While attending Crush Arizona Music Festival, One EDM had the pleasure of interviewing Tyler Bardzilowski, known on stage as BARDZ. A Southern California native whose musical influences range from Odesza to Pink Floyd.
His music, a unique blend of instrument driven melodies woven into digital harmonics to stir an emotional response within the listener. Like a movie elicits emotion from the crowd during a heartfelt moment,
Tyler, originally from San Clemente, moved to Arizona to attend Arizona State University. Although he lives a life as a full-time student, his passion for making music has never stopped. He has made appearances at Goldrush Music Festival and Decadence AZ. He is also been seen playing at Shady Park. Sharing the stage with some major artists like Goldfish and Daily Bread.
Check out Tyler’s interview below. If you enjoy his work, give his social media a follow.
What influenced you to get into music? What keeps you motivated?
We had a really old keyboard in the house when I was younger and I used to slap around on that a lot. Then, I think I just kept asking for a guitar and one Christmas they got me a really bad one. It kind of went from there. But, my dad took me to a rock concert, when I was like 11 or 12, and that kind of changed everything for me. He loves music, but he never really played it. I always felt like I wanted to do it myself. It kind of started from there, I gave myself guitar, piano lessons, and production, all that kind of stuff.
So you started with the piano, what is your favorite instrument?
Yes, I started on the piano, more for tinkering but then I really fell in love with the guitar. My favorite is definitely the guitar, I know it like the back of my hand. I’ve been playing it for so long now, it’s definitely a favorite. Probably more acoustic guitar. I’m really into CandyRat records, like Andy McKee, a lot of that interesting finger-type styles. There’s nothing out there like it. It cannot be recreated.
We see you play a lot out here in Arizona, where did you start out playing music at?
I got my start with idgaFNK productions, Stephanie Howe. We met, she found my music and she gave me a shot. She threw a show and she booked me on that. From there, I just started to try and pitch myself. I finally got in at Shady Park and from there Shady Park became home. The team over at Shady Park is incredible, they gave me a platform to try out new things. Really owning the live sets and working the instruments into the DJing. Because I’m an instrumentalist, a musician first. Having that platform to try new things out was definitely Shady Park. So Shady Park is home base.
What’s different between playing for a festival, like Crush AZ, as opposed to playing for an intimate crowd like Shady Park?
I would say, I’ve heard a lot of things and felt the pressure to design a set that fits the style and match the energy of the headliners and things like that. So depending on the local show, I would probably do a lot more slow down instrumental things and take a lot more time to really craft the music. Maybe more clean guitar, or more intimate emotional kind of stuff. But with a festival, depending on the festival, I feel it like its higher pace and higher energy. I have a lot of songs, riffs, and guitar pieces for that so it’s really about trying to pick the best one to really curate the best experience for the situation you’re in. But both awesome in their own way. I mean that had to be the most fun [Crush AZ] I’ve ever had so far; such high energy.
You had a great set at Crush AZ! What do you do to get rid of the performance jitters?
Usually a few beers, but I didn’t have that today. So it was just sucking it up and dealing with it! I kind of just take it all in and realize, this is what I want to do. Then I channel the crowd.
So when you play smaller shows, do you feel you can be more experimental with your music?
I would say, with Shady Park specifically, I just feel so comfortable with that stage and their staff, they are like family to me now. So I really like to try out the new songs, the new riffs, the new transitions. Some weird stuff on keys and the drums. But I did try a few new things tonight for Crush. Dropped a couple new tracks.
It’s just with smaller shows I get to interact with the crowd a bit easier, because they are right there, in front of me. You don’t have the gap and barrier up on stage. So it can be more intimate.
Is there anything else besides music you are passionate about?
I love movies! I love going outdoors when it’s not 120 degrees out. I try my best. I recently picked up snowboarding again. I’m terrible at it but I love it.
What has been your biggest triumph on your music journey thus far?
My biggest triumph has been when people have reached out to me on social media or in person, saying that my music helped them through a dark time. Like the “I’m Tired” track that just came out, it notes to mental health but I guess, intrinsically, I’ve always wanted my music to help people through things. I’ve always wanted to be bigger than myself, if I can.
So the shows are awesome and the traveling is great but when someone says that my music helped them through a tough time or made their good day into a great day. There is just nothing better than that feeling.
Thank you, Tyler, for allowing us the pleasure of getting to know you and your music better. We appreciate it.
Also, a special thank you to Relentless Beats for allowing us to use Crush AZ’s private big fuzzy red couch for our interview. We are always in appreciation of your amazing hospitality.