Freaknight 2015 Artist Spotlight: An Interview with tyDi

Photo by Dance Music NW.

We got the chance to talk with EDM artist tyDI.

tyDi’s last single ‘Redefined’ feat. Melanie Fontana was the Billboard No. 1 dance airplay record, the most played record on SiriusXM BPM this year, and garnered 2 million Spotify streams. He was ranked Australia’s No. 1 DJ two years in a row (the youngest winner of this award), has topped multiple dance charts, been voted in the Top 100 DJ’s of the World three years in a row, and won ‘Best Break-Through DJ’ at the International Dance Music Awards (IDMA). 

Despite his outstanding achievements, Tyson Illingworth (tyDi) remains down-to-earth and easy to chat with. We had a fun conversation with him and can’t wait to see him spinning his new and old stuff at Freaknight 2015! Make sure to check out his new single, Tear Me Up. It’s crazy good: super danceable, very catchy, and a great beat.

Photo by Dance Music NW.
Photo by Dance Music NW.

Who were some of your inspirations growing up?

In high school, I played the drums and really got into bands like Blink182, Taking Back Sunday and Dashboard Confessional. Back then it was a dream to work with bands like these. I’ve now got a song with Chris Carabba from Dashboard Confessional on my last album! (‘The Closer I Get’ Feat. Dashboard Confessional). Really, really cool.

If we checked your iPod, what would be the songs you’re currently listening to?

I have a very diverse taste in music. I am currently listening to Emancipator, that has an organic, ethereal sound as well as Sigur Ros. In terms of EDM, I like listening to Zedd, Avicii, and Porter Robinson. Songwriting really inspires me such as well-thought-out melodies and lyrics.

We don’t know a lot of artists that have a degree in music. You graduated from Queensland Conservatorium of Music in Australia. How do you think your Bachelor’s degree in Music Technology has influenced your work?

I learned a lot of classical theory as well as traditional songwriting which helps in my music mixing. My writing is theory-based and always incorporates real instruments, vocals, and acoustic strings.

You’re originally from Australia, but you’re living in LA now. How do you like LA?

I love my hometown and going back to play in Australia, but I love living in LA. There are so many talented and driven people here and it’s a great environment to be in.

Freaknight Festival is one of the Pacific Northwest’s biggest Halloween festivals. What can Freaknight attendees look forward to at your Halloween set at the end of the month? 

I usually play a pretty eclectic set, so it’ll include my big tracks like Redefined, and my new single- Tear Me Up, as well as other songs for my hardcore fans. I played at Paradiso at the Gorge in 2013 and had so much fun playing for the PNW crowd. I’m really looking forward to a great time at Freaknight. Should I dress up? Yes. 

Some people think that EDM artists are merely DJs. How would you explain what you do to them? 

DJing isn’t the same as producing. A DJ mixes and performs records. Producing is actually writing the song, making the song in studio, and then presenting the song to fans. It’s a much more involved creative process. Because I come from a classical background, I start songs by writing the song and playing it on the piano before it goes into production.

Tell us about your energetic and catchy new single that was released on September 18th. 

I got to co-write Tear Me Up with Nash Overstreet (Hot Chelle Rae), who’s an amazing vocalist. It was a super fun track to make with high tempo melodies and more of a pop sound.

Check out tyDi’s upcoming tour dates here.