Tyler Sherritt, singer/songwriter/producer/DJ—the man does it all. Underlying his vast talents, Tyler’s approach to EDM is what separates him from many others in the scene. When Tyler discusses EDM, I feel the same genuine sincerity and passion for EDM that I felt when I talked with Dash Berlin and Tritonal. I’m a harsh critic when it comes to EDM and to group Tyler with those 2 trance icons is no small feat for him in my books. Incidentally, Tyler mentioned to me multiple times how much he likes Dash Berlin’s music, especially Dash’s new mashups:” Man on the Skyfire” and “DJ Ease My Apollo Road.” He also told me that he finds Tritonal’s energy incredible. It is no wonder then, that he emulates these artists without even being aware of doing so. I find this to be a further testament to Tyler’s genuineness.
Immediately upon meeting Tyler during his opening set for Gregori Klosman at Pacha NYC, I was struck by how nice he is. I didn’t have the chance to introduce myself first; he came to me and said “hello, how are you?” This wasn’t a one-time thing though; he continuously engaged me in conversation during the night, was cracking jokes and treated me like a friend he’s known for a while. I don’t think he meant to go out of his way to make me feel comfortable, he’s just a genuinely nice person that cares about others, especially his fans. Throughout the night I saw how he treated each fan. While outside for a breath of fresh air, numerous fans came over and congratulated him on a set well done. He patiently responded and gave each one his undivided attention. At one point, a large circle gathered around him and everyone in it was telling jokes and laughing. I don’t know about you, but I rarely see DJ’s interact so humbly with anyone, let alone their fans. As Tyler repeatedly told me, all he wants is for his fans to be happy and to make good music.
Before I blabber on and continuously extoll Tyler’s virtues, I will leave you with the brief interview that I did with him. Not to spoil the read, but I think this interview displays that Tyler is motivated to excel, yet do it in a way that is genuine and pure. As Tyler’s manager told me, “Tyler will always be genuine, that’s just the way he is.”
Pachaholic: “What influence do your vocal abilities have on your producing, if any? Or, is it the other way around? Do your producing skills have an effect on your vocals?
Tyler Sherritt: “I grew up singing since I was a little kid. I never thought I would do any type of dance music. Honestly, I didn’t have respect for it until I saw it. I didn’t think electronic music was cool until I really saw it. I saw Tiesto and was like ‘holy… this is awesome!’ I’ve been singing since I was a little kid and my production came because I was trying to pursue a career as a singer/songwriter/musician—John Mayer, Coldplay, Muse, they were all big influences in my life, and that’s what I wanted to be. I found this new music and was like ‘holy… I need to be a part of it!’ I guess it just kind of tied in with it. I was doing music in L.A.—I lived in L.A. before I lived here in NY. I moved to L.A. to do singer/songwriter stuff and I decided to just screw all that and take everything I had learned and turn it into something in dance music. I think it’s going well, I love singing, I will always sing. I will sing live, I will always sing live—not at every show, of course. It depends; it has to be the right show. Singing will always be a huge part of my production until I’m done making music.”
Pachaholic: “You just mentioned Tiesto, are there any other producers or DJ’s that you try and emulate?”
Tyler Sherritt: “Honestly, there’s a lot, there are so many big guys out there in EDM right now that are awesome at what they do. They invent new sounds and new genres, it’s just awesome. I love everything from tech house to trance. I love electro house, progressive house, real house and everything in between. I’m always going to be on the fence of progressive trance and progressive house; I really think I will be there, at least through my 20’s. Maybe when I’m in my 30’s I will venture out into either trance or I will slow down a bit and go into tech or something like that. The thing is, you take the best tech-house DJ or the best trance DJ, both of those DJ’s are able to control their crowds and do incredible things with the music that they create and that is all that matters. That is what I want to do. My goal is to make the crowd feel the way that the people who inspire me make me feel, no matter what type of music I make. Someday I might even go to hardstyles, who knows what’s up? As long as I’m making music that I love and that I think will affect other peoples’ lives, that’s all that matters.”
