How Westend Went From Teacher to Music Tech Entrepreneur
Mar 30, 2023
3 min read
Westend, aka Tyler Morris, has a well-proven track record of crafting crowd-pleasing tech house heat. His releases span the breadth of house music’s biggest tastemakers, including Repopulate Mars, Insomniac, Armada, Solotoko, and Musical Freedom. With over 30 million streams on Spotify and a bevy of chart-topping singles, he’s in the top 10 best-selling tech house artists on Beatport and the top 25 overall. He clearly has a deft understanding of what makes a crowd move.
So, when the pandemic kneecapped the industry, leaving him with no DJ gigs and much more free time, Morris decided he wanted to spread the knowledge.
“During the pandemic, some people messaged me for production lessons, I’d never done anything like that and because I had nothing to do all day, I just dove into it and fell in love with it immediately,” he tells Gray Area. “When I started back in 2012, there were resources but nowhere near as many as there are today. Now you have so many places to turn, it’s amazing and the quality early on from new producers is incredible.”
After starting to give lessons, Tyler soon realized he was building a following and developing a new aspect of his career. One he is immensely passionate about. He quickly pivoted and began to build the community on Discord. The new platform has allowed him to bring in other producers who are contributing alongside Tyler with new lessons, feedback on tracks, and one-on-one video coaching, amongst other services.
The pivot into music education has given Tyler a fresh perspective on the music industry and helped build his career through the genuine fostering of a true, connected community. As he continues to find ways to grow in this side of his career, Tyler has announced a partnership with a new music tech company called Scraps.
“It is a marketplace for producers to sell their project files online so people can learn from them and get resources directly from the source… it allows people to not only learn production through the art of copying, but also make sure that everyone is compensated fairly. Someone can now purchase the working files of the latest Westend track, rework it and release it, but I [Westend] will now be fairly compensated. If you want to hear how Westend made a song, you want to get that file directly from the source… How do I make music production easier for more people and how do we innovate in the space have become big questions for me in my career.”
The pivot into music tech is a natural transition for Tyler. As a student of the internet, he often speaks about feeling like he owes his success to those who were early on the scene of resource creation for music production. In addition to the desire to educate, Scraps will provide a much-needed resource to producers who partner with the platform: money.
“My discord community has provided a reliable source of income for me. For beginner producers, you have to find a way to make money. Touring is not a realistic income stream for everyone, so to help create a marketplace where everyone can make money is just the right thing to do.”