Keepin’ It Real: Producer Tyler Sherritt Coaches VIBE On How To Fight The Mainstream


As dance music producer Tyler Sherritt entertains the masses – bringing Beatport charting hits “Petrichord” and “Survive” along on his national tour – VIBE sits down with the electro DJ star-on-the-rise to go over new music, style inspiration and the mainstream factor’s influence on artists’ creativity:

VIBE: Over the past year you’ve burts onto the scene and are about to release your first original release. Do you have any advice for aspiring producers for how to make themselves noticed in the crowded dance music space?
Tyler Sherritt: I think the number one piece of advice I can give to an aspiring producer is to make what you love. Too many producers have been creating “harder” or “deeper” sounds, thinking they will be judged if they don’t conform. When it comes down to it, I hope you are into this music to make/play music that fills you with passion, and makes you feel the same way you did when you first experienced it.

What artists inspire your sound and style?
I pull inspiration from sounds that I don’t necessarily resemble. Muse is a huge influence of mine. As a three-piece band they display an unbelievable ability in proving less is more through a massive and intense sound, while also euphoric and seemingly complex at the same time. My trance influences such as Jerome Isma-Ae, Armin, BT etc. resemble that model of music, which really emotionally affects me, while my more progressive influences such as Eric Prydz, Deadmau5 and Ummet continue to push the boundaries of the fusion of sound and quality of production. For my songwriting, I draw my inspiration from artists such as Ben Howard, Ray Lamontagne, John Mayer, and Coldplay. I think it’s important for the vocals to match the production in emotion and passion. I feel that inspiration is heavily attributed to the life you live, the people you surround yourself with, and of course the music you listen to.

When it comes to mainstream dance music, there is a recent creativity drain that has developed into a focus on the “festival anthem” style of electronic music. Do you find it difficult to appeal to a mainstage audience while sticking to your roots as a true electronic musician?
I think yes, of course, there is a recent creativity drain on the intense festival anthems or “beatport bangers,” but to say that every single one of these intense tracks is the same and lacks creativity is a naive way of thinking. There is a very broad spectrum of what fits into these festival anthems; some are beyond incredible in my opinion, and I agree that some sound exactly the same as the other stale, imitation tracks. I think that every genre in dance music is influenced by a “current sound” within their specific genre. Last year for the mainstream dance music it was the “chainsaw” basses, this year it’s the “minimal drop” and next year there will be a different style that people will get “tired of.” History repeats itself, in and out of music, and we would be lying to ourselves by thinking differently.

Personally, I try to appeal to a mainstage audience by incorporating the current forward thinking sound in the genres I love to play and create. That is how I stick to my roots as a true electronic musician and that is what got me into it in the first place. I wouldn’t be making it if I thought it was going to “fail.” I look forward to the future of each genre of electronic music and I think the best music is yet to come.

What’s in the future for Tyler Sherritt? a full length album?
The future is completely open. I am producing and writing lyrics every day. I have a jumbled mess of music that I can’t wait to finish. Who knows, it may turn out to be an album, or it may turn out to be something else. The future for my live shows will continue to expand and I expect to experiment with various elements of live instrumentation. Case in point, the future for me is to seek out as much knowledge and inspiration as possible and to learn from the artists who have come before me.