Australian music producer tyDi has certainly been making waves within the music industry. Even during such a difficult time like, he has managed to stay dedicated to making new yet inspiring music for his fans. He recently released his latest single “Nerve“ with singer-songwriter Geena Fontanella that contains a touching message, especially for those who have been affected by many current events. Listeners of the track are sure to relate to it on a whole other level, especially with the kind of year that we have all been experiencing. EDM Sauce recently interviewed the talented producer and spoke about various topics. Not only did we discuss his inspiration behind “Nerve,” but we also spoke about new upcoming music, songwriting, his time during quarantine, and how he's been interacting with his fans today. If you've never heard of this incredible music maker, then you should definitely take some time to get to know him. This interview is sure to persuade you in the right direction.
You just released your latest single “Nerve,” which is meant to be a response to 2020, the global pandemic, and humanity. Although inspiring, why did you decide to make a single about these topics?
“Good question! It's not necessarily about an exact event. Most of my songs are about how I've been feeling at the time. I write my songs in a traditional manner where I will sit with the vocalist, singer, and writer and we will write the lyrics together. Just to give you some background, last year, I planned about 20 songs and I was going to release an album. Before the pandemic happened, I was listening back to them and many of them didn't feel appropriate for what was happening during the time. I started this year by releasing a song called ‘Start Again,‘ which I wrote with Brennley Brown, which is kind of a cross between country and electronic and it was a good time to release it because, right now, I can't play in clubs. I wanted to test the waters by making songs that just sound different.
“With ‘Nerve,' I was talking to Geena about it when we wrote it, and we were trying to write something positive and happy that would uplift everyone, but then we just thought we can't stifle from being an artist and a songwriter. With everything that is going on, we decided to write a song that speaks for other people, especially those who don't always have a voice. I used the whole tongue in cheek kind of thing where it's like ‘2020 you got some nerve!' On a deeper level, it really is about a song about those who have the loudest voice that shouldn't always be the loudest people in the room.
“The nod to humanity is in there with the line ‘I know that we want the same.' I thought that line was very interesting. When Geena and I wrote the song, we originally wrote it without that line and we had all the other lyrics done. Then I asked Geena ‘Can you try something? Can you get on the mic and sing in that same melody but sing ‘I know that we want the same.'” She said ‘Why? that doesn't really work with the story.' She did it and then we both ended up saying ‘Wow! this is really cool.' The song has some sass in it and it talks about deeper issues, but that contrast definitely helps to make it more human. It's saying ‘We have our differences and everyone has got their own opinion right now in something.' That line really sticks out in the song and creates a contrast to it.
‘Nerve' is not specifically talking about a specific topic. If it does, I don't really tell people because I like my fans to decode songs the way they want. When I was growing up, I would listen to songs by my favorite bands and I would adapt them to what I thought they were about. Years later, I would find out that they were about a totally different thing. It's interesting how the listener will get a specific lyric and think it means something completely different and adapt it to their own situations; I like that about writing songs. There are a lot of strong messages within the track that are about the current times, but I love it when people try to figure it out for themselves.”
Why did you decide to work specifically with American Idol finalist Geena Fontanella on this track?
“I've worked with Gina before. She's a friend of mine and we did a solo last year called “Wrap Me Up.” I just love her voice and her overall personality and attitude towards life. She's fun and just a great person to work with. And she's also fast. As a sole writer and a producer, some people don't realize that I actually sit down and write the lyrics with someone. We do live in a time where many people will just send a track and say, “Hey, can you put a beat on this or a set and vice versa like that, or they just to send me a vocal. I didn't like to work that way. I really like to work with people in my friend group and people who I can really talk to about the subject of the song because everything I write is personal.
“Geena is one of those people who are able to sit down with me and we can have a discussion before we write something that means something to both of us. Geena is always on my radar, not only because of her amazing voice but because of her personality and she's a great friend of mine. It just so happened that she was on American Idol last year and she actually had Katy Perry singing on one of her songs. I just called Geena and I said, Hey, do you want to write a track? She was like, “I thought you had thirty different songs ready to go, which I do! But, I wanted to write something that was more current and experiment a little more; Gina was up for it. She nailed the vocals on it.”
Since we were speaking a bit about the pandemic, how have you been during lockdown? What have you been doing to pass the time?
