An Interview with Tiesto: The New King

Dutch artist Tiesto has picked up quite the number of titles along the path of his long career, even earning the title of Forbes’ “World’s Highest Paid DJ” last year. It almost seems fitting that he’ll be taking up a new profession for one night only in the city of Las Vegas, where he kicked off a 20-month residency at the beginning of the summer. The last decade he has spent entertaining audiences in Ibiza, Spain, considered to be the dance capital of the world, but now it’s time to for a change of scenery and a chance to impact the EDM scene even more here in the U.S.

He had made his mark stateside playing the largest DJ show in U.S. history on his Club Life College Invasion tour in 2011 at the Home Depot Center in California. Now for this year, he released Club Life Vol. 3 – Stockholm and has given the word that a follow-up to his 2009 release Kaleidoscope was in the works. Embodying one of his favorite cities for his recent Club Life, fans got a listen to original material along with recent hits such as Zedd’s “Clarity.”

With festival dates scattered throughout his residency, next up is New York City’s own Electric Zoo, which will celebrate its fifth anniversary. He’ll be returning for another year to play one of the two main stages on Saturday’s date alongside other big names in the dance world such as David Guetta, Sander Van Doorn and Bingo Players. Tiesto talks surprises in store for the Electric Zoo crowd, hopefully including new material on top of that from his new release.

With a schedule that involves jet setting from one lavish location to the next, Tiesto took some time to answer a few questions about everything that’s been going on in his life and career. He seems to have settled right into his new home in Vegas, which goes back to his new role of marriage officiant. While this city is the place for those wanting to be married by Elvis impersonators, Tiesto has offered one lucky couple the chance to have the DJ himself officiate their union at a rave this month. However, he probably won’t take this occupation on the road, leaving this hat in Vegas.

Where are you today? Are you taking time to relax or working on anything?

I’m in Las Vegas preparing for my shows at Hakkasan and Wet Republic this weekend.

Congratulations on the recent release of Club Life Vol. 3 – Stockholm. I keep seeing posters for the album around New York City. Does it still feel a bit surreal running into yourself on ads or billboards around any of the cities you visit?

Yes, it’s pretty surreal. But in Las Vegas, it’s not just me. Dance music is so big now and a featured attraction that so many DJs now have their faces plastered on billboards. Just working in this business for so long and finally seeing things get so big is really the amazing part to me.

What is it about Stockholm that inspired the album?

I spend lots of time there so it was natural for me to want to create an album inspired by the city. It’s an amazing place with great culture and beautiful people.

What is your favorite part about this city?

People really appreciate culture, from food and art to fashion. So it’s a place where I can work on my own material and always feel inspired.

Is there one specific moment on this album that would define the vibe and soul of Stockholm?

I think “Take Me” is a great example. It’s beautiful, flowing and sophisticated.

A few songs are mixed in along with your original material. How did you choose these songs or did you have other artists asking to have you mix their songs?

I always get sent so much music, so in addition to my own originals and remixes, I went through some tracks that I felt fit the overall vide of the album and decided to include them.

You have a pretty amazing and intense tour schedule. Do you find it easier to work on music while on the road or in the studio?

I don’t think it’s easier, it’s just different. There are times when you can work really well on the road and other times you need to be in the studio. It’s a case-by-case basis.

How has your residency at Hakkasan in Las Vegas been?

It’s been amazing. I really couldn’t ask for anything else. It’s a world-class club and it’s a real home for me.

How does it compare to Ibiza?

Well, physically, Las Vegas is landlocked, so you don’t have that tropical island vibe. However, much like Ibiza, Las Vegas is a destination that people come to where at any time there’s a ton of some of the best DJs in the world. It’s comparable in the amount of DJs and clubs but both have their own distinct characteristics.

We can’t wait to have you for Electric Zoo. Are you excited to be back for another year?

Oh, of course! NYC is one of my favorite places in the world to play and I always look forward to playing in front of the massive Electric Zoo crowd.

What can fans expect from this year’s set?

Some new material I’ve been working on, tracks from my Musical Freedom label and a lot of surprises.

Are there any other DJs you’ll be looking forward to seeing or will you not have time?

It’s very rare that I ever have a chance to check out any other DJs at festivals but many of my DJ friends will be playing.

What’s your view and opinion on the New York City EDM scene?

It’s great. There are tons of options throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. There’s something for everyone as it typically is in New York City!

Could NYC ever be at the level of Ibiza or Las Vegas?

I think that NYC, Ibiza and Vegas are great for their own reasons. It’s not really possible to compare them.

Will fans see the follow-up to Kaleidoscope in the near future?

Yep, I’m working on it now!

Can you talk about anything new you might be incorporating to upcoming music?

I like to always push things forwards and experiment musically so you may find a lot of surprises with what’s in store.

And you’ll be officiating a wedding ceremony soon. Did you ever think you would be doing something like this?

(Laughs) Well, I guess that’s part of me playing such a big role in the Vegas nightlife scene. Elvis Weddings have always been popular, so I thought it would be good fun to keep the tradition alive

Will you create a special track just for the occasion?

Nah, I’ll stay away from creating marriage dance music tracks!


Tiesto will play the Electric Zoo festival at Randall’s Island on Aug. 31. For more information, go to