Icona Pop
I Love It (Tiësto's Club Life Remix)

In this day and age we’re constantly barraged with new musicians. Every digital corner we turn, tucked into every crevice of the internet, we find producer after producer who are doing impressive work. With that being said, there are few names that truly embody what EDM is and how it has came to be over the past decade. One of those names, a name that is a mainstay in both the EDM community and the pop community, is none other than Tiësto.

Dutch producer Tijs Michiel Verwest has been in the game longer than most, and has experienced far more success than most. Even beyond his accomplishments in the world of electronica, Tiësto has crossed over into the eyes and ears of the mainstream. His music engages both the nightlife crowd as well as your casual listener. With a list of accolades longer than have the patience to read, we’ll get right into our quick Q and A session with one of the biggest names in music.

TMN: First and foremost, it’s an honor to have a chance to ask you a couple of questions. We’ve been longtime fans, and we really appreciate a moment of your time. With that being said, let’s get down to business!

Let’s talk about your childhood. Your moniker is actually a variation of a childhood nickname, correct?

Tiësto: That’s correct, it’s a nickname based on my real name, which is Tijs.

TMN: What was your upbringing like in regards to music? Were you classically trained on piano? How many different instruments have you learned how to play throughout the years?

Tiësto: I do not play any instruments. What I do is create a melody on the keyboard and then fine tune it with computer software programs to make it perfect.

TMN: What about the early days as a DJ – what was The Spock like? What were your sets like way back then?

Tiësto: It was both amazing and terrifying. Of course I love music and so wanted a stage to spread the music I care about to other people. Still, just starting out and playing in front of a crowd those first times was nerve racking – especially in front of my home crowd!

TMN: What do you feel was the biggest influencing factor in your success from back in the mid to late 90’s?

Tiësto: Well it was really good timing. Trance and dance music was huge then plus I had a string of big releases. My remix of “Silence” by Delerium really brought me to international audiences and my album “Just Be” was enormous. Momentum kept building and building.

TMN: With so many chart topping tracks, it’s a little difficult to narrow down a few to talk about. However, we would like to know what some of your personal favorites are.

Tiësto: “Take Me” – because it sounds like the old Tiësto melodic sound but also is a more current new sound, similar to the records I am producing today.

TMN: Through a lot of these tracks you’ve worked with the biggest names in the biz. Who was the most fun to collaborate with? Who’s out there that you’d still love to work with, but haven’t had the chance just yet?

Tiësto: It was really great to work with Bono in the studio. He walked in and took the mic and just started singing right away and it clicked. It was amazing to hear that his voice sounds the exact way in the studio as it does on all his famous U2 albums.

I don’t really care who I work with. I like to work with someone who can add something to the song I can’t. I don’t care if they are famous or not I just like to work with someone who can really bring that extra flavor and impact that will inspire me.

TMN: At your level of stardom, we’re sure you’ve had plenty of moments in your career that just blew you away. Name the three moments that made you say, “holy shit!”

Tiësto: Playing my first ever gig was one of those moments because I was finally doing what I wanted to do and this was my first stage. I’d also say playing at the opening ceremonies of the 2004 summer Olympics falls into that category. Lastly, I’d say playing the sold out Home Depot Center in Southern California fits the bill. It’s the largest single DJ gig in US history and it was unreal.

TMN: Elaborate on what it meant to you to perform at the opening ceremonies at the 2004 Olympics. That level of visibility is beyond any club or venue in the world. What was that like?

Tiësto: It really puts everything into perspective. This was a global stage and going back through time the Olympics are a part of history. So to play as all the athletes walked in was surreal. Unlike anything else.

TMN: You’ve been at the forefront of the EDM community as far as sponsorships and partnerships go with brands. In your eyes, has it been strange to see EDM artist sponsorship become more mainstream?

Tiësto: No it’s not strange at all to me. If you think about it, the dance demographic is quite young and marketers like to work in this age bracket. With dance music now so popular it makes perfect sense that brands would try and enter the dance space to appeal to fans.

TMN: You have “CLUB LIFE – Volume Three Stockholm” coming out on June 18th, and you recently just released your remix of Icona Pop’s “I love it”, which can be found in that mix. Talk to us about what people can expect from this particular mix.

Tiësto: I like to think of this more as a mix album. While it’s all mixed together, the tracks here all have value. I was careful to make this with nearly all new and exclusive material. The spirit of this lies in Stockholm, one of my favorite cities and the theme of the album.

TMN: With the explosion of EDM producers over the past few years do you feel that selling a mix has been devalued? It seems like it’s something that DJ/Producers put a lot of time into these mixes, but often give it away for free. Should this trend start to move back to the way it used to be?

Tiësto: It’s an interesting question and one that I thought about when approaching “Club Life – Volume 3 Stockholm.” For this reason I wanted to make it 90% original material – productions, collaborations and remixes. I felt that for the mix to be essential it needs essential music that you can’t find anywhere else.

TMN: As one of the leaders of the EDM community, what are your thoughts on negativity between artists? Do you feel that feuds (such as Diplo vs. BL3ND) are bad for the community as a whole?

Tiësto: I’ve never been one to think much about feuds and negativity. Not much good comes of that. I think we are at a stage that with social media we always have a stage and a microphone. Sometimes we just need to press the mute button or step away from the mic.

TMN: We have to ask…the famous Tiesto pose. How did it come about?

Tiësto: It’s just something I do automatically when I play for a big crowd. I get so much energy from them my hands automatically go up in the air.

TMN: Alright, we know you’re a busy guy so we’ll try to close this thing out. However, our fans would love to know a little more about you on a personal level. So, we’re going to fire off a few quirky questions. Write out the first thing that comes to mind.

TMN: What’s your favorite food to eat when you’re touring in the states?

Tiësto: I really enjoy fruit and fish. Every morning I eat fruit with breakfast and soup with dinner.

TMN: If you were on death row, what would your last meal be?

Tiësto: A huge buffett with a variety of everything. Some meat, fish, cheeses, french fries w mayo, pepperoni pizza and a huge warm chocolate cake with melted chocolate inside.

TMN: Who’s your favorite James Bond?

Tiësto: Roger Moore

TMN: If you were on a deserted island, and only had one artists/bands’ musical catalog to listen to, who would it be?

Tiësto: Sigur Ros

TMN: Who’s one artist you’d be embarrassed to admit that you listen to?

Tiësto: It’s so embarrassing I can’t tell you.

TMN: This one is really off the wall, but we always love hearing the responses. If your music were an animal, what would it be?

Tiësto: A cheetah

TMN: Alright, we’ll let you off the hook now. Thank you so much for your time.

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