If you've been to a recent local show in the 305, then chances are you've run into Y Diz.
Whether performing or just hanging out in the crowd, he can be seen around Miami's clubs, rocking his signature long hair and viking-like beard.
Having worked with artists like Afrobeta, Cornerstoners, and Galactic Effect, he has certainly earned his stripes on Miami's music scene. But his main focus remains leading the team of intergalactic superheroes known as Telekinetic Walrus and the Pride of Ions.
We caught up with Y Diz before he left on a three-week musical journey across America's Atlantic Coast with Telekinetic Walrus. The topics of conversation included his kooky name, music and mathematics, and his plans for the future.
Crossfade: Does Y Diz mean anything? Or is it just you playing around with your real name?
Y Diz: It has been my nickname/artist name now for about ten years. It's a little bit of both. It's definitely playing with my real name. But it also describes the hip-hop funkiness in my music and style.
What does it mean to be an Ableton Live Certified Trainer?
I have had lots of students as an Ableton Live Certified Trainer, and get new ones often. I also mix tracks for other local artists as well. Getting certified is a pretty intense process. There is a three-stage interview process that ends in flying to their headquarters and doing multiple in-depth presentations, and this is in front of the guy who wrote the manual, and multiple other really intelligent people who work for Ableton. They only certify a handful of people in the U.S. a year. So if you need Ableton Live lessons, or if you need help making your tracks sound better, hit me up!
What's your role in Telekinetic Walrus?
I am the producer of the band. I use analog synths, drum machines, sing, etc. Most of my time is spent on the Walrus. Especially now with our tour, and all the albums we are working on. There is six of us in the band: The Timezoo Keeper, Corinne Stevie, Faun 5000, Komakozie, and Buffalo, and we are "always in the Laboratory making something new," to quote Corinne Stevie.
How would you describe Telekinetic Walrus' role in Miami's music scene?
Telekinetic Walrus was brought here to Planet Earth to help you vibe out and feel good. We have been a part of the scene now for almost six years and I would like to think we have assisted in building up the underground music scene. We like to throw events and help bring this awesome community of people and artists together. We work with all sorts of local artists and Miami's music scene is popping right now. Seriously, there is a lot of dope stuff happening here, you just need to know where the party is at!
Telekinetic Walrus' The Believers of the Flying Squirrel Tour 2014
July 12 The Drunken Unicorn, Atlanta, GA
July 13 The Mill, North Charleston, SC
July 15 Quinn's, Beacon, NY
July 16 Lumberyard Pub, West Redding, CT
July 17 Grassroots Music Festival, Trumansburg, NY
July 18 Grassroots Music Festival, Trumansburg, NY
July 19 Branded Saloon, Brooklyn, NY
July 20 Silvana, Harlem, NY
July 22 Pianos, New York, NY
July 23 Mojo 13, Wilmington, DE
July 24 Tree House Lounge, Washington, D.C.
July 25 The Station, Carrboro, NC
July 26 Mammal Gallery, Atlanta, GA
July 29 Fubar Downtown, St. Petersburg, FL
July 31 Blackbird Ordinary, Miami, FL
When did you first get into music? Did you go straight into electronic?
I've always been interested in music and mathematics, but I didn't start making music until 2002. I started as a bass player, and went to school for opera. My first band was kind of like a funked-out psychedelic rock band, and The Timezoo Keeper was the lead singer in the band. I was playing bass and singing. It wasn't until 2006 that I really started heading in the more "electronic" direction, but I still stay true to my roots and the good majority of tracks you have heard from me are created from outboard instruments, not VSTs (Virtual Studio Technology).
So what is next for Y Diz?
I definitely have a few projects up my sleeves. Telekinetic Walrus will be dropping a full-length album for the first time since 2010, and an EP in honor of Corinne Stevie before the year is over. I have a Y Diz solo EP I am working on too, but don't know exactly when I will release it. But Telekinetic Walrus is heading on tour for 20 days, so right now that is where my head space is at.
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Telekinetic Walrus and the Pride of Ions' The Believers of the Flying Squirrel Tour 2014. Thursday, July 31. Blackbird Ordinary, 729 SW First Ave., Miami. The show starts at 9 p.m. Call 305-671-3307 or visit blackbirdordinary.com.