At 16, most of us are just working on learning how to drive and losing our virginities. Australian house technician tyDi was polishing his skills on the decks, winning his first DJ competition and getting his first residency soon after.
"I was real fortunate to experience success at an early age," said now 26-year-old Tyson Illingworth while taking a break in Los Angeles from recording his fourth full-length album. "At 18, I was named number one DJ in Australia for two years in a row." And it's been uphill since.
He was named #48 in the industry by prestigious DJ Mag in 2011, amongst other honors. The worldwide recognition has opened the door to several world tours and breakthrough albums like 2011's acclaimed Shooting Stars. His newest single "Nothing Really Matters" is available on iTunes now.
"There's a lot of talent in Australia. It's such a far off place, sometimes its hard to get that worldwide recognition," said tyDi. "I've been fortunate to have a great fan base."
County Grind caught up with the international DJ in between recording sessions for his newest album during the first leg of his North American tour. The fast moving turntablist is stopping Off the Hookah tonight, which has been playing host to many big name DJs lately. tyDi just finished recording a track with live strings in the studio, and was accordingly hyped.
New Times: You experienced success at an early age, 16. Now, ten years later, how do you feel that prepared you for this part of your career?
tyDi: Having such success at an early age gave me a great boost. I have had a lot of time to figure out what works in the booth, what rocks on stage, and what doesn't. I've been lucky to stay touring, having such a great fan base.
What influenced you as a young artist?
Well, there was no particular artist or DJ. BT is a producer that has influenced my career. I've worked with him in the past and I'm working with him out on two songs out in August. I listened to a lot of bands. Ones that combined rhythm and lyrics like Dashboard Confessional, Taking back Sunday. I think that was an example of many traits (in my music) that have carried over from other genres.
You are known for having an energetic stage presence. How do keep your stage shows so full of energy?
I engage the audience, pay attention to the crowd. I make sure I am looking in their eyes, seeing how they are reacting. That helps me determine what to play next. You can really get a crowd going with the right (set of) songs at the right time. Some DJs just play music and some are kind of stage clowns, I'm somewhere in between.
You are now recording your fourth album since 2009. What else are you up to these days?
I'm touring, travelling the world. Making it blast. We are now on our North American leg of the tour. We're based in Los Angeles while we record.
What's coming up that you're most excited about?
Well, I'm excited about this single we got coming out in the next few weeks, it's called "Something About You." Its a song I'm really passionate about, and I think the fans will enjoy it. Other than that, I'm really excited about the album. There are about 20 to 30 songs I'm in love with. We're going to cut it down, of course, to around 18. It will make for a perfect album.
What do you want to tell the fans in South Florida and what can they expect from your show?
People with remember it. I play music that makes the hair on your arms and legs stand on end, send shivers down your spine. It's not just another show. Playing South Florida for the third time, and I'm excited to see the fans come out.
DJ tyDi, 10 p.m., Friday, June 21, at Off the Hookah, 111 SW 2nd Ave, Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $10 plus fees. Visit offthehookah.com.
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