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Melodies that transcend: PLS&TY's music rise beyond numbers, statistics and NFTs

The artist celebrates his newly released 3 Days, 2 Nights Album and upcoming Album Remix Pack

  • Interview: Mia Lunis | Photographer: Dmitry Zhitov
  • 8 December 2023

An atmosphere of well-being and politeness in words in addition to sophisticated catchy beats surrounds the work of Tommy Leas, a native of the beautiful state of Florida and better known as PLS&TY.

The DJ and producer is at his peak, a place coveted and admired by many artists at the beginning of their career, a beautiful example is his reach on Billboard charts, his accumulation of hundreds of millions of streams across platforms, among other examples - for far beyond numbers or any statistics, the artist’s intention is very simple: to create melodies so that anyone can feel good.

By the way, this task is not simple, pleasing Greeks and Trojans is something very complex in itself. A soulful artist is not born overnight and each project that the producer has dedicated himself to is an irrefutable proof of his talent and dedication.

In words, everything seems to be much easier than it really is, but Tommy’s trajectory applies to various areas surrounding electronic music, the technology market, collaborations, commercials, among other glorious stories.

The artist touts commercial work for companies like Hershey’s Chocolate and Les Mills, and was an early adopter of NFT technology - also achieving Billboard reference in positions #3 and #10 of Top Music NFT Sales in August 2022 alongside none other than Snoop Dogg, Eminem and David Bowie.

His debut EP titled ‘Very Special’ featured the collaboration of renowned artists such as Sean Kingston, Alex Aiono, Wifisfuneral and many more, kicking off a journey that has been filling the public’s eyes with admiration.

PLS&TY, which has shined on the stages of festivals such as Electric Forest, EDC Vegas, Shaky Beats and many others, has just launched its Radio Show entitled ‘Proper Manners’ on Insomniac Radio twice a month.

With a calendar full of celebrations, PLS&TY released a new 3 Days, 2 Nights album earlier this year, and has begun the rollout of the album’s special remix pack which will feature renowned Brazilian act Cat Dealers, Taiki Nulight, Orjan Nilsen, and more.

What will 2024 hold for the artist? We spoke with Tommy Leas aka PLS&TY in an exclusive interview, check it out!

Hello Tommy, it’s a pleasure to talk to you and learn a little more about your career. You’ve worked with artists who inspired a whole generation of musicians, who or what inspired you when you were starting?

Firstly, thank you so much for making time to chat. I found myself taking a deep dive into electronic dance music beginning in 2010, just as ‘EDM’ really started to become mainstream and popularized.

I discovered artists from a wide array of genres during these years, like Netsky, through UKF’s Drum & Bass Youtube channel, Porter Robinson, during his OWSLA ‘Spitfire’ era, Knife Party, who started to shake up the scene with their “Rage Valley” EP, Afrojack’s “Take Over Control” and Krewella’s “Alive” were on FM radio around-the-clock, and countless others.

Nowadays, my inspiration comes from sources outside of music altogether. Traveling to and seeing new places, meeting new people, trying new things… It’s this overall newness that sanctions growth and creativity for me. Equally, new and past life experiences are my inspiration.

You bring to your sound a sophisticated atmosphere and phrases that captivate the public, as well as a positive aura in your productions, how has the fact of being born in Florida influenced your compositions?

I grew up in a sunny, tropical beach town. PLS&TY maintains an ethos of good vibes, kindness, and to spread joy on and off the dancefloor. I like to think that my music and productions have absorbed some of this warmth from the Florida weather.

You recently released your 3 Days, 2 Nights album, and now you have just started releasing Remixes of these songs on the album. Can you tell us more about the album and what we can expect from the upcoming Remix pack?

Are you up for a free “3 Days, 2 Nights” vacation? As the “3 Days, 2 Nights” project unveils, each song and album cover take inspiration from the day and night motifs/themes of the EP titling, progressing in the order of the tracklisting from day to night. There is something for everyone here - music for all moods, places, seasons, and times.

The project stands on new ground for the direction of PLS&TY original music moving forward - born out of a place of freedom to create without bounds or borders, or in an attempt to fit the confines of a particular genre that fans may have previously known me for.

With this same mentality, the “3 Days, 2 Nights” Remixes were born. Both up-and-coming & established talents across a variety of genres and countries of origin were selected, including Cat Dealers, Taiki Nulight, Orjan Nilsen, and more.

From trance to funk, Brazil to Norway, all Remixers brought their individually unique styles, and by means of total artistic freedom, created reimagined versions of songs that have marked a very exciting year for me musically.

