If tie dye gives us a concoction of colors on t-shirts and other fabrics, consider Australian DJ tyDi (pronounced tie-DEE) a titan of tints, painting with the hues of house and electronic in his own brand of original music and remixes for other acts. The 26-year-old performer has been flying all over the world lately, promoting his high-energy shows and club-ready tunes to an even bigger audience. Now, he’s back in the States for a small tour and will be returning again early next year to play a set of dates in conjunction with his newest single release, “Live This Lie”, featuring a vocal from Carmen Keigans, the former lead singer of one-time Adam’s Top 40 act I Nine. It’s now at CHR radio as promoted by Global SoundSystem Records.
The 26-year-old, real name Tyson Illingworth, was born in Mooloolaba in Queensland, Australia and grew up in Brisbane. Discovering the sounds of dance music by his teens, Illingworth took the name tyDi (originally stylised as tydi) and began entering DJ competitions as early as 16. By 2008, at a more mature 21, he took the title of Australia’s top DJ on the Sony inthemix50, which he also won again the next year. Also around time, he decided to begin recording his own music, first issuing singles and placing remixes on record label compilations, followed by full-length albums like 2011’s Shooting Stars and now Hotel Rooms, which is out today digitally. The set is preceded by a stand-alone single, “Nothing Really Matters” (featuring Melanie Fontana), which went to #39 on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs during the fall via Republic Records.
This isn’t the first time tyDi has been serviced to this particular radio format. The DJ and producer received some limited airplay earlier this year on a song called “Glow In The Dark”, a collaboration with singer Kerli. Z-Entertainment, the L.A.-based group best known for handling the radio promotion for acts like Colby O’Donis and The Cab, was unable to find a place for it on the airwaves and it soon fell off the radar. Luckily, “Live” is in some more capable hands with his management, who are hard at work securing stations for the record in addition to some pre-impact plays on the West Coast.
The song itself is probably his strongest effort to date, a melodically pleasant piece with a superb vocal from Keigans and a slow-to-rapid tempo change, shifting back and forth between the two extremes. It’s a perfect fit for CHR radio as well as the Dance Club Songs chart assuming it can pick up some traction before the big holiday radio freeze. The video also had a successful launch about a week and a half ago when it debuted on VEVO, surpassing 100,000 views, and with a growing social media pack of over 285,000 followers between Facebook and Twitter, he surely must be doing something right.
So, why pay attention to “Live” in an already packed music market? Simply follow the patterns of popular radio this year, who have made big acts out of dance producers and singers who had little to no exposure to the mainstream circuit prior. Earlier this year, the little known Zedd collaborated with unknown vocalist Foxes on what would become a massive hit, “Clarity”. Avicii, who couldn’t manage to ignite the U.S. market on his previous two radio releases, was welcomed with open arms on his Aloe Blacc-sung single, “Wake Me Up”. Now, American radio is starting to pick up on Calvin Harris‘s “Thinking About You”, a former top ten single in the U.K., which features newcomer Ayah Marar. There’s potential for the trend to continue in 2014, although it’s unclear to what degree, so you may just be seeing tyDi and Carmen Kiegans rank among the best of them. Australia’s EDM scene has yet to have a voice on the American charts; why not speak up now?
Look for another full-length release and single from tyDi in early 2014 as he continues to shuffle his way around the globe and play songs off of his new Hotel Rooms album, a chill-out experience rather than a hardcore dance effort. In the meantime, watch out and listen up for “Live This Lie” on a radio station near you soon, and that’s the cold hard truth.