Tyler Mesa is growing into a key pillar of TOR, showcasing our diverse musical foundation. The Canadian’s sound balances driven beats with emotive melodics, and organic influences with searing synthetics. With appearances on our Tales of Romance series, Blanche II, and his debut EP all coming within the last couple of months, Tyler continues to harness new sounds and innovative productions aimed at the dancefloor.
Fractured Innocence continues to shed new light on the Montrealer’s studio prowess. The A-side opens with a progressive arrangement creating huge builds and emphatic kicks. A retro-feeling vocal brings techno-influenced character, while the string melody offers warmth and breadth to the sound design. A heater that will work its magic on club dance floors in the near future.
Konoha takes a step back into house territory, easing us into a delicious groove. Percussive rhythms steal the show from the start, as piano chords and elongated pads set the stage for deep melodies. A perfect summary of Mesa’s ability to touch upon dreamy spaces, while never sacrificing the opportunity for a two-step.
City of Light forms the middle ground on the EP. Hearty synth-work connects with sturdy drums and tripped out vocal chops. Soothing, yet driven, this could be a tool in any DJs bag. The bountiful kick carries us forward, while the bridge offers brief respite.
Rift brings back the darker tones that shake the soul. An ominous bassline forms the underbelly, while synths rotate between gritty and round territories; one for the late night affair.
To celebrate Mesa’s return to TOR, we caught up with Tyler to touch base on his growth since making his debut, and what he’s looking forward to as the world gets a bit brighter.
WWD – Tyler, many thanks for joining us today! We’re so happy to have you back on the label – huge congrats on the latest project.
Tyler – Hey guys! Thanks, it’s always a good feeling to put music out into the world and I’m excited to be back on a forward thinking label like TOR.
WWD – The last time we spoke, the pandemic was just kicking into high gear, and you were diving head-first into production. How has your day-to-day changed in the last 6 months?
Tyler – In the past 6 months I’ve been keeping very busy with starting a full time job and balancing my music endeavours. It’s been an adjustment but I’m happy to be keeping busy and on a schedule.
WWD – Looking back at your debut EP, what was it like presenting your music to a global audience? What feedback and reactions stood out to you?
Tyler – It was amazing to see genuine reactions coming in from people who had only just discovered me and my sound. I also received a lot of positive feedback from friends and acquaintances who’ve known me since I was first starting to produce music. The hard work I’ve put in definitely is going noticed and that feels great!
WWD – What lessons did you learn about the ‘business end’ of the music industry throughout your first full fledged project?
Tyler – The work doesn’t stop once the music is released, in fact, that’s where it really begins. It’s important to plan out a release far in advance, especially if you have a lot of other responsibilities in your life. When you have a repeatable list of action items each release becomes a little bit easier to execute on, and leaves you with more room to try something new on the business side.
WWD – Onto the new tunes, you continue to establish your own sound with the Fractured Innocence EP. What new influences or studio methods did you bring into play during the creation of your second EP that differ from your inaugural release?
Tyler – The obvious thing would be the addition of recording and mixing my own vocal top line for the A-side. It was really fun to experiment with that as it brought me outside my comfort zone and led to me working on some other vocal projects. Across the EP there is definitely a spectrum of styles happening, some that were influenced by a more laid back and organic vibe, and others by a more club and late night atmosphere. This is really a reflection of me not confining myself too closely to one genre and letting both external influences and my naturally creative energy guide my ears and heart in the studio.
WWD – What was it like to use your own vocal chops in the A-side?
Tyler – It was a lot of fun and pushed me to learn new production techniques. It also introduced a certain playfulness into the process that helped the track take shape really easily. Of course getting the classic “wait, is that you!?” reaction has been a blast!
WWD – If you had to describe this EP in three words, what would they be?
Tyler – Energetic, Playful, Atmospheric
WWD – We hear there is a music video coming together around this project as well. What’s it like to visualize your own music in the creation of video content? What direction or vibe did you and the director settle on?
Tyler – We didn’t set out to film anything in particular, it was more of an experimentation to see how the music could influence the video we captured. I really love working with video in general and seeing how it can accentuate and amplify the emotion and energy in a song. The process of collaborating with others across different mediums, all the while sharing and learning more about your passion is a wonderful thing.
WWD – Have you hit a creative wall at all throughout the last year? We’ve spoken to many artists who’ve found it difficult to innovate with the lack of movement and novelty in the world…
Tyler – There definitely have been phases where I’ve generated less output but I’ve tried to evolve my mentality when it comes to creativity. It’s not something I fight anymore; if I’m not feeling inspired on a given day or week I don’t even bother trying to write music. I’ve learned that naturally, inspiration always comes back to me. If anything, when hitting a “creative wall” I take it as an indication that the other elements of my life are commanding a lot of my energy and focus, so I need to take care of those first.
WWD – As the world looks to turn its gears again in the coming months, what are you most looking forward to?
Tyler – As much as I love making music, I also love to play it and getting to DJ for a crowd on a hot summer day is something I’m yearning for. I’m also really looking forward to collaborating with local artists here in Montreal.
WWD – What parties or locations would you most like to play in the next year or two?
Tyler – I’ve always really wanted to play at Piknik Electronic, so that’s something I’m going to make happen. I’m a huge fan of outdoor events and so any party with that vibe is mainly where I’m aspiring to be.
WWD – What’s next on the docket for Tyler Mesa? Any exciting projects in the works that you can tease?
Tyler – At the moment I’ve shifted my focus to building relationships with some big labels and am working to lock down some releases on that front. There’s a lot of music I’m very excited about on the horizon.
WWD – Tyler, thanks again mate – pleasure as always! Hopefully we’ll see you jamming behind the decks here in Montreal before too long.
Tyler – Likewise! We’ll eventually get back to the 1 and 2’s, it’s only a matter of time.
Tyler Mesa – Fractured Innocence EP [TOR012]
Release Date – 04.09.2021
Stream & Buy – https://xyzlabel.lnk.to/FracturedInnocence