American DJ/Producer Sean Tyas first appeared on EDM culture's radar in 2006, and has been making his way to the top of the scene ever since. With early support from Sander van Doorn, Armin van Buuren, Giuseppe Ottaviani, Lange, Tiesto & more- it comes as no surprise that his latest single "Now You See" off Tytanium Recordings lives at #3 on the Beatport Trance charts.
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2013 proved to be a hugely sucessful year for Tyas, from tracks featured on the world-wide radio podcast A State of Trance to his own Tytanium Sessions radio show making waves & expanding into the illustrious world of EDM.
Originally you are a New York native. What prompted you to get up and move to Germany in the 90's? Similarly, what was your initial introduction into the world of electronic music like, and at what point did you decide that this was going to be your career?
I think I really got introduced to electronic stuff back around 1990 or so. I was 10 and my uncle had come back from a club with a cassette of 3 versions (mixes) of Apotheosis ñ 'O Fortuna.' This song changed my life. It was a sound I had never heard before and soon I was heading into the local CD stores to find more of this music, which at the time, it was kind of all called "techno," I guess. It was only a listening hobby for years, because computers in the 90ís didnít have the juice to be doing what they are doing now. Later when I was in college for Illustration, I got into making music for a hobby, though it quickly took up far more time than my schooling. After graduation I was obsessed with making music, and always posting little clips on amateur music forums and things like that. Eventually a guy running his own home studio in Germany contacted me asking if I'd like to come to work with him. I didn't have a pot to piss in back in NYC, and career-wise I was at a crossroads, so I took a chance and went!
It seems that after your winning remix for Sander van Doorn went public in 2006, the world of Trance has adopted you. From owning a great record label, to hosting a huge radio show (Tytanium Sessions), to releasing big singles this year such as 'Now You See,' not to mention past hits that have become classics, like 'Seven Weeks,' which shot to #1 (Beatport Trance Chart) and stayed there for 3 months, etc. - you must feel the gratification of success! What drives you to continually reach your goals?
The fact that it's all about a journeyóthere's always something more you can challenge yourself to achieve. I love making new goals when Iím in the vicinity of attaining current ones. Above all, I love learning studio techniques--that is my true love!
2013 was a year of many phenomenal releases. Which track do you feel defines who you are as an artist? Which track speaks for you?
My latest single 'Now You See' really shows what I've been after for 18 months in the studio, through experimentation, learning, and experience, and packs it into one track. It sounds weird to say that, but I don't know a better way to word that. I took a lot of core melodic elements that I knew people wanted to hear from me again and incorporated them with some stuff that I learned, and I think it speaks for me in the way that it is a truly "old-meets-new" approach. This has turned out to be my most successful single from over the last few years, when considering the amount of DJ supports, press write ups/reviews, radio show spins, and how it's placed on the charts (Editor's note: Currently #3 at the time of publication!), so Iím realy grateful for the positive outcome with how itís been received. The fans really seem to love it, and I'm proud of it as a producer, whereas that's not always the case with many singles, so I think I've found a sound that works for me.
I would say so-- It's a beautifully composed track! One of my personal favorite tracks of the year has been Nova 7 with Darren Porter. I believe the first time I heard this was on ASOT, and I immediately tweeted you about my instant love for it. No doubt, I'm not the only one! These tracks have so much underlying emotion built into them, what does it take to create something like that? What part of yourself do you have to put into a track to make it a great one?
This was actually a long process; we must have had about 4 completely different versions of it before we agreed on it even being done. You get a melody in your head; create it in the track, but then a day later you get a better idea. It drove us nuts for a couple of weeks! Fortunately, Darren & I see very eye-to-eye when it comes to power trance, so we didnít have many differing opinions on elements we wanted to use and how to implement them in the final product. We both put our strongest front forward (our melodic one), and I think we truly highlighted that aspect of us. There's a new remix releasing on Tytanium later this month by a great emerging talent, Alan Morris, so be on the lookout for that one.
Will do! I have to ask-- With the overwhelming boom of EDM culture in the last five years, there are millions of people who look to your career and want your life. What are the ups & downs of it? Furthermore, what is normal life away from the decks for you? How has your career changed your normalcy?
