How Tale Of Us Playing Colyn's Track Led To Multiple Afterlife Releases
Jan 18, 2023
Ana Monroy Yglesias
4 min read
It’s every producer’s dream to hear one of their favorite acts playing their track out in the wild. If you’re lucky, you have fellow DJs that continue to champion your music throughout your career. This is exactly what happened to Dutch DJ and producer Colyn, who was at a festival in his hometown of Amsterdam when he realized his idols Tale Of Us were playing one of his songs during their set. It caught him by surprise, as he hadn’t sent them music and was barely two years into releasing music as Colyn. He’d been making waves in the rich local scene, but could this be his big break?
He gathered the courage to introduce himself to the Italian duo, and the conversation didn’t exactly calm his nerves.
“I was in Amsterdam at a festival and they played a track of mine. I had nerves up to my ears and I tried to talk to them. I told Matteo, ‘Hey, you played a track of mine.’ He’s like, ‘I didn’t play it, Carmine played it. You should ask him.’ I was like oof. So I asked Carmine and he said, ‘Ohh, you’re that guy. That’s cool man, but we need to catch a helicopter to go to our next show.’ I was like, ‘Holy fuck, these guys.’ I asked how we can stay in touch and he gave me his phone number,” Colyn told Beatportal in 2022.
From there, Colyn started sending them music—a lot of music, about 35 tracks, including “Amor” the first track of his to drop on Afterlife. "Amor" was put out as part of the Afterlife Realm Of Consciousness Pt. IV compilation album in 2019, with his first stand-alone Afterlife release, the dark and driving four-track Resolve EP, dropping just a few months later.
In Tale of Us, Colyn found advocates for his fresh brand of dark melodic house and techno. And that stamp of approval from the kings of the genre meant releases on their label and track placement in their sets leading to his music reaching many more ears. “Amor” was supported by Afterlife regulars Mind Against, Mathame, and Joris Voorn, and the Resolve EP track “Eriador” saw heavy rotation from Tale Of Us in 2019.
“The EP was definitely a pivotal moment in my career. ‘Amor’ was my debut release on Afterlife, which did really well. But if you put out a debut and there’s no follow-up, it’s going to be difficult to keep your momentum going. Resolve perfectly followed up ‘Amor’ and I guess it’s also a bit of luck and timing that everything comes together. We had the right music ready to follow up and Tale Of Us also thought so. We got a massive response from that EP, which really launched my career and pushed me from upcoming local DJ to starting international DJ,” Colyn added.
Tale Of Us released two more of Colyn’s EPs, Patterns in 2020 and Oxygen Levels Low in 2022. And while it took some time to gain their trust and build a rapport, they’ve become close friends and mentors of his, something that still blows Colyn’s mind.
“At this point, I’m really good friends with all the guys, which is amazing,” Colyn said. “At the start, it’s a bit scarier because they’re helping you make your first steps in your career, so you feel like you’re walking a bit more on eggshells. Now, it’s a good friendship and we can talk about everything. It’s all open for discussion, which is super cool position [to be in].”