Not many producers reach the high standards that DJ Hype has set for his Playaz imprint. Hazard, Original Sin, Subzero, Taxman, Annix all built successful DJ careers off the back of being signed to Playaz, now Tyke, the newest kid in the gang, gets his turn!
Tyke has been around for a while, his Infected Headphones track became an anthem after huge support from Grooverider & Crissy Criss on their BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra drum and bass shows. More recently he’s been seen behind the turntables at Playaz & Innovation events up & down the country.
We sat down with Tyke to find out more about him….
Has drum & bass always been your passion or do you have roots in another genre?
D&B has always been my number one choice of music, although it’s not the first music I learned to mix. I started playing House & Garage but I soon took the skills I learned & moved on to D&B all them moons ago! My family are more on the dub side of things so I’m influenced by that a hell of a lot .
How did you get into music production & who were your biggest influences?
There came a point after playing on pirate stations and stuff that I wanted my own music to play, I wanted my own vinyl to spin and promote. I always had the thought process that if these people were doing it then, with a bit of determination and hard work, why couldn’t I?
I was heavily influenced by Twisted Individual more than anyone as a youngster, but I suppose I took a bit from the whole scene at that time. Digital was another producer I was really heavily influenced by.
Playaz are one of the biggest labels about, how did you link with them?
I was coming to the end of my contract at Grid Recordings so sent Hype a few tracks I had coming out. I believe I was probably quite lucky with my timing as my contract ending with Grid seemed to coincide with Playaz looking for a couple of new artists. It was a really difficult decision for me not to renew my contract with Grid and move to Playaz because Grid were always good to me, it had hugely benefited me creatively and I had also forged a good friendship with Twisted Individual. Although it was difficult, and I had to deal with a few demons inside, I believe it has and will ultimately work out for the best.
Does the label give you a lot of creative freedom or they quite collaborative in what sort of sound they want from you?
It’s weird because I’ve been exclusive to labels for just over 7 years now, and I’ll admit at first when I moved to Playaz there was a lot of expectation and pressure that I put on myself, and probably still do now. It’s when I let the pressure go, which is hard, that I actually make half decent stuff. The label give me their advice at what they think I could do better, but mostly that’s just telling me to be me. It’s mad sometimes I find it hard it to be myself in the studio, it’s good to have the label there to assure me I’m on the right path.
You’ve been playing at a lot of Innovation tour dates for us, this November you’ll be playing at our huge Innovation In The Dam event. As a producer do you spend time making special tracks that you can play at big events like this to help you stand out from the rest?
I’ll be honest the moment I put that pressure on myself it will never happen! But I do have huge events like that in the back of my mind knowing it will be great to have something special to play but I also try to reiterate to myself daily that there’s no pressure at all on finishing shit. It’s like a little mind game knowing that this is the way my head needs to be prepared in order to achieve that. I guess also I was lucky to be part of the Playaz Fabric residency in the past as that always helped me to get tunes finished in time, there’s nothing like testing your tracks on real D&B people, at real D&B events. I’ll be making sure there’s more than enough to test at Inno!
It’s also been announced you’re playing on the Innovation In The Dam boat party. Ever played on a boat before? We hope you don’t suffer from sea sickness
We loved your track Blessing ft. Daddy Earl, from your own back catalogue which is your favourite track & why do you like that tune?
The track that made me the most money hahaha! Seriously though, I don’t have a favourite, I think I always work in a way that my newest track will always be my favourite. That said for some reason Planet Merk off my last EP is probably one of the only tracks after its released that I still reference.
Finally anything else you’d like to mention & where can people find you online?
It’s great being part of Innovation’s tour dates this year, it’s just good to be playing alongside and performing to people that know their D&B, people that take no prisoners when it comes to having a good time and ultimately people that bring the good vibrations!
Photos by: Chelone Wolf