With “Parachutes” just out, we sat down with up-and-coming Australian Hardstyle star Toneshifterz to talk about singles, past and future of his music, the current state of Hardstyle and more.
WE ARE DANCE: Hi Elie. How are things going? We just saw your latest track and video, “Parachutes”! Can you tell us something about the inspiration behind the video clip?
TONESHIFTERZ: Hey mate, I’m well, thank you! Yeh, the idea behind “Parachutes” was to link the lyrics to something that people can relate too, one topic, which is domestic violence, which is highly unacceptable. The video clip shows a young boy who stands up for his mother from an abusive step father, in essence he was becoming her “Parachute” breaking her fall from his step father’s abuse. And this was the inspiration behind the video, by linking it to the lyrics, I think it made it really special for viewers!
WE ARE DANCE: How did you start making music? And when?
TONESHIFTERZ: Well, I started making music at a very young age, you know, at the age of 5, I was playing the piano, and I was very stubborn when it came to learning, because every time my parents went to put me in music schooling, I would never use the notations, I would always use my ears instead and watch the teachers’ play to learn myself. Then once I learnt the piece, I would always add to the melodies of the songs I was being taught. My teachers would be amazed really, but they would tell my parents that I would only play what I wanted to play, and not learn properly! But the creativity was there from a very young age. Only when I was 15 and at high school did I start to produce and feed my learning and addiction of music, and by the time I finished school, I was writing Hardcore, and when I had finished my University I was writing Hardstyle by then and now here I am!
WE ARE DANCE: You started out as a duo, but split in November 2013. What was the reason for it? Has Toneshifterz’ style changed with the split?
TONESHIFTERZ: Well yes, like any working relationship there needs to be clarity on what both people want and need, and we both had really different visions in life and in our careers. You know in Europe you can live of Hardstyle really well as a duo or a solo, but in Australia it’s very difficult, and unless you share the same vision then it’s not doable. In Australia you have to be at the top of your game because the industry is still growing, yes, but it’s still very small. This was one of the main reasons for us going our separate ways, but I would have to say NO Toneshfiterz style has not changed and will continue the way that it’s currently going!
WE ARE DANCE: Do you have an idol? Or someone you would like to collaborate with?
TONESHIFTERZ: I mean I have many idols that I look up to, you know, but in Hardstyle I have 2 idols really, I would have to say Brennan Heart first of all because he is a hit machine, I’ve lost count of how many hits he has written over the years and also a good friend and mentor, but also Bas from the Noisecontrollers because his Hardstyle production is really always next level!!
WE ARE DANCE: A question that always interests us: are there times or days that you don’t want to make or listen to music at all?
TONESHIFTERZ: Oh yes, most definitely, sometimes I get so sick of hearing music I just don’t want to do anything, on the way home from a busy night of bookings, I usually just drive in silence. With everything in life you need to have a break from, even things that you love!
WE ARE DANCE: What’s coming next from Toneshifterz after „Parachutes“? More singles planned for this year? Or maybe an album? How’s your touring schedule?
TONESHIFTERZ: Well, there is a lot coming up soon, not much I can mention about right now haha, but there is a lot of tracks which will be coming in the next year! Tour schedule is doing great, I have a lot of bookings in Australia and now I’m on my Euro Tour! I will be back in Australia in July for some bookings there, but then back to EURO for another tour comprising of The Qontinent, Mysteryland, Decibel and a few more bookings, interviews and studio time at the WE R HQ!
WE ARE DANCE: How would you describe the current state of Hardstyle? Tiesto is playing Hardstyle in his sets, Headhunterz is an upcoming star in the US. Is the market getting bigger?
TONESHIFTERZ: Well, Hardstyle I believe is growing fast, and yes it’s a great thing you know! I think to the DJs from other genres its becoming a “cool thing” to play a Hardstyle track or two in there sets! So it’s good to see such support, its turning into a big market, and in time I think it can only grow bigger.
WE ARE DANCE: Thanks for your time!
You can buy “Parachutes” here!