10 Questions with ... TIESTO
July 14, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
1) I read somewhere that Tiesto came from a childhood nickname, can you tell us how it started?
It did. My real name is Tijs [Michiel Verwest]. My friends call me Tij. I decided I wanted it to sound Italian, and so I made it up myself. Tiesto stuck!
2) When did it all start for you ... did you start as a club DJ?
For me, it started in 1988. That was the first time I heard Dance music and I fell in love with it right away. I began DJing in many clubs.
3) Fast forward to 1997; it was you and Arny Bink that started Black Hole Recordings. What made you want to do a record label?
Basically, because no one else wanted to release my music. I went to a lot of labels and they were like, "Nah, we don't like this kind of music. And then I talked to Arny, my partner in crime back then, and said we should start our own label, and he was up for it. That's how we started pressing vinyl.
4) Years later, you go from having Black Hole to starting Musical Freedom; where the name Musical Freedom come from?
Before I started Musical Freedom, I was fairly known for being a trance DJ, as I would only release Trance music. I wanted to expand my horizons outside of Dance music, so I wanted to play and release whatever I want. That's why I started the label called Musical Freedom. It's a label with no boundaries. You can release anything on there. That's what I've been doing since then. Tracks no one else wanted to release, crazy tracks, weird tracks. That's why it's called Musical Freedom.
5) Do you look for the same thing when you're going to play a song out at a club or festival, or you're looking to sign something, two different things in play or do you look for the same?
I looked for the same I like to have a track that I can play myself as well. Sometimes it's a little harder in general. I play every track that I release on my label in my sets.
6) Back in 2002, you went out on tour with Moby, David Bowie & Busta Rhymes. How was that experience?
Yea, The Area2 tour. That was ahead of its time! We had a Dance area with John Digweed, Carl Cox, and me. The other area was David Bowie, Moby. It was a great. It was a tour around the U.S. We went to all the parking lots in the big stadiums and amphitheaters, and yeah, it was really ahead of its time. If I look back at it now, I think if we did a tour like that now, it would be very successful!
7) Earlier this year, you were honored with the Grammy(r) for Best Remix of John Legends' "All Of Me." What went through your mind when they announced your name?
When they announced my name, I was just in the zone and walked up to the stage and I hadn't really realized what had happened. When I got nominated, it was a really euphoric feeling; it was like, wow! I'm nominated! And then, after I won the Grammy and I went offstage there, I said yeah, this is amazing! Especially for that remix coz it's so special. I made it for my birthday. And then John Legend loved it, that's how it got released, then winning the Grammy for it, it's like a dream come true!
8) Your current single with KSHMR featuring Vassy, "Secrets," is Top 10 at Dance Radio. Earlier this year, you had a very successful song at Top 40 Radio, "Wasted," featuring Matthew Koma, which is a little different for you.
It's very different for me but I've always loved indie rock & pop music. I never had an opportunity to make a track like that. I met Matthew Koma; we were singing in the studio and we came up with the track. Decided to just release it the way it is. We were thinking about making it more like a 128 BPM. I said, no let's keep it the way it is and do something different.
9) You also have a partnership with 7Up, which is great! I remember being in Miami during Miami Music Week with you and Martin Garrix when they debuted the commercial. What was the idea behind that?
With endorsements and sponsorships, I like to work with people who are really into working with me, and if it's a cool brand. 7Up is a really cool brand! As a kid, I always loved 7Up, so when they gave me the opportunity to work with them, it was a no-brainer. Such a cool brand to work with.
10) You have a channel on SiriusXM 'Tiesto's Club Life Radio.' What goes into the programming of the channel?
Basically, everything I love! So it's like all the DJs I like; on the weekends we have After Hours where we play a lot of Deep House music, and I can throw in all the Dance music I love in there.