×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Dutch DJ Tiesto Traffics in Hits on ‘Paradise’

A consistent presence near the top of Forbes’ rankings of the most fiscally successful DJs, and a tireless performer at fests and residencies, Dutch veteran Tiesto released “A Town Called Paradise” this summer, his first proper album since 2009’s “Kaleidoscope.”

On the importance of albums: An artist album five or 10 years ago had a lot more impact than nowadays. Nowadays I feel most people just do one-off singles all the time. No one really seems to be making real albums anymore, and people don’t take the time to listen to them either. That’s hard to fight against, when you have people who are surrounded with music all the time now. I just try to make the album as interesting as possible, to make every song the best song I can. When I think of this album, there’s 14 hits on there. It’s not a journey like the old albums used to be, it’s more like every song can be, or should be a hit.

On audience expectations: Some people are surprised when I don’t play “Adagio for Strings” in my set, and some other people are surprised when I do, like, “what the hell is this hard, fast techno sound” that they had no idea I did. That song is 11 years old; if you’re 20 years old and going to a festival now, you’ve probably never heard it. It’s a tricky one. I think that’s the beauty of being in that position as a DJ. I change my style, change my sound, and if I play things nowadays, it has the same surprise reaction as 10 years ago when I first made it. It’s a great position to be in.

It all depends on what kind of gig it is. When I play Las Vegas, people just want to party, they just want to hear great happy music. And I’m fine with that, of course. And then a lot of festivals like Outside Lands … it’s a very indie-based audience, and I feel like there I can go a lot deeper and play some really weird stuff. But I’m not sure where I can go super deep anymore, because people expect Tiesto to play the sound of Tiesto. So even when I play a deep festival — a deep house festival in Germany or something — people still want me to play my own style. So you’re kind of stuck in that world.

On mentorship: I’ve worked with a lot of people over the past few years; the biggest would be Avicii, who used to open for me in Ibiza. The problem with a lot of the other guys is that they have their own agenda. A lot of DJs are not in the situation I’m in. For me, it doesn’t really matter if someone (I mentor) gets big or not. But there are a lot of DJs out there that want themselves to be the biggest, and the younger guy has to be the warm-up act and that’s it. That’s what I see sometimes, and that’s the problem with DJs fighting other DJs. I don’t really have any ego in that sort of way, so I just like to help these guys and if I might see one of them turn even bigger than me, I wouldn’t really care about that, I would only be proud.

More Music

  • Game of Thrones Composer Ramin Djawadi

    'Game of Thrones' Composer Ramin Djawadi: 'I'm Still in Denial'

    Since the first season, Ramin Djawadi has composed the music for “Game of Thrones” and created the epic tunes, including the iconic theme song, heard over the series’ most memorable moments. With the series finished, he talked with Zane Lowe on Apple Music’s Beats 1 about his experience on the show and an upcoming 20-city [...]

  • Howard Stern acknowledges the audience at

    Is Radio's Shock Jock Era Over?

    Once a pillar of radio broadcasts, terrestrial and otherwise, the popularity of shock jocks, like Howard Stern, Opie and Anthony and Bubba the Love Sponge, has withered in recent years. With Stern expressing remorse over his previous airwave antics during the promotion of his just-released book, “Howard Stern Comes Again,” trade site Radio Ink offered [...]

  • TUPAC SHAKUR black panther collection

    ‘Defiant Ones’ Director to Helm Docuseries on Tupac, Who Assaulted Him in 1993

    Director Allen Hughes, who helmed the award-winning HBO documentary “The Defiant Ones,” has closed a deal with Tupac Shakur’s estate for a five-part docuseries for which he will have full access to all of the late rapper’s released and unreleased recordings, writings and poetry, according to an announcement from his rep. The announcement says the [...]

  • Carpool Karaoke with Celine Dion on

    James Corden Gets Celine Dion to Sing 'Baby Shark,' Sail the Vegas Seas (Watch)

    Anyone who has seen Celine Dion’s long-running Las Vegas show knows she plays the comedienne almost as much as chanteuse, with a goofball quality that came in especially handy on a Monday night edition of James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke.” The 15-minute segment ended with Dion and Corden trading carpooling for ship-pooling and sailing around Las [...]

  • Louis Tomlinson House

    Louis Tomlinson Lists at a Loss in Los Angeles (EXCLUSIVE)

    Former One Direction-er Louis Tomlinson, now a judge on Britain’s “The X Factor,” the very same televised talent show from which he was launched into international teenaged superstardom in 2010, has put his home in a famously celeb-favored neighborhood in the foothills above Hollywood, Calif., up for sale at $6.995 million, a notable amount less [...]

  • Berry Gordy

    Motown, T.I. to Be Honored at ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Awards

    Motown Records and veteran rapper T.I. will be honored at ASCAP’s 32nd annual Rhythm & Soul Music Awards, the company has announced. The awards take place on Thursday, June 20 in Los Angeles. Motown, which was founded by Berry Gordy and is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, will receive the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul [...]

  • Nashville Producer Michael Knox Spotlights Songwriters

    Michael Knox, Producer for Jason Aldean, Spotlights Music Row's Writers in New Podcast

    Nashville producer and publisher Michael Knox, the man behind the Jason Aldean throne, has started a biweekly “Knox Country Podcast” with a focus on having the songwriters of Music Row tell the stories behind their hits. Shalacy Griffin acts as co-host for the podcast, the outgrowth of a syndicated radio show, “Knox Country 360,” they [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content