When you’re labelled the protege of the #1 DJ in the world, it’s hard to come out from under that shadow. Over the years, one could barely say the name Dyro without Hardwell shortly after. But instead of letting the industry define him, Dyro flipped the script and launched his own label Wolv Records, something that belonged to him and him alone. Your EDM caught up with Dyro yesterday to talk more about the motivations behind this explosive new project, as well as look deeper into this artist’s evolutionary sound.
When preparing for a festival, are you the type of person that puts a lot of thought into your set, or do you prefer to improvise?
I have to plan because there are so many people who will hear it. Even if there are only 40 people in front of me, millions will hear it online afterwards. It’s like a showcase – you have to take that opportunity to show people what you have, so it requires planning.
What types of changes do you think you’ll make between EDC New York and EDC Las Vegas?
There’s definitely a different energy between the two festivals. I’m playing at a different timeslot too, so that’s something to consider because people might be tired because it’s later at night than New York where I played in the afternoon.
What are some risks you’ve been taking with your music?
Lately I’ve been making it more diverse, tempo and style-wise. There’s more trappy, hip-hop songs but still with my sound. It’s more interesting. To be honest, 128 was getting slightly boring for me; this is my way of keeping it fresh and I think it works. My new stuff is really different and I’m excited.
Who have been the biggest influences on your sound?
Like I said, I’m making my sound more diverse so in that case Jack Ü, Milo and Otis. Snails. Noisia and Knife Party and everything around them. The Prodigy album I really enjoyed that too. There’s just a lot of good music that’s coming out today that’s not in the spotlight like it should be.
You also have your own record label. Do you feel any pressure to curate your label based on the current trends in dance music?
Maybe in the beginning for myself, but lately I haven’t felt that pressure. Early last year, I stopped touring for two months to refocus on what I was doing. I discovered that I wasn’t really making music for myself anymore, I was making what people expected me to make. That wasn’t what I wanted to do with my career. I wanted to be an artist, I wanted to inspire people and do something different instead of what everyone else was doing or what everyone expected of me. That’s when I stared my label and so far it’s exhausting! We’re just finding good talent and music and the chart positions won’t be there right away, but I’m proud of what we’re building.
What’s been the biggest challenge of running a label so far?
I underestimated the amount of work it would take. I wish I could have one person to run it who I don’t have to look after, but I still work on it every day. I did all the design myself: the logo, the look and feel. I figured out who would do the DJ videos – how they would look based on what kind of release – I made the templates myself with a bunch of people who specialize in those areas, but I designed it all myself because that was what I went to school for. I was a engineer with a focus on industrial design.
Do you think you’ll continue working so closely on everything, or will there become a time where you will have a more hands off approach?
I would love that but I’m a perfectionist. Lately I’ve tried to delegate more work. I hired a friend of mine from school and he’s been picking up everything I’ve been doing so I’m really happy with that. I couldn’t think of anyone better to do that at the moment.
Do you think you’ll always worry about the label?
Yes definitely, if anything goes wrong I blame myself.
What do you think motivates other DJs to start their own labels? Are they all the same reasons?
There’s a bunch of different reasons. For me, I just wanted to have my own thing; that was my main motivation. I wanted to help other talent that I was finding. One of the other reasons was I didn’t want to have to deal with anyone else. I’m the A&R; I decide when songs can be released. Sometimes when you submit a track to label, it goes through five other people who all had their own opinion on how you have to change your work and thats not what being a real artist it about.
A lot of people are starting their own labels because of that and they don’t want to worry about scheduling. I was always in luck that Revealed was managed by my management, but if you signed something to Revealed today you’d have to wait 4-5 months. There’s so much music, even on my label. We’re releasing every two weeks and we’re already backed up til August. For a lot of DJs they don’t want to wait from their respective labels. And if it happens multiple times in a row, they think ‘maybe I should start my own label, it doesn’t seem too hard.’
But do you ever fear that you’ll turn into those labels? That once you get a level of success, you’ll become the one thing you stood against?
Hmm. Definitely. I try to think of the reason why I started even with my music. You can always be afraid to turn to commercialism but I’ve never done that. I could have made big kick-drum EDM and I could have been more successful than I would be right now, but I purposely chose not to and I’m happier for it. I’m not afraid that we’ll do that. I have a vision.
What do you hope is the legacy of the label?
I want to give actual talent the stage they deserve, you know.? I’ve kept up with a lot of DJs that are unknown or aren’t popular with the masses but are making good music. They deserve a lot more than what they have so I want to give them a stage, a place they can grow and be their artistic self and grow and do their own thing. A lot of people gave me opportunities to do whatever I wanted, and that’s who I am today, so I want to give that back to young producers.