Voted number one Aussie spinner two years running, trance DJ Tyson Illingworth aka tYDi makes his London debut this week
With all your jetsetting, you’re a tough person to pin down for a chat. You’ve got a song called Meet Me In Kyoto; is that what life for a DJ is like?
It is a bit like that. Sometimes I spend only one night in one city. Actually, sometimes I do two cities in one night. I’ll do a show in an afternoon, get on a plane and fly to a different city to do another show. It starts to feel like the world is your home, rather than just one city.
That must mess with your head a bit.
It’s gotten to the point now where there’s particular hotel chains that I like to stay with cos they theme their rooms the same worldwide, for example The Hilton, so it makes me feel like I’ve got a bedroom. It just keeps that tiny little bit of homeliness happening
As as kid you traded in your drumkit for turntables, is that right?
Yes, much to my parents’ dismay.
What, your parents were upset when you got rid of the drumkit?!
Well, they weren’t happy with the drumkit to start with, but then I was trading that for something they didn’t really understand. And I still don’t think my parents get what I do [laughs].
The drumkit was something they could comprehend, but a kid buying decks so they can play loud, repetitive electronic music is harder for parents to understand.
Have they been to see you play?
Mum has come to one of my shows and she had too many cocktails and she got a little too proud and was walking around saying to people: “That’s my son!” I think she wanted to get on stage at one point so I think it’s best that mum doesn’t mix with my clubworld.
What’s your DJ style?
I prefer to play after a house DJ because my music is often a lot slower than other DJs and it’s very progressive and chunky … it’s more about the feel for me. I don’t play music that I wouldn’t listen to myself. Fifty per cent of my shows is music I’ve written myself and the other fifty per cent is stuff I’ve edited or done things to. The job is somewhere between playing music that I love and getting a crowd rocking.
You were voted Australia’s number one DJ two years running. An ego boost?
It was absolutely crazy. The first time I got the call to say I was number one was one of the happiest days of my life. It’s a public vote, that’s why it meant so much to me.
And then this year you got knocked off the perch to number 2. Damn!
This year it was Aston Shuffle – very talented DJs – I really like their music.
I knew at some point I would be leaving Australia to play around the world so I was really happy to see them get that.
You’ve played in front of 42,000. Is that a lot of pressure?
I’ve learnt, the bigger the crowd, the easier it is to entertain them. If you’ve got 50 people in a room and it’s intimate,
the music you play can affect whether those people stay or leave, but if you have 20,000 people, no one’s going anywhere.
Tell us your porn star name?
My first pet was a little white puppy called Mintie, as in the lollie. But I can’t remember my first street name. Mintie, that’s a bad porn name!
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Red wine – Shiraz is my favourite.
What song is guranteed to get you on the dancefloor?
White Room by White Room, written eight years ago.
» Playing at The Gallery, Ministry of Sound, 103 Gaunt St, SE1 6DP (ministryofsound.com) Fri, Feb 18. £13.
Win See tyDi at The Gallery with three of your friends. The prize includes a VIP table, champagne and CDs. To enter email email@example.com with “tyDi” in the subject line.
Interview: Alison Grinter