Tyde Levi hasn't always made music, but you'd be forgiven for thinking he has. The Melbourne-based, Perth-bred artist sings with a confidence and presence well beyond his 19 years.
His debut self-titled EP introduced the world to Tyde's smooth alt-R&B style, inspired by the likes of the acclaimed and effortlessly cool Frank Ocean and SZA. This warm and fluorescent collection of songs about love, heartbreak and adolescence were written and produced with renowned songwriter Daniel Johns and successful avant-pop due Cosmo's Midnight.
Lead single 'Goldchains' was premiered on Beats 1 by Zane Lowe, features horns from members of seminal hip-hop group The Roots and earned him 2 million streams.
A year on from his debut EP release, Tyde Levi has returned with his new single 'Flying So Far'. Taking the time to hone his songwriting in preparation for the next phase of his career, Tyde spent the latter half of 2018 and early 2019 leaving the comfort and familiarity of home to write in Norway, London and Los Angeles.
'Flying So Far' was written during his time in London with Jacob Attwooll (Tom Grennan, Olly Murs) and Jon Eyden (Måns Zelmerlöw, Benjamin Ingrosso), and shows a darker, grittier side to Tyde, exploring decisions he's had to make in his transition from adolescence to adulthood.
"I think a lot of the time, as a teenager, you start to battle with decisions you've never faced before and you want to handle them in your own way, but the people close to you still feel they have a say in what you can and can't do", says Tyde of the lyrical themes of the song. "In 'Flying So Far' I have this internal conversation and struggle with myself over making a decision that I know might affect the people around me
I've tried to encapsulate what it can be like to be so torn between doing what's right for you, or the people closest to you. 'Flying So Far' is by far the most vulnerable and intimate song I have written. I don't want to hide anything. That just wouldn't be a true depiction of who I want to be".
2019 also saw the debut of Tyde's live show at Vanfest, alongside Golden Features, PNAU, Mallrat, Broods, Eves Karydas and more. Backed by a seasoned live band who also perform with Japanese Wallpaper, Tyde has gone on to support CXLOE, Honne, Mansionair and his brother Troye Sivan on their national tours in Australia.
With more new music and shows on the horizon, all eyes will be on Tyde Levi in 2020. Flying So Far is available now. Listen here.
Question: Can you tell us about Flying So Far?
Tyde Levi: Flying So Far is probably my favourite track vie put out. It's this internal conversation I have over and over with myself trying to make decisions and whether those decisions should be based on what I want or what the people around me want and expect from me. It's always been tough. On one hand I firmly believe that anything you want to do (if you know it won't harm you or the people around you) you should do it. Believe in your decision and back yourself 100%. On the other hand though I obviously wouldn't want to disappoint the people closest to me. Flying So Far is about that battle.
Question: What motivates you most when writing music?
Tyde Levi: I guess it's just that feeling when I listen to the track and I'm proud of what I'm hearing. I'm genuinely excited about the things I'm creating. I'm hoping that someone will listen to the song and feel a certain kinda way, that's exciting.
Question: What was it like touring China with Troye Sivan?
Tyde Levi: Touring with Troye in China was the greatest week of my life. First of all, who else gets to say they played arena shows opening for their brother in China? Secondly the fans in China were just so special! Every show I was blown away by the support and love we all felt.
Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?
Tyde Levi: I guess it depends, on the days you walk out the studio with something that I listen to on repeat is one of the most exciting feelings ever. I remember listening to Flying So Far no joke 300 times. However, walking on stage, seeing real people, singing and dancing to something I have created is such a special feeling; honestly it's a tie.
Question: Which is your favourite song to perform live and why?
Tyde Levi: Flying So Far for sure; when it starts playing I just feel the whole vibe of the show take a turn. The track seriously takes over my whole body and I just love it.
Question: If you could have anyone, in the world, attend a show, who would it be?
Tyde Levi: Definitely a hard question; probably my Grandma as she recently passed away and she never even knew that I sang; she was a special lady.
Question: Which music/artists are you currently listening to?
Tyde Levi: I'm listening to a lot of electronic dance music right now, Kerala Dust are these super cool guys doing traditional songwriting over some of the coolest production. Always on rotation though is Frank Ocean and Unknown Mortal Orchestra.
Question: What or who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?
Tyde Levi: For as long as I can remember vie loved music. First it was dancing, then DJing and then singing. I started singing with my mate in LA. He was a producer and he had heard me just sing around the house. He asked me to lay some vocals on a project he was working on and I just fell in love with the process. I guess just biting the bullet and actually singing on something inspired me to carry on.
Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
Tyde Levi: Frank, that mans a living legend and I've never connected with lyrics more than his.
Question: What's a typical day like?
Tyde Levi: In Melbourne my days are pretty chilled; wake up, respond to some emails, hit the gym, get myself to open my journal and write some things down, play with the dog and then hang with my mates! Sometimes though I'll have a full week of sessions in the studio like nine hours a day.
Question: What has been your favourite part of becoming a music artist?
Tyde Levi: Just making music, that's my favourite thing in the whole wide world. Writing, singing, performing; special moments.
Question: Can you share your socials?
Tyde Levi: @tydelevi
Interview by Brooke Hunter