Tiësto has long been on top of the musical world, but he’s feeling even better than usual when we speak as he’s just got married to the love of his life. “It was pure joy and love the whole weekend,” he says. “It was like an incredible dream. There is nothing better than sharing a special weekend with family and close friends.”
The pair met through a mutual friend four-and-a-half years ago and the Dutch superstar reports that his wife is “my perfect match” in that she supports him in all he does and understands the demands of being a world-renowned DJ.
“Neither of us view it as a job. [My wife] loves to travel and party and we get to experience the world and spend lots of time together, so it works really well,” Tiësto tells DJ Mag.
After experimenting with deeper club sounds in recent years, Tiësto says he is now focused on the “groovier, housier side of things and just great songs. I try to stay as wide as possible with the variety in my sets because for me that’s the ultimate freedom for a DJ. That you can play whatever you want and like, and the crowd follows and understands you.”
This year those hardcore followers saw him play on the Lollapalooza tour for the first time in South America earlier in the year, as well as at his residency in Las Vegas. Playing so many different countries and crowds is what keeps Tiësto on his toes, he says, as every gig is completely different.
After so many years in the game, you might wonder what motivates someone who has achieved as much as Tiësto. He says it is his passion for the music, as well as the people he meets along the way and the artists he is always learning from, that keep him inspired. This year alone he has worked with Mabel on ‘God Is A Dancer’, with Swacq on ‘Party Time’, and Rita Ora and Jonas Blue on ‘Ritual.’ “The balance between radio and Spotify tracks and festival banger hits is where I like to be,” he says. After a huge writers camp in London in February, Tiësto says a new album, lots of interesting collabs, and fresh new sounds are promised in the year ahead.
“My sound is always changing slowly,” says the big man. “Especially in Las Vegas — where I play longer club sessions — I can play a lot more variety in my sets. A lot of groovier stuff as well and deep house. At the festivals, when you get to play 60-to-75 minutes, it’s harder to change because you don’t have enough time to build your set. That said, I do like to play these festivals because it’s a different kind of energy and feeling. So for me, it’s all finding the balance between what gigs I play and what music I am gonna drop. I love to ‘wing it’, and that seems to work for me.”
Given his continuing high placing in this year’s poll, it must also be working for his fans.
Do you submit your DJ setlists to the relevant royalties collecting society?
What more can we do to combat the mental health crisis in our scene?
“Continue to give attention to the issue and support those that do so like the Tim Bergling Foundation, which I’ve also personally contributed to.”
Are you personally doing anything to improve the gender balance of line-ups?
“If you’re a good DJ/producer I’ll support you no matter what gender you are. ‘It don’t make a difference in our house’.”
What changes have you made this year to be more environmentally friendly?
“An easy thing that I’ve done and encourage others to do is make their touring rider as ‘green’ as possible. No single-use plastic. No plastic bottles, etc. [I] flew mostly commercial airlines, and try to take electronic cars and Lime through the cities.”
What was your favourite toy when you were a kid?
“My football and my sampler.”
What’s your guilty pleasure?
“I never feel guilty about things I enjoy!”