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FashionMusicArtCulture

Tyde moves through the music

photography GABE HANVEY
31 August 2023

Presented by Vans

Tyde makes music for himself. Crafting resonant lyrics that speak to past experiences and current contemplations, he fosters a unique space for listeners to learn and grow. In collaboration with Vans, Tyde sat down in his Melbourne home to share his writing process, musical influences, and personal aspirations. 

Rachel Weinberg: So, how do you start creating music?

Tyde: Normally, melody comes first, even before lyrics. I'll find a guitar loop, turn the mic on, and just start to hum and go until I find something nice. Then I can fill that space with words.

RW: Do you put aside time to write, or does it happen organically?

T: It definitely just comes from my everyday life. I'd say I'm a pretty emotional person, so something small can happen, or I can meet someone, and I could say something or I could think something. 

RW: What inspires your lyrics? 

T: Almost 100% of the lyrics come from real-life situations. Something so small could happen, or I could think of one sentence and build a whole song from it.

"I know that if I can put it on replay and feel something different each time, hear something different, or appreciate a different lyric each time, then that's when I know it's working."

RW: Is writing a cathartic process for you?

T: Yeah, when I was in the studio the other day, we were all talking about that. I don't know how people would deal with heartbreak or anything like that if they didn't have an outlet. I can go and spend hours nitpicking about a tiny situation that's happened to me, and let out all these feelings about it in my music. 

RW: Do you think we can hear that? 

T: Yeah, I think you can hear it in a lot of the music I've been making over the past few months. A few things happened last year, and I'm happy that I was able to speak about it, at least in the songs, if not to the person that they happened with.

RW: Does it ever make you feel very vulnerable? To know that other people are going to listen and interpret the music in their own way?

T: Definitely, yeah. Especially because some of the lyrics are very literal. Like, I know the person is going to know the music is about them, but I have to deal with it, and I don't know whether to tell them and say, "Hey, this happened, and I've written these songs not necessarily about you, but about the situation."  I don't know if I struggle with it, but I definitely think about it a lot .

RW: Does it hold you back?

T: At times. I question, Should I put this line in, or should I put this whole song out? Should I do this? But I think I just have to swallow it and do it. 

Tyde for Vans Knu Skool. Film by Gabe Hanvey

RW: You've grown up with a lot of music in your life. When did you realise you wanted to learn more about the industry? 

T: I started out DJing, then thought I wanted to be a producer, and then began producing songs with my friend. He had heard me sing around the house, and asked me to sing on a song. I remember doing it and thinking: Whoa, I love this. I think that was definitely the first moment that I realised that singing was a thing. After that, I started listening to all kinds of music, figuring out what I liked and how I wanted to sound.

RW: How do you keep learning?

T: Truly, by listening to so much music. If you scroll through my Spotify likes, you'll find the craziest mash-up of absolutely anything from rock to jungle to pop to... I don't even know, just anything. If I think a song is good, I'll take something from it. I'll try to apply the different elements, or I'll hear a drumbeat and try to bring that into something I'm creating.

RW: As a musician, do you think it’s important to make your mark?

T: I think, in a way, I don't know if it is, and maybe that's what makes it important. I'm not focused on being the biggest pop star in the world. I just want to make it for me, and then people will take whatever they want from it. I think in a way that makes it apply to anyone, and anyone can listen to it and relate in their own way. I'm not trying to do it for any other reason than me. Like I said, it's my outlet, and I'm taking what I want from it. If I put it out, people can do the same, you know? 

Tyde making music in his Melbourne home.

RW: How have you found working with other people?

T: Yeah, I love working with other people. Sometimes it scares me, though. It's funny, going into a session and never meeting a person, knowing that I'm about to pour my heart out and tell them about a situation that I've been dealing with for months, and I've just met them literally 20 minutes ago. That can be daunting. Sometimes I'll hold myself back from telling them how I really feel, or if we're working on a song and I don't like the sound of it. But either way, I think it's actually good because when they do something that I don't like, it challenges me. And if they do something good, then it's super easy. Either way, it's beneficial.

RW: What does the reflecting and editing process look like to you?

T: The editing process is not that fun, just because I'm not that good at it. It's just me sitting at the computer, really trying to hear the words and how they sound in the song. I'd say I finish the song as quickly as I can, so I can go and spend a lot of time listening to it and seeing how it feels. Once I make the song, I get out of my room, and I'll put it on repeat, play it in the car, and sing along. I know that if I can put it on replay and feel something different each time, hear something different, or appreciate a different lyric each time, then that's when I know it's working.

RW: Is your sound changing?

T: Yeah, I think my sound's changing. I think I've realised that, as I've just grown up, I'm not the influencer I used to be. So talking about myself and putting that version of me online is not what I want. I guess I'm trying to express myself through the music rather than being an online personality. 

RW: That's who you are, though, and what you're interested in doing. You have to own that, and you should be open to evolving.

T: Exactly. I hope that's what I'm doing. 

@tydelevi

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