DJ TySki: You can be having a bad day and music can turn it around
Published 2:42 pm Friday, February 4, 2022
Tyler Greymountain said he fell in love with the world of DJing in the late 1990s. His passion for using turntables and making mixtapes took him to places even he didn’t expect.
Known for years now as DJ TySki, he is the afternoon on-air host for Hot 103.3 KBIU-FM and performs at venues throughout Lake Charles.
Originally from Utah, Greymountain, 42, has been in Southwest Louisiana for 17 years. He is part of the UTE Tribe, based in northeastern Utah. The University of Utah’s mascot, the Runnin’ UTE’s, is named after the tribe.
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Greymountain said he first heard a mixtape by DJ Rectangle in 1997 and was instantly hooked.
“I always thought it was so cool how DJs manipulated music,” he said.
When a friend got a pair of turntables for Christmas, but didn’t know how to use them, Greymountain borrowed them. He began collecting albums, performing at house parties and making mixtapes, a practice that would bring him opportunity down the road.
After graduating from high school, Greymountain left Utah and began traveling to powwows around the country and in Canada, meeting different tribes. He eventually landed in Marksville, La., in the early 2000s to take part in a powwow for the Tunica-Biloxi tribe.
Greymountain said he planned to spend a weekend in Marksville, but after winning first place in a drum contest, stuck around for a few days. During that time, he met Crystal Williams, and the two developed a connection.
“The next thing you know, I moved to (Elton),” he said. “We’ve been together since.”
Greymountain and Williams have two daughters, Shai, 15, and Ty-Leah, 16.
After moving to Elton, he worked with the Coushatta Tribe. Around 2010, he rekindled his passion for being a DJ. During a trip to Utah, he brought his equipment back to Louisiana and began performing at birthday parties and at various area bars. He said he wanted to tap into the radio industry and do mix shows. He began making mixtapes and sending them to radio stations in Southwest Louisiana. The station formerly known as Hot 97.9 KQLK-FM replied and allowed him to do mix shows at 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
When the radio station changed formats to a classic country genre, Greymountain was approached by the program director at Townsquare Media about being an on-air host at 92.1 KISS-FM. He became the station’s weekend on-air host and became the mixer for 107 JAMS, KJMH-FM. When KISS-FM changed to a rock format, Greymountain moved to the weekend on-air personality on 107 JAMS, filling in on weekdays when needed.
In 2018, Greymountain moved over to Cumulus Media, becoming the afternoon on-air host for Hot 103.3, a Top 40 station. He said he’s not doing mix shows at the moment, but hopes to be soon.
Being an on-air personality wasn’t something Greymountain anticipated when he began working in radio.
“All I wanted to do was mix shows,” he said. “The opportunity came about, and someone saw I could be an on-air personality. It feels great. You’re talking to whoever is listening out there. It could be one person or up to one million.”
Greymountain said his family still travels to powwows when time allows. Most powwows are held annually, and there are plenty to visit throughout the circuit, he said. The Coushatta Tribe holds its annual powwow the second weekend in June, while the UTE Tribe holds powwows the weekends of July 4 and Thanksgiving.
“It’s Native Americans representing different tribes and coming together and celebrating life within the circle,” he said. “We’re just sharing the experiences we’ve gone through with traveling, while connecting with old friends and making new ones.”
Greymountain continues to DJ for various clubs, including Blue Martini at Golden Nugget Casino and during the McNeese State University football games and the men’s and women’s basketball games.
Most of Greymountain’s family still lives in Utah. The last time he visited them was during the COVID-19 lockdown in early 2020. His family traveled there in an RV to avoid staying in hotels or using public restrooms.
Greymountain was in Southwest Louisiana during Hurricane Rita’s 2005 landfall. He said his home wasn’t impacted by Hurricane Laura’s 2020 landfall, except for power outages. His family spent Rita’s landfall at Coushatta Casino Resort and rode out Laura at an RV park in Terrell, Texas.
The hospitality of the people sticks out as one of Southwest Louisiana’s greatest qualities, Greymountain said.
“Everybody is just so friendly and open,” he said. “Nobody really shuts you down. That’s what I’ve learned to love about the South and Southwest Louisiana. Everyone is willing to help you out.”
Greymountain said he is amazed at the power music has and how a DJ can control a crowd.
“You could be having a bad day, and music will turn it around,” he said. “Or you can be having a good day, and music will make it even better. It’s just a journey.”