tyDi (born Tyson Illingworth, 31 May 1987) is an Australian songwriter, music producer and DJ specializing in electronic dance music. Originally from Queensland, tyDi was signed by Armin van Buuren's Armada label at 17 and was Australia's No.1 DJ in 2008 and 2009, the youngest winner of this award.
Unbeknownst to his parents, Tyson was competing in every DJ competition he could starting at age 16. However, since he was too young to enter the club legally, he enlisted the help of his older siblings to take him to the events. The risk was worth the reward as Tyson won his first career DJ competition at 16 under the alias tyDi, and from then on the alias stuck.
After high school, tyDi applied to study at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. He was accepted as one of 3000 applicants for the potential 30 seats in the program, and graduated with a Bachelor of Music Technology. In 2009, his first album, Look Closer, reached No. 2 in the Australian Dance charts and in 2010 he won "Best Break-Through DJ" at the International Dance Music Awards (IDMA) in Miami, receiving the award from Tiësto. His second album 'Shooting Stars' was released in 2011. It reached No.1 on the Australian, Canadian, Finnish and UK iTunes Dance charts and No.4 in the USA. Between 2008-12 tyDi was included in the annual DJ Mag Top 100 DJs poll, with his highest position at No. 48 in 2011.
At 26 years of age, concurrent with the mainstream breakout of electronic dance music in the United States, tyDi left Australia and moved to Los Angeles to further develop his career. In October 2012, tyDi signed a worldwide publishing deal with Rondor/Universal Music and a record deal with Republic Records in April 2013. His third album, Hotel Rooms, was released 22 November 2013.
His fourth album, Redefined, was released on 30 September 2014 and debuted at #4 on the USA iTunes dance chart and No.5 on the Australian iTunes dance chart.
Unexpectedly, tyDi released a brand new trance EP, The Promise, on 14 December 2014. All proceeds from the sale of the EP are being donated to charity.
ReDefined, the title track on tyDi's 3rd album, became the number one dance airplay record in the USA and also reached as high as No.9 on the Billboard Dance/Mix Show Airplay Chart in April 2015.
TyDi hosts Global Sound System on Electro City on Dash Radio.
The Early Years:
Tyson is from Mooloolaba on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. He has three older sisters. At 14, he became keen on dance music, particularly trance. His parents tried unsuccessfully to divert his enthusiasm to a musical instrument (drums), but he soon traded this drum kit for his first set of turntables. However, he was sufficiently interested in music theory to spend most school lunch times writing music. His original inspiration for song writing came from the end of a high school relationship. After two years he entered DJ competitions using his school nickname "tydi". This became "tyDi" from a printing error on a promotional flyer for the Brisbane DJ Wars competition that he won.
After leaving school, he began touring in Australia. In 2006, he entered the Technics InTheMix Australian Top 50 DJs, reaching #12 and after gaining more experience at music festivals in 2007 he reached #4 in the Top 50 DJ charts. In 2008, he became Australia's youngest N#1 DJ and the first non-New South Wales winner of the award.
First Album and further awards:
After becoming Australia's #1 DJ, tyDi released his debut album Look Closer that reached #2 in the Australian Dance Charts. It featured 15 predominantly trance tracks, with a few in other styles ("Interlude", "Let You Go" and "How Much Longer"). As InTheMix put it in May 2009 "Look Closer is an absolute belter of a debut, and displays a musical maturity way beyond Tydi's years." Website Trance.nu went further saying that Look Closer was "...of world class quality the likes of some of the best trance and progressive artist albums out there." A few months later he mixed a disc for the annual Ministry of Sound Trance Nation release and was again voted Australia's #1 DJ in the Sony In The Mix Top 50 for 2009.
"You Walk Away" (featuring Audrey Gallagher) was his first tyDi original single, followed by others that included "Good Dream", "Vanilla" (featuring Tanya Zygar), "Calling" (again featuring Audrey Gallagher) and the anthem "Half Light" (featuring Tanya Zygar). In February 2010, tyDi won the "Best Breakthrough DJ" award at the International Dance Music Awards. He was presented with the award at a ceremony in Miami by Tiësto. Unsuccessful nominees that year included Boys Noize, Chuckie, Joris Voorn and Super8 & Tab.
On 16 April 2011, tyDi made first appearance at the annual A State of Trance (ASOT) at Sydney's Acer Arena. He also appeared during ASOT 550 in Kiev, Ukraine in 2012.
August 2011 saw the release of tyDi's second album, Shooting Stars. It achieved #1 on the Australian, Canadian, UK and Finnish iTunes dance charts and reached number #4 in the USA. The album was departure from his trance background with 18 tracks illustrating many genres of electronic music It featured collaborations with some of dance music's best vocalists including Tania Zygar, Brianna Holan, Audrey Gallagher and DJ Rap.
Talking Reviews said "For want of a better description, this musical journey is nothing short of astounding and breath taking." Meanwhile, Beat Magazine described the final track - Ariana - with "The final track Ariana could be rated the best album outro of 2011, so be sure to give it a listen." Almost half the tracks have been released in extended club mixes or remixes, extending their longevity.
