Tyler Sherritt is the new kid in town—perhaps even the newest. The Hakkasan Group resident moved to Las Vegas only a few short days before the opening of Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace to play its inaugural weekend. Sherritt has fellow Hakkasan Group resident Mark Eteson to thank for his new gig. And now, you can find Sherritt opening and closing the main room at Omnia on select nights.
When did you move to Las Vegas and why?
I moved to Vegas a month ago. To be the new resident at Omnia, Hakkasan and [Hakkasan Group’s] other venues, it was just a great opportunity I had to take. I got here probably only four days before it opened, and I was one of the first residents to play at the venue.
Did you even get to see Omnia in person ahead of time?
Nope. The first time that I walked into the venue is the first time that I played there.
Where did you call home before that?
I grew up in Alaska, and I moved to L.A. when I was 17 to pursue music. I moved to New York when I was 20 and started to really grow and accomplish goals there. I played [multiple] venues there and signed tracks to labels and stuff like that. Then I had this opportunity [with Omnia] in front of me, and I just jumped on it. I’m somebody who takes chances and chases after what I believe in.
What has your relationship with music been like over the years?
I’ve been a singer since I was a little kid, since 4 or 5, just singing in the car. Through middle school and high school I had a bunch of bands. I’ve always been a singer/songwriter with guitar and piano. I was on NBC’s The Voice in L.A. at the age of, like, 20. I fell in love with dance music, and I decided that I could combine the two worlds that I was in: singing/songwriting and producing/DJing.
What was your first DJ gig like?
My first gig was in New York at a little sports bar. I prepared a full-on festival set, because I wasn’t capable of reading a room at that point and understanding what type of music had to be at a certain venue. It quickly grew after that, because I started to learn people’s reactions and what was appropriate [for different venues]. My first real gig where I was really conscious about the crowd and playing to a room was really [Manhattan’s] Pacha, opening and closing.
How did you learn how to use the equipment?
I’ve always been a computer guy and a music guy. I’ve been playing guitar and piano since I was young and also playing computer games. So when music came to a software kind of format, I was able to understand time sequences and key changes and beat matching. Learning the technology was not the hard part.
So you were self-taught?
Yeah, I’m self-taught.
Do you also produce music?
In the dance-music world, I started as a trance DJ. My first release was on Black Hole recordings, which is a trance label. Armin van Buuren played it on [his weekly radio show] A State of Trance, and that was what gave me confidence to pursue it further. I’ve signed records to Armin’s label and to Gareth Emery’s label and a few others. I’ve always been on that higher range of progressive house and medium trance—128 to 130 [beats per minute] dance music. But lately, I’ve been experimenting with my musical capabilities and playing piano or keyboards or midis live, and singing live as well.
Do you ever plan on putting out an EP or an album?
Moving here was a way for me to have consistency in my life, and I’ll be able to work in the studio throughout the week. The main goal right now is finishing up a body of work, not just single releases. I’m gonna just be constantly working throughout the week while I’m here and working [at Omnia] on the weekends.
Tell me about your influences.
I can go see a movie and be influenced to create a song that was inspired by the emotion. I can listen to a folk song or really intense 138-BPM trance track and still get just as influenced. I think the quality of art is what influences me—people who care about their craft and people who want to keep pushing themselves.