“I'm planning a lot for the next year. I'm writing a lot of music. It's in my nature to always be writing songs. I think without that, I'd probably go crazy. Being a music producer and a songwriter, I'm used to being locked in rooms all day. It's like I've been preparing for this, by accident, my whole life. It's strange and funny because when I'm not in a lockdown situation, I've always wanted to go straight to the studio and start work. But when I know that I can't go outside, it's the other way around. I want to go outside, but now I can't.
“I've been using the time to write more songs and try to be experimental, which is why songs like “Nerve” and “Start Again” came to be. I'm not touring right now, so I could be writing more dance and club tracks, but I'm using the time to write music that is more listenable and less for the clubs or something that people can hopefully enjoy at home and get some joy out of it.”
When producing new music, has it been difficult to stay motivated while staying at home? Staying at home has made it difficult for many people to remain dedicated and has even led to a lack of productivity. Have you had that issue? How do you overcome it?
“That's a great question. it has been a little bit stifling when it comes to creating music because things change every day. I thought I'd written every song that I was going to release this year; I thought I had it all done. I usually operate that way. I'll write an album and sometimes spend two years writing songs then determine what's going to be on that album. This year has been challenging because things have been changing so much that the lyrical content of songs that I wrote last year hasn't necessarily applied to what's happening today.
“What's been my motivation right now has been to change and adapt quickly and to write songs that I wouldn't usually write about and to produce in a way that I wouldn't usually produce either. I've been going in and out of being motivated, but it's important that I get up and go for a run or get some exercise to try to keep myself mentally focused, and then I'm back in the studio. I definitely have been trying to use the time to focus and plan on writing stuff that I'm not only releasing this year but also what will come out next year.”
That's great! At least you now have a lot more time to do that.
“Yeah, it looks like things are changing a lot. We don't know when live shows will happen again or how they will look like when they do happen. So I've been doing a lot of planning.”
How have you tried to remain active with your fan base while in quarantine?
“To be honest, I haven't been as active with my fan base. I'm not much of a live streamer. I recently did a 4-hour live stream for not only my fans, for me because I haven't DJ-ed in so long. I wanted to just have fun behind the decks and do a live stream, but I haven't been one of those people that do it every day. I've been interacting with my fans in normal ways. When I release a track, I'll see what people write about it and I'm usually getting amazing responses from people in DMs and things like that. I'm definitely still interacting with my fan base, but my fans are loyal. I think that if I was to pause for six months, they would know that I'm always working on something. When I do release new music, I'm going to be extremely active again with my fans.
“Some things that keep me busy is that I score music for films and video games. I've also composed music for Disney and TV commercials. It's really, been more about what I could do musically and what is going to bring joy to people. I've considered the live-streaming to be more active with fans, and when I did do it, it was good fun, but it's very strange to play to a camera. I've been djing for over a decade and I'm so used to reading a crowd. I read the audience, how they are feeling, and I know when I want to change a song or which track I'm going to choose next and how I'm going to mix it based on the energy in the room; it's very different. But, with the live streams, it's liberating in a way. You can play whatever you want but, with no audience in front of you, it's a different feeling.”
You spoke much about creating new music for next year. Will there be any special collaborations or are you thinking about doing any soon?
“This has been a fantastic time to be able to collaborate with other artists. In the music industry, it's kind of hard to get together because some people are on tour. I'll be on tour and someone will reach out and want to collab or I'll text somebody and say ‘Hey, let's do a track together' and they are touring in Asia. Right now, everyone's at home; it's a really good time for me to be collaborating. I've been doing a lot of that and next year you can expect some collaborations that are going to be extremely interesting. I can tell you that. I've definitely needed the time to work on genres that are completely different from mine. I've been able to work with people that are at home and hungry to write experimental kinds of music. I can't name them, but I can promise you that there are a lot of collaborations to come.”
If the global pandemic finally came to an end tomorrow, what would be the first thing you would do?
“I'd fly a fighter jet. That sounds like a very strange concept, but you can do that here in LA. You can actually rent out a fighter jet and they take you off with a professional military pilot. I did that before the pandemic and it was the best experience of my life. They take you up in an aerobatic zone and then you can go right up above where the airlines are and then they just let you take over. You use a joystick and you can go nuts on the plane. We took the plane so high and I was doing loops and barrel rolls and all those kinds of crazy things. It sounds like an extremely strange hobby, but it's the biggest rush I've ever experienced in my life. If the pandemic were to end tomorrow, that would be the first thing I would do.”
View this post on Instagram
Stay tuned for more future releases by tyDi. You can follow and interact with the music maker on social media.