Thousands of music fans from across the globe are gearing up to visit the birthplace of techno for three days of some of the world’s best electronic music played by dozens of artists across five stages. In advance of the festivities, BTL caught up with Tyler Yglesias or, TYLR_ to his fans, to get a feel for his first time performing at the festival, being an LGBTQ artist in Detroit’s electronic scene and to learn more about his upcoming music projects.
You originally come from Toledo, what made you travel to Detroit?
When I moved up here it really wasn’t for any musical reason, I really wasn’t even in the music scene when I was in Toledo. I got into the scene around 2010. That was my first year that I went to Movement and it was just so incredible and inspiring and spiritual. I just knew I wanted to be involved somehow in the scene and I knew that I wanted to create a space all year-round where my friends could feel the same feeling [they felt] during Movement. So, I decided I wanted to throw parties. I got a really good response and a couple of people came who wanted me to do the same type of thing at their bar. So, me and a couple of friends started getting into DJing and that’s how I fell into the scene and fell in love with it.
Since Detroit is considered the birthplace of techno, does that inspire your music?
Oh, completely. I’ve had so many old-school DJs befriend me and help me like D Wynn, Claude Young, all these people have been so supportive. When I go to other cities and the scene there is not like it is here, it’s very kind of cutthroat. It’s very, “Oh, you’re trying to DJ? I’m a DJ. You can’t do this, you can’t do that.” Here, it’s the complete opposite.
You’re part of the LGBTQ community. What’s it like being an LGBTQ electronic artist in Detroit?
Yes, I am. So, when I first moved up here I started working at two gay bars and that’s kind of where I fell in love with the community before I knew about electronic music. When I was doing parties I was doing this party called BAK DOR at this club called Grenadier that’s not open anymore but I started going back to the gay bars I used to work at and would say, ‘Guys, we have after-hours parties, I would love for you guys to come it’s just an amazing experience.’ And the gay community started responding and before we knew it, the club every Friday was packed full of gay, straight, black, white — it was beautiful.
Why is diversity important to you as a musician?
The importance of diversity is huge. I want everybody to go to my party, I want everybody to feel happy, I want everybody to feel loved. And, really, it’s all about the music. They’re there for the music and to have fun. There could be a straight guy standing next to a drag queen and feel completely safe it should be like, “Oh my God, you’re here to have fun, too.” That’s what I’m mostly trying to do. To change the gay culture musically. Believe me, I love Beyonce (laughs), but I understand when you’re at a club, an underground dark sexy club, you want to hear something that’s not mainstream. Something that’s not familiar that makes you think and say, ‘I don’t know what this is but I love it. It’s making me dance, it’s making me move.’
You’re set to release your first EP soon and go on tour. What inspired that?
Just living in Detroit and now understanding what Detroit really is, now that I’ve learned about electronic music and where it’s going, that really inspires me. So, for me, I really feel like I need to just create something that’s more a reflection of the underground scene. One of my tracks is called “Latrice.” She is actually a party icon in our scene. She’s this amazing black woman that just dances all night, gets down and she’s always at our parties. That’s what I really what I want to do on my first album. Not my EP, but my first full album, I want to contribute to party people, the club kids. I want to incorporate some type of personal song that maybe not everybody understands even though it’s a really good song, but those people will feel more special about it because they’re the ones coming to my parties.
How does it feel to perform at Movement for the first time?
This is my first year and that alone is kind of mind-boggling to me. I first started going in 2010 and in 2019 now I’m performing. I don’t even have words right now and I’m so thankful for Paxahau for giving me the opportunity. It’s an amazing feeling and I can’t even believe it’s really happening.
Find out more about TYLR_ here.