August 2011 - 2014:
Since the release of Shooting Stars, tyDi has continued touring of the world, playing around 150 shows a year from London to Macau to Sydney, and including regular appearance in his hometown of Brisbane.
tyDi's release following "Shooting Stars" was "Glow in the Dark", a collaboration with Ultra Records artist Kerli, played on over 10 Top 40 radio stations. The accompanying music video was premiered on VEVO.com and shown on MTV's Clubland. The video highlighting the positive things in life no matter how the darkness of events.
In October 2012, tyDi signed a worldwide publishing deal with Rondor/Universal Music. He signed his first major label record deal with Republic Records (www.RepublicRecords.com) in April 2013.
His EP "When I Go" was released in January 2013 containing two trance tracks, a progressive house number and a chillout track as well as multiple remixes.
As well as working on his chillout album Hotel Rooms (released 22 November 2013), tyDi worked with American producer and DJ BT. They collaborated on two tracks on BT's ninth album A Song Across Wires: "Tonight" (with JES) and "Stem the Tides" (with Tania Zygar).
His last song before the release of his late 2014 full-length album Redefined was "Stay" (with Dia Frampton) who tyDi says he discovered through the hit NBC singing competition series "The Voice." Dia Frampton was the runner up in The Voice's debut season.
tyDi's fourth album, Redefined, was released on 30 September 2014. The project features vocals by Chris Carrabba and Jordan Witzigreuter and more. The album reached #5 on both the USA and Australian iTunes dance charts on day of release. According to tyDi, Redefined represented a change in his approach to music creation, focusing more on songwriting rather than just hooks and rhythms. Redefined is not a body of work comprising twenty tracks, it's an honest, cohesive piece that's composed of twenty songs, all of which tell a story through the voices of a diverse set of featured vocalists. From a production standpoint, the album was also uniquely very acoustic focused in its foundations which is uncharacteristic of most electronic albums.
The album took three years to write and produce, during which time approximately 300 songs that were started were whittled down to the final 20. The album was not genre specific with house, progressive house, pop (ish), trance and chillout tracks all making the final cut.
The title track, ReDefined, reach number one on the dance airplay charts in the USA in April 2015. Following the making of the music video for the song, it was revealed that Redefined was the final piece in an intricately planned sequence. The trilogy begins with "Live This Lie" and ends with "Stay" but "Redefined" was the missing middle piece completing the story.
On 20 November 2014, tyDi announced that he had made a promise to all of his trance fans and would be producing an EP in time for Christmas with all money being donated to children in need. That EP, The Promise, was released on 14 December 2014. It features five trance tracks in his "old" style (circa 2008) and features not only solo tracks but collaborations with Audrey Gallagher, The Ready Set, Dennis Sheppard and Jennifer Rene.
Tear Me Up:
On 18 September 2015, tyDi released his single "Tear Me Up" a pop track featuring vocalist Nash Overstreet, who is also the lead singer in the band Hot Chelle Rae. The track peaked at #49 on the Dance/Electronic Billboard chart. This is believed to be the first single related to tyDi's next full-length album to be released in 2016.
Wish I Was:
On 14 July 2015 tyDi revealed that a new artist that had appeared on Soundcloud early in 2015, was in fact his alter-ego. According to the post Wish I Was was his "darker" side. Music written without restrictions, without expectations.The post also suggests, Wish I Was came about because Tyson had entered an extended creative block when trying to write songs as tyDi. However, after writing about half the tracks that eventually came out on the debut Wish I Was EP, internet publications began to report on this mysterious anonymous producer, at first suggesting it might be the work of Galantis before tyDi eventually owned up to the project himself. On 20 August 2015 the first Wish I Was EP was released on iTunes featuring 14 tracks. Wish I Was remains an active side project, and he has not ruled out touring under this alias one day.
In 2014 tyDi dated Briana Cuoco who appeared on NBC's The Voice and is the sister of Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, star of the sitcom Big Bang Theory.
In February 2010, tyDi won the "Best Breakthrough DJ" award at the International Dance Music Awards.
In 2015 tyDi was awarded the Griffith University Young Outstanding Alumnus of the Year for his contributions to the music industry.
His accessibility through social media also makes tyDi popular with his fans. By October 2015, he had tweeted over 38,000 times and had over 80,000 followers. By October 2014 his followers had grown to 250,000 and he has tweeted over 58,000 times! As well as music news, tyDi tweets interesting scientific facts and sometimes call fans via his Twitter feed. His Facebook page is "liked" by over 230,000 people.
In October 2015, tyDi appeared as a guest on the Herd Mentality Podcast with host Adam Reakes to discuss his personal love of science, critical thinking in the music industry, and the hidden scientific meanings embedded in his song titles. tyDi reveals himself to be a proponent of secular scientific research, and a critic of Homeopathic medicines and treatments,
Global Soundsystem podcast:
Since November 2011, tyDi has hosted a weekly radio show/podcast of world electronic dance music called Global Soundsystem. As of 5 December 2013, there have been 213 episodes. On 10 May 2012, the show was shortened from a two-hour to a one-hour format. It is syndicated to more than 30 countries weekly and is available for download via iTunes and more recently SoundCloud.
The 50th episode included many well-known DJs including Paul Oakenfold, Judge Jules, Sasha, Sander Van Doorn and Markus Schulz. The 100th episode was special in a different way with fans introducing all of the tracks.