There are few local acts with as much mainstream potential and as much “next big thing” appeal as The Technicolor Void.
In fact, the young duo’s talent and unique hip-hop/dubstep music is such that their success seems more a matter of “when” than “if” they will get noticed.
But the question remains whether Will Misdom, 20, and Tyler “Tye Dye” Davidson, 17, will spark a scene that helps put Myrtle Beach on the map or whether they will simply split town and never look back.
“We don’t like it. We’d prefer to be somewhere else,” said Misdom. “We still just feel like this crowd, being down south, is into a different thing. But we’re not letting it hold us down.”
“Recently we’ve seen some folks kinda following in the footsteps of what we’ve done and we feel like we kinda opened the door for the electronic scene here. We hope we have at least, because before that we were really just sticking our necks out.”
With comments like these, the group continues to walk a fine line between the youthful bravado of wanting to put the beach behind them and an underlying ambition of just wanting to build a scene where they can truly “fit in.”
It’s an interesting dichotomy that has helped TTV become trendsetters among a certain crowd, attracting its fair share of fans — and haters — over the past year.
During this time, TTV has continued to hone their craft and building a buzz online, receiving radio airplay and landing an opening spot at the House of Blues.
They’ll continue to add to this short, yet impressive resume Friday performing on Broadway at the Beach’s Celebrity Square stage for Mix 97.7 Summerjam. The show, which will also include Florida-based Powerpop group Junior Doctor will begin at 7 p.m. and is free to attend.
Misdom hopes the event will be a chance to show off what TTV has been working on and to continue to grow the group’s fanbase.
“We’re just looking to show them our newest stuff and have a lot of fun.” he says. “From what they’re estimating it should be a good turnout and with it being Friday night with a lot of people going to the clubs at Broadway it should be a great chance to get our music out in front of a crowd.”
Mixing it up with Mix
Summerjam is just the latest in TTV’s string of collaboration with WWXM station director Ron Roberts. Starting with getting one of their songs featured on the Mix 97.7 website last year, Roberts took an interest in the group’s music and helped them get their single “Ice Cream” played on air.
“He really liked what we were doing and starting talking to us about it, giving us tips and helped hook us up with Ke$ha,” says Misdom. “We’ve just been on the same track and trying to learn what we can.”
With Roberts’ referral, TTV landed an opening gig alongside one of pop music’s biggest stars, Ke$ha, at the House of Blues last July.
“That night was nuts ... I remember while we were performing Ice Cream I looked up behind us in our dressing room window and Ke$ha and her mom were dancing like fools to it,” said Misdom in an interview with A-Game Magazine.
“[Ron is] helping us out a lot with that and pointing us in the right direction,” Misdom said.
But Misdom hasn’t always moved in the right direction. The sudden spark that helped him get into making music actually came from going in the wrong direction.
“I had gotten in some legal trouble and so I was always stuck at home bored,” he says. “I just started making simple beats and I was into the pop/electronic genre which wasn’t really everyone’s cup of tea at that time.”
At that point TTV was a solo project. Later, while bouncing around to Carolina Forest, Socastee and Waccamaw high schools — a move that he credits for helping disperse his music throughout the area — Misdom began getting friends involved in the group and throwing live shows.
“At that time we started doing shows at small venues but we didn’t really fit in anywhere because in this area it’s mostly punk, rock and, you know, South Carolina-type music,” said Misdom.
But despite always feeling like a bit of a square peg, Misdom and crew performed at places such as Fresh Brewed Coffeehouse, The Basement and Drink!, building up a small following locally.
Hip-hop begins to pop
After some shakeup which included a 6-month stint without Davidson and eventual departure of members Sam Nichols and Jeff Whitener, the band really came into its own musically.
Influenced by Davidson’s love of hip-hop TTV began adding more rhyming to its songs in crafting “Ice Cream” unveiled what has become the group’s signature sound.
“That’s when we knew we had something fun and we’ve really tried to keep that hip-hop influence. We really like that style,” said Misdom.
According to Misdom, the band’s current style — rap mixed with dance and dubstep beats — is very comparable to other hip-hop acts in the mainstream right now including New Boyz, Mac Miller and Wiz Khalifa. That similarity has helped certain fans come around to a sound that may have been a little ahead of its time.
“Earlier when we were doing just pop, we found it really only appealed to a certain crowd, but now that we’ve added the other elements it’s really gaining a lot of people.” he said.
Hitting the clubs
This change in direction has helped TTV find their path out of local bars and venues.
“Recently we’ve stopped playing places like that,” he said. “You just don’t normally see mainstream music being played in a little bar or tavern with all the redneck people and the little hardcore kids...it’s just kinda hard to do."
Instead the duo has begun to opt for more of a club setting, DJing and performing at warehouse parties and places such as Senor Frog’s, The Afterdeck, Animal House and others.
“When we starting playing at clubs it was a much better setting for us. We’d do warehouse shows and end up with a warehouse full of 900 kids, so that’s been the best thing for us right now,” said Misdom.
But even as TTV has begun to fit into playing more clubs, Misdom still sees the band as not quite fitting in to what he says is a “more old-fashioned” club scene in Myrtle Beach.
“Around here the want to hear Top 40 and a lot more mainstream radio in the clubs so we have to kinda stay within certain guidelines and only play certain songs,” he said. “If it was outside this area people would be more open to hearing the newest stuff.”
And although Misdom admits he doesn’t have enough experience outside of the area, he’s confident the exposure the band is getting in other places will help him find his way off the beach eventually.
“We’ve had people use our songs in Miami and California in clubs and on radio, we even had a guy put us in a small independent movie recently,” he said.
He points out that according to the band’s stats online they’re more popular outside of S.C. than in their home state.
“People like us more in California than they do here … But then again, Taylor Swift goes to her hometown and gets booed and people talk shit, so sometimes hometowns can be the worst for artists,” he says.
But much like Swift, Misdom sees having to deal with haters as a sign that he’s on the right track and as just another side effect of doing something different.
“I’ve always felt like I’m doing something different and I think that’s helped us stand out from everybody and get as popular as we have,” he said.