Well, that's actually an awesome question; I've never been asked that! The highs are fairly obvious. You get to travel a lot, meet new people, and of course, I get to make music for a living and play it for thousands of people! That's pretty awesome. As far as the lows, the first point is really similar to the first high, but it's that you travel. I have a wife and two little girls now age 2 and 4, and to be honest, there are plenty of times when I do not want to leave them. The silver lining here is that I use a home studio, so I'm home pretty much all week. It's a reverse role of what a 'traditional dad' would have. Another downside is that despite traveling to a lot of cool places, most of the time you don't actually ever really see these places! A pretty standard weekend consists of only airports, clubs, and the hotel.
My normal life is different these days though, as I have learned to budget my time better during the week. I think I have a good system now. I wake up before 6AM, Monday - Friday, and do all of my emails, go through promos, get all of the admin stuff done, and then prep for the day. After that I have breakfast with the family, and head back down to the studio. I take lunch at noon with the girls, and then I'm back at it till I close shop around 6. From there on itís quality time with the kids and polishing off a bottle of wine!
Sounds like a fool-proof system. Ending a day with wine is always a win! Your tracks differ from 90% of those on the charts today, simply because they aren't loaded with vocals. Most of your tracks offer melodies through the music as a whole, as opposed to melodies through vocals. What changed with Lose my Logic?
I'm simply really picky with vocals. I don't have much more of an answer there! I've been chatting with more singers lately, with many ideas flowing, so I think some quality stuff is about to really take shape!
Can't wait to see what surfaces! Talk to me about Tytanium Recordings. I'm curious of the name- Titanium represents strength, inability to break or dissolve - and in Greek mythology; derived from Titan, it means immortality. Is this representative of your label? What does your label provide that other similar to it do not? What do you want to see come from it?
It's definitely based on a solid aspect of the metal. I'm sure you probably remember when I used to have a 'Tough As Tytanium' Track of The Week on the radio show, which signifies the track's solidity and my general feeling that the track is unbreakable. The same applies to the label. Iíve become really choosey about what tracks we'll release, as there are just so many tracks that get released per week. This year I want to start to solidify my Tytanium roster with some key artists, and really build the brand together with the promo/marketing/publicity, and most importantly, by putting out great records.
Why Trance? I'll keep that one open to interpretation...
For me, it's all about the melody. The harmonies, the drive of a rolling bassline, the acids, that feeling when a melody gets teased in, and you feel like you're on the dancefloor trying to follow it along for the very first time. Magic.
Magic it is... What do you feel is the importance of understanding production values as an artist? Is it possible in today's culture to simply step behind the decks, or a laptop, and continually build off of something that's already been created? Is there still an art behind remixing as a singular act?
Production has taken the pole position of importance; it's as simple as that. DJ's who don't have original releases don't have their own stamp on their sets really. Sure, there's 'turntable DJs' like Zabiela, but that is a rare breed - especially to be as good as he is on those decks!
Can I get a hint about your upcoming US Tour in 2014? What kind of energy are you looking for? Any stops you want to make while you're back on your home turf?
Still finalizing a couple more dates, so stay tuned to my Facebook page!
Besides the tour, what can we anticipate from you this year? Collaborations, albums, more kids? Any or all of it?
You might have noticed a graphic that was posted on my Facebook/Twitter last week that says, "A new year, A new era" with '01.13.1' on it, signifying the date on which a few new projects will be officially announced. I'm really excited about this year, as I really anticipate this to be a game changer of a year for me. I'd actually like to clarify that this does not mean the sound of my music nor what's released on Tytanium is changing at all! There were a few comments on the post that speculated this or that I'm "leaving trance." I'm confused why anyone would think that, considering the release of "Now You See," but I guess some people missed that track! Just check back on the 13th!
Speculation comes with the territory, I suppose. Glad to hear that you're not leaving Trance! Final question. If you could rewind time, back before you were internationally known as 'Sean Tyas,' who would you have been? What career path would you have chosen?
I probably would be working for Disney or some Anime company drawing for a living. Granted, I'm very out of practice by now!