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Interview: tyDi & JES talk new collaboration for song “Just Believe”

Every music fan knows that the songs we love are reflections of our souls. Our music collections are powerful indications of the people we are and the things we value. When we encounter another person who shares our tastes (and spins our favorite tunes), the bond is often instantaneous. We feel — and with good reason! — that we’ve encountered a kindred spirit. Given this undeniable dynamic, it was inevitable that a digital matchmaker would develop a dating application that based its recommendations on our listening habits. Vinylly is that app, and in the video for “Just Believe,” the wildly optimistic, propulsive new clip from electronic artists tyDi and JES, we get to see it in action.
“Just Believe” is a strong proof-of-concept for the app and the video alike. It’s hard to imagine two musicians more compatible than tyDi and JES. tyDi is a young electronic producer with a knack for orchestral settings and a natural affinity for expressive vocalists; JES has a long history of writing and singing some of the most successful songs in dance. They’re a perfect fit — complementary forces that bring out the best in each other. “Just Believe” stands as a reminder that as great as these artists are on their own, they’re even better when they find their optimal match.

For JES, “Just Believe” is an extension of a winning streak that includes collaborations and remixes with dance legends like Tiesto, Kaskade, BT, and Armin van Buuren. Since her breakout hit “As The Rush Comes” with the beloved EDM combo Motorcycle, JES has earned numerous accolades including three Grammy nominations, IDMA’s, and the prestigious International Songwriting Competition. In her recent work, JES has demonstrated her immense flexibility and broad vision, drawing from rock, acoustic folk, and experimental music. But, her heart belongs to electronic music as two Beatport #1’s in recent months will surely attest, and whenever she makes a record like “Just Believe,” it’s a homecoming worth celebrating.

Revamped, amped, and epically poised to challenge at the highest of heights within the electronic dance music sphere of perfection, tyDi is the award winning, Australian, master composer, engineer. record producer, curator and dance music visionary with over 15 years worth of music industry accolades and experience who is forever attempting to push musical and creative barriers until he succeeds. “Just Believe” is the latest in his extensive discography on labels like Republic and Armada – which, to date, has seen him top global charts and reach over 25 million Spotify streams and 1 million YouTube views. Last year, he made waves with his acclaimed collaboration with Grammy-winning composer Christopher Tin, resulting in the epic album Collide, lauded by Dancing Astronaut, DJMag, and The LA Times, as well as placement on Friday Cratediggers and New Music Friday USA Spotify playlists, and hit both the Billboard Dance and Classical charts. tyDi has also collaborated with trance music legend Andy Moor, producer Matt Fax, and many more.

The “Just Believe” clip is a kind of celebration, too. It’s a statement of faith in the beauty of relationships and the transcendent glory of togetherness. The clip suggests that our romantic failures are nothing but preludes to the magic that happens when we truly meet our matches. Can music really facilitate coupling up? tyDi and JES certainly think so. The Vinylly app is visualized as an old-school record store on a hip Southern California street, and there, we encounter the clientele: six stylish young people whose prior dates haven’t exactly worked out. They’re not unlovable; on the contrary. They just need a little guidance — and hints provided by the crates they’re browsing together.

When and how did your musical journey begin, and when did you realize you wanted to pursue it professionally?

tyDi: My story began as a bullied high school kid, I used to hide out in music rooms to avoid the nonsense. I immediately fell in love with music and honestly made it my life’s goal to become the best possible artist that I could be. To this day it still isn’t a profession, it’s a passion – and that’s why it worked out for me. High risk = high reward, things could have gone sideways but I wasn’t going to let that happen. The day that I view ‘music’ or ‘art’ as a profession is the day that I won’t get it right.

JES: I was always fascinated by music and started writing songs when I was very young. I was putting words and music together from an early age, although I became more serious in my teens. When I was fourteen, I got to do my first professional recording session by responding to an ad in the village voice for a demo singer. When I heard the final recording playing back through the studio speakers, I knew I wanted to do it professionally and kept going and never looked back.

Who are your greatest musical inspirations? 

tyDi: The people I work with, the people who lead with love and not money. The people who are giving and careful with their time, the one’s who are in it for the same reasons as me.

JES: So many musical artists inspire me. It is hard to pick even a few. I love so many types and genres of music, but my early influences were classic artists like Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Tina Turner, Carol King, BJORK, Whitney Houston, and Joni Mitchel. I also love many contemporary artists like Adele, Katy Perry, MO, and Alicia Keys.

What is your creative process, and how did it play out when writing “Just Believe”? What inspired you to write this song?

tyDi: Honestly, I have to take my hat off to JES for this, I look up to her, she’s a force to be reckoned with in every way. She’s kind, talented, and an idol of mine. Our stars aligned and we met, we got the chance to make art together and wow…. It just exploded into idea after idea… Obviously, the pandemic threw some very serious obstacles at everyone – When I woke up from the mess I started talking to JES and all of the people who have been there for me again. JES reminded me of an idea that we once started but never finished, it felt SO appropriate to release it. Timing is everything.

JES: I have written a few songs with TYDI. We are always talking about our lives as inspiration for a song. One topic we had was how hard it has become to meet new friends and how dating apps are becoming a part of our friends’ dating lives. I like to get in the studio with collaborators to get things moving, so we had a couple of sessions together and came up with the basic idea for the song. It was just before the pandemic started, and so the song went on hold as we were both dealing with pandemic life. Fast forward to 2021,  I found our demo. It reminded me of how much we loved the song. I reached out to TYDI, and we started working on it again after a two-year break!

What is the storyline being told through the music video? What is its significance with the overall message of the song?
What can your fans and followers expect from you next? 

tyDi: The song is about love, the mess and the beauty of it all. It’s about hope, it’s about belief in love, relationships and everything in between. Our video is a nod to the craziness of meeting people through music.

JES: The video follows a group of would-be couples through various unsuccessful dating experiences. They finally find connections while browsing through music in a record store. The idea for the video storyline came through a friend of TYDI’s who had been developing a dating app, Vinylly that matches people based on their musical tastes. There was such a great synergy between the meaning of the song and the dating app that we thought it would be the perfect idea for the video.

What was it like working together when producing the electronic, upbeat instrumental in “Just Believe”? In what ways did this collaboration enhance the potential of the final product? 

tyDi: Working with JES is a dream, her talent is insane. Her voice and passion are unmatched. Working with her was and never is anything short of a dream. We started with simple piano chords and writing the lyrics, from there it was a game of finding the song’s sonic direction. It lives somewhere between electronica, indie and pop. I don’t care too much for genres….. so the final product is really just what we felt was right.

JES: It is always so much fun working together. TYDI is a free spirit, so nothing is off-limits when we’re brainstorming ideas! He has a unique way of thinking about songs. I always make a song with TYDI that I couldn’t have written with anyone else.

What can your fans and followers expect from you next?

JES: I have a new double album called Memento. It will be released in the next few months on Black Hole Recordings. We also have the amazing new DARUDE remix of Just Believe, which is being released on April 29th!

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