Tigerlily Talks Tiesto, Touring and Taking on the U.S.
Tigerlily isn’t your ordinary EDM cat. With a slew of awards tucked away, a mentor in Tiesto, a new label deal for the U.S. and a trove of recordings just waiting to be shared, the young artist is ready to pounce.
The Australian DJ and producer (real name Dara Hayes) has been clawing at international markets with a singular ambition. “I’m hoping to take on America and Europe a little bit more by storm,” she says. Fast forward to a year from now, she sees herself having “completed a couple of really solid tour runs around the U.S. and Europe to start transferring my name and grow awareness of me into that global sphere. That would be really cool.”
Her schedule for 2015 has taken her on seven tours of the United States, where she recently signed with Casablanca Records and played shows with Tiesto at Wet Republic and Hakkasan in Las Vegas. There was a long-haul to Europe and a string of trips to Asia (she’s played Tokyo, Macau, Kuala Lumpur this month alone). The jumbo, she quips, has become her second home.
Speaking to Billboard from her first home, Sydney, Tigerlily is in the midst of another busy summer touring itinerary, which includes dates across December’s four-city Stereosonic festival. She will hit a stage of a different kind at the annual Dec. 1-2 Electronic Music Conference as a guest speaker alongside the likes ofCarl Cox and Gilles Peterson. Her single “Paradise” (featuring Nashville’s Meghan Kabir), the first through a new deal with Island Records Australia, dropped in August and its follow up “Feel the Love,” cut in L.A. and featuring Australian-born, U.S. based vocalist Nat Dunn, arrived earlier this month.
This time a year earlier, Tigerlily was sitting her finals at the University of Sydney, where she graduated with a bachelor of media and communications (with majors in marketing and sociology). “It’s good to have a backup plan in case all else fails,” she laughs. The coursework was a neat fit for an admitted “social media geek” whose fanbase across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is closing in on seven figures.
Naturally, Australia has been Tigerlily’s best hunting ground thus far. The aqua-haired artist was voted as the Top Female DJ Down Under (via InTheMix) for three successive years, and she’d rated in the Top 5 overall for both 2014 and 2015.
Touring Asia with Tiesto two years ago introduced her to stadium life — and performing to fields of 30,000 party-goers. “I’ve been blessed to have him as a friend and mentor throughout my career,” she explains. “He really has the ability to put perspective into everything for me. He’s also taught me so much about sacrifice and pushing and following your dreams and your passion. He’s extremely passionate about music, and about helping young people. He definitely taught me to have a great supportive team around you, and collab-ing and working and building and growing with other artists, which is just as rewarding if not more so than personal success.”
Tiesto has introduced his protégé to his networks of musicians, producers and artists. With her artist EP in the works for 2016, Tigerlily’s wishlist includes collabs with the duos of Dzeko & Torres and Riggi & Piros.
The EP, she explains, will “explore what I’m doing musically in a couple of different directions, new directions, to give people a bit more of an insight into the fact I can write other music — not just house, progressive house and dance music. I love working with vocalists. I find them to be so stimulating.”
But what chance an album? Well, it depends. “I have enough music sitting on my laptop right now. I could put it out right now. But it’s not all about just having the music. It’s also about being aware of the climate we’re in. It’s very much a single world at the moment. Even putting out an EP is going to be an interesting and fun challenge. Maybe an album will be the year after next,” Tigerlily explains. “We’ll see how the EP goes first.”
By Lars Brandle Billboard