Dyro is the millennial DJ whose music transcends culture, nationality and genre
This interview is a part of #KanvasLive, an interactive, cross-platform content series brought to life on the Kanvas app and AOL.com. See more on coverage here.
Dyro may be Dutch-born, but he's an American favorite, which is perhaps why the progressive house DJ was invited to perform at the main stage at Ultra Miami, one of the top spots for any EDM producer. Although the young but successful musician considers himself a "bedroom DJ," the 23-year-old has made quite a name for himself, working with A-listers like Calvin Harris, Rihanna and Tiesto.
AOL.com's editors were able to catch up with Dyro at Ultra to discuss his influences, the significance of being in Miami, and all the exciting ventures to come for DJ Dyro.
How'd your set go?
It went really well! There were a decent amount of people -- it was my first time playing the Ultra main stage, so I'm very excited.
That's a big deal, yeah!
Yeah, it's one of those things you just have to have done in your career. So I'm very, very excited.
What brings you back to Miami, what about the energy do you love so much?
It's just the entire industry in one place. The entire year, you're talking to people but you don't really see their faces. In Maimi, everyone is there -- you can have a drink with them, hang out. I think it's important, not even business wise, but personally to have these relationships. It's also fun -- I have a lot of DJ friends and it's just fun to see everybody and get a chance to go to everybody's parties. So that definitely draws me -- the energy, the positive vibes.
Definitely. Do you feel anything from the fans here in particular, at Ultra?
It's definitely a very international crowd. It's fun because it's so diverse. It's great, it's just very positive. Everybody amongst each other, no political bullsh*t, just everybody having a blast and raving. It's great.
Totally. So you were discovered by Laidback Luke on a forum. Can you tell me how that happened?
Yes! I was always making music -- I was like a bedroom DJ, always making music. I wasn't actually a DJ, I was a producer. So he's always had this forum and he's always been really progressive towards new DJs and he used to give a lot of feedback. I was at a point where I needed some guidance, so I was on the forum uploading my songs to get some feedback. So the first song I uploaded, he immediately said he wanted to release it on his label, which was great. It was pretty dope -- he helped me out in the beginning. We never really made music together, we never really worked together extensively, but it was the starting point and he opened some new doors for me.
Did he teach you anything back then that you still keep with you?
He gave me feedback and I went to a couple of his shows just to hang out, and the way he is in life and the way he portrays himself -- he's a very good man. He has and he can teach me a lot.
Totally. And you've gone on a couple of bus tours with Hardwell as well, what were those experiences like?
Oh, crazy. The first tour I ever did in America was a bus tour and going on the bus tour as a 19-year-old is not a very good idea. Got into a lot of trouble, but I got everything out with one bus tour, 20 shows in a row. I got to make a lot of flight hours back then, so it really got me to the point of being a better DJ than I was before. So it was really helpful, and I learned a lot.
Definitely. I feel like something that's really special about electronic music is that there is a lot of collaboration. Do you get inspired by other DJs when you work with them, and learn things from them?
I haven't really done a lot of collaboration in my career, but I agree with what you're saying. If you go into the studio with a different DJ, I genuinely want to learn something from him. I want to get into the studio with someone who's a way better producer than me, who's really good at sound design. That's why I want to get in the studio with someone. To learn.
What do you have coming in 2016 that fans should get excited about?
This year is the year of releasing EPs. So the first EP was out back in February. The fun thing with EPs is that if I release a single, like I did throughout the whole year in 2015, is that people have a certain expectation for the sound that you're bringing. So people expect what you're always doing. With an EP, you have an opportunity to give them what they want, what they're expecting, but also put a lot of songs in there that are broader and more creative. I want to get more into the creative stuff, so that's great with EPs. I have the opportunity to show people that there's more that I can do, and that there are different sides. When you make a lot of music, your DJ set gets more diverse and interesting. I want to keep focusing on that in 2016.
What kind of sounds are you trying to get more into?
I'm trying to get a little bit into the bass world. I'm not kissing my old style goodbye, but definitely getting more into the trap and hip hop influences. Bassier stuff is just where it's at for me. It's interesting.
Have you had time to meet some fans since you've been in Miami?
Definitely. It's always fun to talk to fans! On Twitter, you only hear people complain -- you never actually meet fans in the streets and talk to them. So they're telling me "I love this, this is great" and I never really get to hear that on social media. It's fun -- I don't really put myself in a situation where I wouldn't be able to meet fans. I like to talk to people, walk around. I think it's really good to keep talking to fans and see if they're happy.
Have you had any crazy interactions in person with fans?
Not this week. I've had some weird interactions, but everyone has.
What's one of the weirdest?
Well, I was at a show in Italy and this girl was completely [drunk] and she was like, "I hate your music, I don't know you, but I want to take a photo with you." And I was just so stunned -- how could you say that? I took a picture with her anyway, though.
You've always got to be nice! So, when you look at the EDM landscape right now in 2016, who do you see as doing really exciting, interesting things?
It's been really exciting for me to see guys like Jaws and Snails come up -- dubstep is coming back, and there's a lot of hip hop influences. Trap is making a huge comeback. I mean, Snake, of course, Major Lazer is doing really well at the moment. Diplo and Skrillex have this Jack U thing that they're doing. I think it's really great -- EDM, or I wouldn't call it EDM anymore, but dance music is going to really exciting places right now.
Yes! Especially because everything on the Top 40 was kind of sounding the same.
Especially in the last 2 years -- everything was just a big kick drum and some random melody on top. It was boring as hell, and it kind of got me unexcited about EDM. But you've got to do what you've got to do, and just stick with your sound. I think that's the most important thing. Even if it's not the best thing to do at the moment. I always think long term.
Are there any other DJs or vocalists that you'd love to work with anytime soon?
Of course! There are so many -- whenever I'm listening to music, I'm like, "Oh, I want to work with that guy!" But when I get the question I never know how to answer it.
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