Back in July of last year, Austrailian producer and DJ tyDi came clean and revealed on Facebook that he had been secretly writing new material, but under a new name: Wish I Was. The more I read, the sadder I became. I had no idea he was struggling, but as I came to the end of the Facebook post, I was encouraged. Here was a man baring his soul to an Internet audience, not knowing what to expect, but feeling compelled to share his pain that he turned into music. Below is the post he made.
The first song I would hear from his Wish I Was alias, Cutting Ties, would immediately grip the heart in my chest and make me recall all of my lost loves. Cutting Ties is about the one that got away, but still holds one captive until you decide to release them. It was unlike anything I had heard from Tyson before. I had no problem embracing this side of Tyson because it’s a side we are all too familiar with: the side that doesn’t really air out its grievances, but stays hidden until the emotional well breaks.
What does it say about us as music consumers and the music industry at large when an artist has to retreat inside themselves to find that spark again, then emerge as someone completely different to follow their desires? We as consumers clamor for more of the same from our beloved artists and the music industry demands they continue producing at a rate that eventually leads to burn out. It would make anyone want to run away. I am just happy that tyDi found his voice again with Wish I Was and entrusted us with that work. tyDi is not the first artist to assume an alter ego, but he is one of the few that has executed it flawlessly. Anyone remember Chris Gaines, country star Garth Brook’s alter ego? No? Exactly.
tyDi as Wish I Was released his debut album On My Mind on May 6, 2016. It is a powerful, emotive album. I haven’t heard anything so raw in a long time. The album can be found on iTunes for your listening pleasure at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/wish-i-was/id1029646451.
I Wish I Was is the lead off track on the album. If I Wish I Was doesn’t bring you to your knees with its powerful, pleading vocals, I would question if you had any emotions at all. The title track, On Your Mind, is a brooding harmonic track that showcases the composer in tyDi. Free Will sounds like something off an industrial dance record. It’s a lot edgier than the other tracks and makes for a nice departure from the overall flow of the album. Little Voices speaks the most to me because it communicates so much without the usual thump of four to the floor beats. It’s music stripped down into a piano melody. At just under three minutes it covers a lot of heartfelt ground.
We’re Better than This, Stop This, The Bubble, Kill Me, and We Can’t Go On Like This feature Cameron Walker, the voice of Weatherstar and 1/3 of the super group Nekokat. Nekokat brings together band members Jordan W and Cameron Walker from of The Ready Set with Jess Bowen from The Summer Set. tyDi even did a remix for Nekokat’s first single Gimme A Break, making an already infectious track even more fun.
When I was first introduced to tyDi, he was producing tracks with the familiar sounds of lush pads, melody, and euphoric climax that have come to represent trance music. Even then, tyDi was producing to the beat of his own rhythm. One thing that has continuously set tyDi apart is his knack for working with the right vocalists, from Jennifer Rene to Audrey Gallagher to Christina Novelli. My favorite track from TyDi is Calling, his collaboration with Audrey Gallagher.
Since that time, tyDi has appeared on stage at A State of Trance (the last time being in Ukraine for ASOT 550) and released a total of four albums under tyDi (five if you count his remix album tyDi — Remixed). He’s toured around the world headlining events and has also been on tour with someone I consider one of the best electronic musicians of our time, BT. They worked together on a song with Jes that was on BT’s album A Song Across Wires, making a monumental piece of music.
tyDi earns my utmost respect because he isn’t a simple knob twister, playing other people’s music. He has a background in composition and music theory. After high school, tyDi entered the prestigious Queensland Conservatorium of Music and earned a Bachelor of Music Technology. When he was in high school, he discovered electronic dance music and entered DJ competitions, so he’s been at this for a long time.
Besides being a versatile artist, Tyson makes himself available. One of the reasons I like Tyson so much is that he opens himself up to his fans and shows he is a vulnerable human being. Sometimes you look upon stage at the DJ and are just star struck. Your heroes and heroines look so together on stage and you think how lucky they are to be on a ride that doesn’t seem to stop up to the top. Behind the decks is a person however, a person that has highs and lows, days where they want to shout triumphantly as well as days where they want to put the breaks on life. I’m just glad Tyson doesn’t mind sharing through music. The world is all the better for it.
— tyDi (@tyDi) June 12, 2016
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