Toneshifterz Discusses His Fire Mix For iEDM Radio In An iEDM Exclusive Interview
Toneshifterz recently dropped a sick mix for iEDM radio. Elie Abwi, better known to EDM fans as Toneshifterz, checked in with us a few days ago with a lot to say about his career and what fans can look forward to in 2018.
The Australian hardstyle commander spoke about a variety of topics, including the EDM scene in Sydney, his biggest hits, and favorite festival memories.
iEDM: What is your background in music? When did you first know that you wanted to get involved with the hard dance community?
Toneshifterz: My background in music is classical. I’ve been playing the piano and been in school bands since a very young age. Music has always been a part of my life, and as I grew older I found a new found love for dance music, and in particular, the harder styles of dance music. Things like hardcore, happy hardcore, trance, hard trance, and hardstyle. So, from the love of listening to the harder styles, I started producing it. Here I am!
iEDM: We are happy that you are indeed here! How is the EDM scene out in Sydney, Australia? How does it compare to America?
Toneshifterz: The EDM scene in Sydney is good and has big potential. It's always growing and there’s now lots of talent coming from Australia, which used to be a rare occurrence in the EDM world. I wouldn't say its bigger or better than America, but we don’t have as many festivals and events as there might be over there! The crowds in the US are so cool and energetic--which I love so much!
iEDM: I gotta say, we Americans love to party. What are your fondest memories of putting your debut album “Till Daybreak Meets” together back in 2011?
Toneshifterz: It was a good journey to write that album. The first album is always special. Its got the classics and early Toneshifterz sound, and just receiving the physical copy of the album was such a surreal experience after having worked on it for so long. It was a great feeling.
iEDM: Speaking of great feelings, what do you feel knowing that “Wild Wild Weekend” was one of the biggest festival anthems a couple of years ago?
Toneshifterz: Haha, it definitely was a great feeling! You never know which tracks become festival hits and anthems. I knew that one would be memorable 'cause the melody is so unique, and so “Toneshifterz” sounding. I will never forget that experience!
iEDM: On the topic of festivals, what are some of your favorite festival memories?
Toneshifterz: My favorite experience at a festival was in 2009 when Noisecontrollers played our first Toneshifterz releases for the first time during their set at Defqon. 1, during the sunset. The lasers and pyro had just turned on and people were going crazy! That’s one of my favorite memories...the vibe was just so good.
iEDM: We are all about good vibes. Without harping too much on the subject, what went into your decision to fly solo?
Toneshifterz: To be honest me and the ex-Toneshifter, Olcay, were good mates but we had different visions and work flows. We were different in so many ways that it just didn’t make sense for us to stick together anymore. But things have been well. I’m still on good contact with Olcay. We are still good friends and maybe we will do a collaboration together soon!
iEDM: That's what we love to hear. Let's talk about what you did in December. You put together a killer mix for iEDM radio. We absolutely couldn't get enough of it! How do you put your mixes together?
Toneshifterz: It was one of the best episodes that we hosted in quite a bit. Well you know I just choose the best tracks and mashups and things I like to play and then I compile it all and mix it, I enjoyed doing that mix for iEDM 'cause its got lots of cool elements from lots of artists, and not just tracks from myself but also tracks that I like to showcase. People can get a flavor of what I might play in my sets!
iEDM: Respect, my brother. I highly recommend to all our of fans to check out your live show. Moving to a new place is major. Why did you move to the Netherlands? It seems like a big move for anyone to make!
Toneshifterz: I moved to the Netherlands because first of all, Australia is just too damn far away from everything. Secondly, the hardstyle scene is the strongest, and has its roots in the Netherlands. To be present there is quite important from a music business perspective for my career. It means that I’m closer to many artists which is good for collaborations, but also the major companies involved in hardstyle. It's not easy, and you always find Australian talent moving away from Australia. It's not because Australia isn’t good, but because there’s more opportunity overseas! Definitely a must.
iEDM: You always have to do right by yourself first before you can do right for others. I feel you. Before we let you go, what can fans expect from you in 2018?
Toneshifterz: I have so much music planned for 2018. Lots of shows...more than last year. I'm always looking forward to playing in the US again. We will be releasing dates for upcoming US shows soon! In March, I'm releasing my second album which is super exciting. I also have a new EP coming out with Code Black, featuring four really cool different tracks, and so much more! 2018 will be jam packed with lots of goodies.