"I just played a house party the other day back at home, just my friends and I,” says Dara Hayes, aka DJ Tigerlily. “I played everything from deep house to trap to hip-hop to big room ... I really like to mix it up. At a club, one of the tricky things to playing a set is that you might have to keep it a little more one way or another, and that’s the beauty of just mixing for yourself. You can do whatever.”
A native of Sydney, Australia, who has been playing Las Vegas clubs for about a year, Tigerlily probably won’t have a lot of extra time for those house parties, starting now. After spending recent months warming up crowds opening for Tiësto, she’ll play her first Hakkasan headlining set on Valentine’s Day. “I’m a bit nervous but really looking forward to it,” she says.
If you got addicted to Tigerlily’s big-room sound via last year’s smash “Paradise,” you know she’s ready for a bigger stage. And those house-party mixing sessions should serve her well—she’ll be ready to switch up styles and read the crowd. “Vegas is definitely one of the party meccas of the world, and it doesn’t matter what night you go,” she says. “It creates a very special vibe, but it does mean you need to change your music a bit to fit the style of the audience.”
Tigerlily has been writing and working in the studio and plans to unleash a new single in the coming weeks and an EP in a couple months. Her sound is moving a little more down-tempo, but she’ll always work her full range. “A lot of it is quite vertical, and I come from a very pop-heavy background so it’s quite natural for me to have that vocal-heavy, progressive element.” Tigerlily at Hakkasan at MGM Grand, February 14.