“My inspiration comes from sources outside of music altogether”

The path of music production often develops in a more gradual way with different artists. What were the biggest challenges for you during this initial period of development?

Harnessing the power of my own individuality, as once you tap into the singularity that is truly your own vision, your own sound, your own uniqueness... There is nothing stopping you from realizing all of your dreams.

You dedicated yourself to several projects involving other spheres surrounding electronic music and technology, an example of having been one of the first artists to engage in the world of NFTs. How did you first discover music NFTs and what made you interested to get involved?

I first came across NFTs in 2020, idolizing how other artists like 3LAU and RAC were using the technology.

Since then I’ve worked on projects for Foundation, SuperRare, Audius, Async Music, countless others platforms, been apart of behind-the-scenes brand work for companies like Bitcoin Magazine, and have performed & DJ’d at a variety of conferences like Permissionless West Palm Beach, Consensus Austin, Bitcoin Conference’s Sound Money festival, and more.

I’d love to highlight GALA Music, who I’m currently in partnership with. They’ve been responsible for projects with BT, Mount Westmore (Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, & E40 project), Earl Sweatshirt and the Alchemist, and many more incredible artists.

I believe Web3 music is a way to grow lifelong fans & supporters that are truly invested in your project and gunning for your success. In return, these same supporters can be offered unprecedented unlocks in terms of access into the world of the artist by means of the blockchain.

You have also released a very cool song called “Your Love” following the 3 Days, 2 Nights Album. The song is such an auditory adventure! Tell us more about this song, and if you have any cool stories behind this song creation?

‘Your Love’ is a fusion of tech-house and tribal music, featuring vocals from Sofiya Nzau. It was a true cross border collaboration with Sofiya all the way over on the opposite side of the globe in Kenya. She sings in Kikuyu, which is the first language to approximately 20% of Kenya’s population, as well as English.

One notable anecdote is that after receiving the Kikuyu vocals, I sent Sofiya back an English lyric sheet for her to try. The English lyrics that I sent were entirely out of sorts with the topic of what she was singing about in Kikuyu.

Sofiya ended up re-recording her own English vocals, but I later found the Kikuyu vocals to be so moving, that the only English line that made its way into the final version of the song was “your love feels like an explosion,” hence how the song title “Your Love” came about.

“I didn’t expect that my first ever LA performance with Space Yacht, would be accompanied by artists like Skrillex in attendance”

In terms of timbres and sound design, is there a preference on your part between analog or digital equipment?

Many producers may disagree with this take, but I have no preference.

Plugins and digital equipment today have become so advanced in being able to replicate the sounds of analog gear, that only the truly trained ear can spot the difference.

Nonetheless, there is something to be said about the hands-on feel of analog gear during the process of creating.

You have just debuted your Radio Show ‘Proper Manners’ on Insomniac Radio, tell us a little about your curation for your program, how did your relationship with Insomniac Radio develop?

I’m excited to announce my brand new bi-weekly radio show on Insomniac Radio, “Proper Manners Radio”. Insomniac have built a name wholly synonymous with electronic dance music - through all facets of their being.

The brand encompasses a wide scope, far beyond the live events that most first think of. With the curation of 60-minutes of music on a bi-weekly basis, I hope for listeners to discover what PLS&TY is all about, outside of my own discography.

Each week will feature some of my favorite music, past and present, without genre limitations or confines, just good vibes & proper beats.

“PLS&TY maintains an ethos of good vibes, kindness, and to spread joy on and off the dancefloor”

You’ve played at festivals coveted by several artists from the global electronic scene, what was your first show as a DJ like?

I was maybe 23-years-old, and had just finished moving across the country to live in Los Angeles.

Space Yacht, now a coveted event promoter, brand, label, and more, was beginning to blossom with weekly events that became a typical music industry hangout for managers, agents, and other artists.

What I didn’t expect was that my first ever Los Angeles performance with Space Yacht, at such a young age, would be accompanied by artists like Skrillex in attendance.

It was only after I had finished performing that Henry (from Space Yacht) mentioned, “Good set. Hey, by the way, did you see Skrillex over there”?

What is next to come for your project? Any spoilers for audiences of what they can expect in 2024?

Be on the lookout for the full 3 Days, 2 Nights Remix Album early 2024, a good deal of original music to follow, live shows, and more good vibes.

As long as I am able to continue making and performing music, and am having fun along the way, there’s no stopping the journey of where PLS&TY is headed.

“Once you tap into the singularity that is truly your own vision... There is nothing stopping your dreams”

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