you. Where can fans look forward to seeing you next?
tyDi: Tomorrow night, I’m playing in Toronto, in Canada. After that…
Dayanna Guerrero (Ascendance Radio): That’s a big leap from Florida.
tyDi: Yeah. After that, I’m playing in, I can’t remember. It’s called the Paradiso Festival. Then I’m heading to Asia; I’m going to be playing in Bali, also Kuala Lumpur, and Macau, which is like the Vegas of China. These are all places that I’ve played in quite a lot. I think it’s very hard for people to keep up-to-date with me. I think you just need to go to my website, tyDi.com. Also my Facebook page, you’ll see it there; all my tour dates and that’s how you know when I’m going to be in your city next.
Dayanna Guerrero (Ascendance Radio): Awesome. Thanks again. We look forward to “Something From Nothing” and your weekly broadcast on Global Soundsystem on Elevation. Thank you.
tyDi: Thank you so much.
Be sure to keep an eye out for tyDi’s new album release “Something from Nothing” by checking out the tyDi Official Website, visit the tyDi Facebook Page, or keep up to date by following tyDi on Twitter.