Tiësto is a name that is internationally known across all genres of music. He has arguably been one of the most influential people to enter the electronic dance music scene to date. With a charismatic personality, a genuine love and appreciation for his fans and an energy that can be felt from his DJ booth throughout the entire crowd, it is no wonder that Tiësto has made such an impact.
With a Grammy nomination, numerous MTV awards, a performance at the 2004 Olympics, millions of Facebook and Twitter followers, as well as a globally syndicated radio show called “Club Life”, it would be hard for any music lover not to be aware of Tiësto and the role he has played in the evolution of dance music.
During his College Invasion Tour, Tiësto and his fans in Carson, California impacted history yet again, performing in front of an audience of 26,000 people – making it the largest single headline DJ show in the United States.
During his Club Life World Tour, and in preparation for headlining Bounce Music Festival later this week, I had the opportunity to talk with this dance music legend and hear his thoughts about EDM’s positive growth, along with what new developments are arising in the near future for the global megastar.
Lauren: You’re performing at Bounce Music Festival in Indiana this week, a traveling festival run by college students, which holds similarities to your college invasion tour of 2011. It is amazing that such young talent (whether producers, DJs or behind the scenes crew) is emerging at such a rapid pace. How do you feel about your role in this push for EDM in the younger generations?
Tiësto: “I feel it is really important for someone in my position within the EDM world to encourage and nurture young talent. I was really keen to do this on the College Invasion Tour last year when deciding to bring Porter Robinson along as support. I think it gave him some really great experience on a lot of levels. I spend a lot of time talking to young and emerging producers on Twitter, feeding back thoughts and encouraging them. I only wish I had more time to do it as there is so much great talent out there at the moment.”
Lauren: In the third episode of your “In the Booth” series, you visit your hometown of Breda, Holland and note that you were once a “citizen of Holland”, but are now “a citizen of the world.” Is it strange to return to your hometown and realize how far you’ve come? How would you describe the experience?
Tiësto: “I have been going back home to Breda throughout my career so I haven’t really had that moment. I’m very humble about what I’ve managed to achieve and very grateful for where I’ve got it.”
Lauren: You’ve transcended genres, created history, wooed fans and essentially created your own brand of EDM. What’s next for Tiesto’s “Club Life”?
Tiësto: “Well first up is the release of my Club Life Volume Two Miami compilation. I’m really excited to get it out and think people are going to love it. After that, it’s on to Ibiza for the summer where I’ll be starting my new Club Life residency at Pacha for 2012. I’m also working on my new Sirius channel Club Life Radio, which launched in Miami during MMW. It will be great to see that develop. Outside of that I’m working on some really big plans for the second half of the year, but you’ll have to stay tuned for all that!”
Lauren: You’ve been a highly respected headliner for Ultra Music Festival in Miami for several years now. Was the energy experience of Ultra this year different than years past? In what way?
Tiësto: “The energy was stronger than ever this year – the crowds were unbelievable and you could really feel the sense of anticipation in the air, it really was amazing. EDM has become so popular over the years, and every time I go back to Ultra I’m amazed at how it has pushed onto the next level.”
Lauren: In October, you made history at the Home Depot Center in Carson, as the largest single DJ show in the history of the United States. Swedish House Mafia also sold out Madison Square Garden in minutes. Both are huge milestones for EDM and for your artistic careers. How do you feel about the impact this has made on EDM?
Tiësto: “I think it really helped show to EDM fans and the broader media world that the buzz around dance music is real. Having 26,000 people come to see one DJ play really proves that the scene has a huge following, particularly in the US. Since then coverage of EDM seems to have got more and more mainstream, and it has opened a lot of DJs and promoters’ minds to what might be possible outside of huge festival appearances.”
Lauren: What role do you feel you and your team have played in EDM’s growth spurt?
Tiësto: “There have been a lot of people involved in the growth of EDM’s support in the US, from DJ/producers like David Guetta, Deadmau5 and Skrillex, to major festival organisers and pop artists of EDM integrating elements of dance music into their music. It is very hard to gauge what impact any one person has played in this growth, but it is great to see the scene being so successful and really broadening out.”
Lauren: The highly anticipated release of your new mix album- CLUB LIFE Volume Two Miami comes out April 24th. You’ve stated that Miami was your inspiration for the album, as well as one of your favorite cities in the world. Would you say Miami is your “home away from home”?
Tiësto: “Miami is a really special place for me, particularly in the US. It was one of the first places in the country to really embrace dance music and I’ve been going there for many many years. I play there regularly and always look forward to being back there. What’s not to love? It has everything from great clubs like LIV, to awesome restaurants. The people are always there to party!”
Lauren: What are your thoughts on the evolution of Las Vegas and the suggestion that it is becoming ‘the newest Ibiza’?
Tiësto: “It has changed beyond recognition in the last few years. Before, acts like Celine Dion were the big draw for casinos. Now the premier attraction at almost every casino/ hotel is the club and there are global superstar DJs playing every single weekend. It has gone through a staggering change and is quickly becoming the dance capital of the US. In terms of being compared to Ibiza, despite the volume of DJs there, they are very different places and I look forward to visiting them each for different reasons.”
Catch Tiësto live on his Club Life World Tour with various dates including next Thursday, April 19th headlining Bounce Music Festival in Bloomington, Indiana alongside Alesso, Tim Mason and Topher Jones. Learn more about Tiësto and his newest Club Life mix CD Volume Two Miami at www.tiesto.com , www.facebook.com/tiesto , www.twitter.com/tiesto or www.clublifemiami.com.
For the latest electronic dance music interviews or news, check out Lauren Salm on Twitter at www.twitter.com/laurensalm