Can you imagine performing 150 shows in just one year? (That’s more than one show every three days for the math nerds). It means that when I recently spoke with the popular DJ Dyro on a Thursday evening, he was in Ibiza, preparing to travel to Mykonos the next day, before continuing on to London and then soon after to Amsterdam – all during a four-day time period. Early flight connections, changing time zones, a different hotel room each night, and, of course, ready access to alcohol, all come with this lifestyle. However, over the years, Dyro has taken more control over his schedule, has cut down on the number of his shows, and decided to stop drinking as well. And he had a powerful reason for this decision.
Dyro had just finished his set at the Ushuaia club in Ibiza, and before he could even take a seat, I was introduced to him. The first thing I wanted to ask him was how on Earth he manages to get used to his social and jam-packed lifestyle as an introvert.
“It was very hard,” Dyro said. “Just think about Avicii. He used to drink a lot – and I used to drink a lot, too. That’s the way it works. You drink, so it’s fine. When I was 21 I had a burn-out because I was drinking and touring too much. Then I took a week off, cancelled the shows and I went back on tour,” he adds. Dyro ended up going to a doctor who gave him some medicine to help him get through the tours of the summer.
“It was just too many shows in a row. [I was] doing 150 shows a year and drinking every single night,” Dyro says. “For 2-3 years I didn’t realize that I was an alcoholic. It destroys your body, you have no energy.” The combination of alcohol and non-stop touring lead to burn-out, which then generated more symptoms. “You can’t get out of bed, no inspiration, no energy. It’s terrible, but the show must go on. I hate to disappoint people and I played shows even when I was violently ill,” he adds.
At one point, Dyro realized that he couldn’t stay on this unbalanced path. “When summer was over, I could make sure to take a couple of months off. After that, I decided that I couldn’t drink anymore, and that I’d have to get used to being on stage without drinking,” he says. Burn-outs are often followed by a re-evaluation of your life, and this was no exception.
Dyro also went back to his roots and started to play simply for the joy of himself and his audience. He wasn’t assisted by his old management, as by this time he had already left them to run his own record label. “In the beginning, I was making music to make people happy, and my previous management told me what to play. I am a creative person, and they never let me to be creative. It just tears you down,” Dyro said. “I just decided that I am going start my own label and do what I want. The music that I really want to make is very niche, not a lot of people are going like it. I decided I rather be happy and make less money and do something I want, than having another burn-out or maybe not even be playing anymore. I turned things around for the better.”
Of course, he didn’t stop touring, but now he works and travels with a new team and with a different mindset. “It’s the way it works. Nowadays you don’t make as much, you kind of have to be on tour, that’s 90 % of your income,” Dyro said. “Do I want to be producer and work in a grocery store or do I want to be on tour? I’d rather be on tour.”
He quickly adds that he is on the road only half as much as before. However, these days, he is choosier and not going on tours with just anyone. Years ago, his former management company reached out to STMPD RCRDS, the record label of Martin Garrix, which ended up offering Dyro a contract. “This was a strategic step,” Dyro said. “We decided to branch out to other labels, so we can [reach] other crowds that haven’t heard of my music.”
Despite the changes that Dyro has made to achieve more work-life balance and to only play music that he loves, he still wants to play for and reach as many people as possible. His story is a great example of how important it is to be able to say no and to stand up for yourself, because going for what you really want can open even more doors.
Proofread by: Xylia Buros