Jordy van Egmond, aka Dyro, was discovered by Laidback Luke at just 19 years old. The Amsterdam-based artist has since taken on several international tours, radio shows and established his own label, Wolv Records. He’s done official remixes for Rihanna and Calvin Harris; by the time he was 22 he had already racked up multiple chart topping hits. We talked to him before his performance at Elements
about achieving fame as a youth, his label and experiences in China.
I read online that the given name Dyro means ambition, independence, strength, determination and professionalism. Is that why you've chosen that as you name or is it just an anagram of your real name Jordy?
It’s an anagram [laughs]. I have no idea what is means. Jordy with the letters reorganised. It’s like, 'what was first, the name or the definition?'
Did your family encourage you to work in music?
The only person in my family that did music was my great grandmother. She played the organ. No one else in my family has done music.
Are you of pure Dutch descent?
It’s not America – everyone in Holland is pretty much pure Dutch. I am 100% percent Dutch. People think I am Arab or Turkish though.
Do you have something that is essential to your creative process?
Not necessarily. I just have to be in a really good mood. It really depends what mood you are in. If I am annoyed, pissed or mad I make different music. It all depends but I don’t really have anything I need to do to make music. Whenever I have time I can make music. When I am home making music it clears my head. It is natural for me.
Do you start tracks on a piano or an instrument?
I don’t have any keys in studio at all, which is very rare for a producer. It’s like with Deadmau5 – he draws everything in with his mouse.
Do you have a favourite piece of gear?
Everything nowadays is just software, so just a computer and a pair of speakers. I live in a small apartment so I can’t really fit that much gear. I bought this huge midi controller piano-thing but it doesn’t fit so it’s just standing there and I’m like, 'F**k, I just wasted 800 dollars on this!'.
Working with Tiësto must have been amazing. Were you into his music or electronic music in general as a child?
Tiësto was one of the first if not the first influence I had so to work with him on a song was really cool. It was definitely on my bucket list. There are so many other people [too]. When I started getting into dance music I was really into Hardwell – Laidback Luke and I have worked with all of them. It’s a lot of fun, but when you get to know them you learn they are very human too. You become friends with them and you’re like 'you’re not what I expected'. They say 'never meet your heroes', right?
Out of all the people you have met, who would you say made you the most star struck?
I guess Skrillex. I am a huge Skrillex fan. I met him a couple of times and I am a really big fan of his music so every time I see him I am like, 'Oh my God, it’s Skrillex!'
Would you say there has been a best moment in your career?
There have been so many moments. The first big thing that I did was when Hardwell pulled me on stage at Ultra during my younger years – already five years ago – that was the big thing for me back then. Looking back I have done so many festivals that are much bigger. I closed down Sunburn Festival in India that had like 60,000 people. That was really cool.
For your label do you sign people you haven't met or is it important for you to know them as a person?
No, I have definitely not met everybody I have signed. Mainly the people we are focusing on right now are friends of mine like Goja and Loopers. Obviously I got to know them through music. But no I have not met everybody. It’s almost impossible to. Nowadays everything is sending an email with a demo and you like it and sign it and maybe you get to see them one day in the future.
How many artists do you have now?
We signed a bunch of singles. We’re focusing more on artist as a whole rather than just doing singles. Loopers and Goja are our main focus. We are too small to take on more. I help them out all the time they can always call me.
What's new with WOLV records?
Goja and I are working on a song right now that’s really cool. I have been playing it throughout the tour. I have a few songs ready to be released and we have a lot of demos that will be released soon.
Do you have any upcoming video projects?
A video of my new song 'Surrounded' is coming out this week. I haven’t even seen it myself. It’s a 3D video.
Listen to 'Surrounded' here [VPNs on].
No shots of you acting?
No, I don’t like to be in the spotlight that much.
What has been your most interesting experience in China so far?
I don’t want to insult anybody, but if you go to some places that are very new to the scene they really make an effort for me to have a good time. To the point where they have hired someone to stand there with a Dyro sign that was basically paid to be there. It’s a nice effort and I appreciate it but it’s very obvious. It’s almost awkward. The Chinese culture is so different from ours. China has only opened up in the last 10 years to the public, so it’s so different and people have such a different way of living. For me to come here I really have to get used to how everything works here.
What's your favourite thing you've eaten here?
Definitely Peking duck – that is my favourite. Had it for my birthday, which was a couple days ago. I just turned 25.
As some who got famous at a rather young age, is there something about the industry you wish you had been introduced to later in life?
Alcohol. It’s actually a genuine answer. I started touring when I was 18 or 19. When I was touring America everyone thought I was older than I was because I already had a beard since I was 16. I never got in trouble for anything because everyone thought I was 21 or older, but nobody actually warned me to not drink as much. I remember being on tour with Hardwell and Dannic and slamming down alcohol every night.
Have you ever messed up a show?
Oh, I messed up tons of shows. The thing was there were three guys on the tour in the early stages of my career with Hardwell and Dannic. I was usually the guy that ended the show. So you had two guys before that both playing an hour and a half to three hours and we arrive early so I had three hours and thirty minutes to get fucking wasted. By the time I got onstage and I press play on the mixer I would be like oh god I am way too drunk. I messed up so many shows I wish somebody was like you shouldn’t drink. I had to figure that out by myself.
If you were to describe your self as a drink, what would be in it?