Pachaholic: “You are in NYC for the time being and have already played at some of the biggest clubs here. Tonight you played at Pacha NYC, one of the world’s premier clubs. Is this something you want to continue doing? Do you want to stay in NYC and make it your home base? Are you looking to move somewhere else? Is Europe somewhere you think you might want to spend a lot of time, or are you content with the American EDM scene and plan to focus on what is here?”
Tyler Sherritt: “I love the EDM scene in America, I think it’s great, it’s blowing up in America. But one of the big things is that the college scene is obsessed with what they call ‘the drop.’ It’s not about ‘the drop,’ it’s about the music. I will listen to a song that has no drop whatsoever, and I will love that song so much. I don’t like being told, ‘Oh, you’re a DJ, play some Skrillex.’ Nothing against Skrillex, but all they are looking for is ‘the drop.’ What I really love about Europe is that dance music has been there for a long time. They respect it, they know what it is. They don’t need to have some crazy bass drop to make them happy. I love that America has eaten up everything. What I experienced one day was a life changing moment: that dance music was something incredible. To see America partake in that and see billboards of Skrillex on the street for the Grammy’s—to see him win Grammy’s, to see all these people do these crazy things—it’s awesome, and I love it! I think that I’m going to have my home base as NY probably through my 20’s. I spend a lot of time in Miami, I would love to maybe move there, venture there. I grew up in Europe for 4 years of my life, if there was a right place and a right time, I would move there or go there. All I care about, honestly, I’ve moved around since I was a little kid, all I care about is making music that effects people. There are so many kids out there that want to be a DJ. A lot of kids that want to be DJ’s just play hit after hit after hit. I’m here for the long run. If I have to play a drum and a snare kick for a whole set, I will do it because I love the music. The music has literally become my whole life.”
Pachaholic: “You mentioned that you have a new collaboration with First State coming out soon. What do you have planned for the near future, are there any other big collaborations that we should know about?”
Tyler Sherritt: “I just finished up the vocals and the track with First State. It’s a great song; we are all really excited about it. It’s going to be released on their label, ‘First State Music’ which is under ‘Black Hole Recordings.’ I’m working right now with Ivan Gough, the guy who made ‘In My Mind,’—he’s freaking awesome. Our song will be done within the next 2 weeks, I think. It’s really, really cool. I’ve been in this game a long time and to start working with people I love and admire is honestly a dream come true. To work with Ivan, and even First State (who’s been in the game forever), we are making good music for people to dance to and that’s all we need to do. I’m my worst critic, I’m not going to put out anything that I don’t like, and I don’t think that they would take me if they didn’t like what I do.”
Pachaholic: “Last question: Is there anything in particular that you would like to tell your fans and those in the EDM scene?”
Tyler Sherritt: “I just want to keep it real. I want to keep dance music real and pure. It’s going through a huge roller coaster right now in the U.S. scene. I love it! I love that so many people are getting their eyes’ opened to this type of music. I will put out a mashup of 2 songs that nobody has ever heard because it’s awesome, not because it’s 2 songs that everybody loves and it’s just going to be great and we’re all going to dance. No, let’s make real music and have a good time doing that. I don’t blame the big guys going commercial, that’s totally fine. That doesn’t mean that the crowd needs to taint everything that is pure within the EDM world. Dada Life just remixed Justin Bieber, I think that’s cool. I hope that all of the big pop stars get remixed by the best DJ’s in the world because I want it all to be connected. I see it that if you’re at a show, don’t ask for Justin Bieber’s remix to be played every song. Go there with an open mind to listen to music that people have created and worked hard on instead of making moves in a crowd. It’s about music. I lived overseas in a 3rd world country. It was the hardest time in my life. But what got me through it was the music that was pure, that I felt was just incredible and got me through that time. I don’t need all this cookie cutter stuff. I believe that there are a lot of people who think that EDM is going to die out soon, that it’s kind of a phase that America is going through right now. I really truly believe that it will always be around. If you look at African tribal music back in the beginning of time, it has the fore beats on the floor and it’s about moving and it’s about dance. Let’s build this into something incredible!”