Interview: Tiesto

Tiesto - DJ Hero 2 launch at Aguas de Ibiza: 06/09/10

Photography by Noam Ofir

Dutch DJ Tiësto is remarkably laidback and humble considering he’s just been immortalised in the all-new version of DJ Hero 2, plays weekly to 10 000 people at the world’s biggest club Privilege plus more around the world and has been voted the world’s number one DJ numerous times over. He admits he’s happy to still be around in the music business, and is happy that people see him as a role model through his new role as ambassador for the popular game, for which he unveiled for the very first time at an international press launch – presented by on-island events specialists The Shop – at Aguas De Ibiza earlier this week.

You’ve said it’s every child’s dream to be in a video game, but you’ve made it a reality in DJ Hero 2… does this mean you’re a big kid at heart?
Yes – I’m still a kid! I love to play video games, it’s very addictive. I don’t play that often now, but when I have time, I can play for days. But it’s a whole new generation that plays this game, that’s why I created fresh, new music and exclusive remixes for it, and updated some old songs too, so it’s a really different game.

Does it feel strange seeing yourself on screen, in the game?
The first time was very strange! But they make me look very good – I look better in the game than in real life, like I’ve been in the gym! The technology is insane, how they can totally rebuild the whole clubs. It’s close to the real DJ life!

Your shows here in Ibiza are as much of a concert as a clubbing experience. How involved are you in the production?
I’m basically involved with everything. I decide the visuals, the lighting, I work together with my designers, we have special contortionists, acts and custom-made outfits for the dancers. If you time everything well, the songs sound bigger and better, but my set is still very spontaneous. I know the first track I’m going to play is Century, because it has a nice build up, then the curtain drops after one minute and reveals the show. That’s the only thing that’s guaranteed – if it’s the same every night it just gets boring.

What keeps you inspired to come back to Ibiza each year?
Ibiza’s my playground. I’m here every Monday and every week there is a new crowd, every year there are people coming here for their first time, so I can always play differently. It’s here I develop my sound for the future. Last year I changed my sound, so I don’t play trance anymore, it’s now very eclectic, fresh and people really enjoy it.

Privilege, Ibiza Clubbing, Tiesto

Tiesto at Privilege - Monday nights in Ibiza

We see you on Twitter interacting with other DJs and producers – how important is social networking to you?
You reach so many people, so social networking very important. Because who still reads the paper? Or watches television or listens to the radio? No one! Instead of reading the paper, I read my Twitter. I’m glad I’ve got such a great following. I have almost four million Facebook fans, if I don’t look at Twitter for five minutes I have 300 new replies. I love it, it’s very direct and you learn a lot from what people say.

Do you get to check out the other DJs and club nights here in Ibiza?
Sometimes… the problem in Ibiza is I can never stay in. Last night I was supposed to have a dinner and some red wine, then go to bed, but I went out with Eric Prydz and Sebastian Ingrosso and we went to see Luciano and stayed up until six in the morning, it was amazing! When I have a night off I check out other DJs, like I went to see Deadmau5 and Laidback Luke last Thursday.

Is there anyone new and up and coming that’s caught your eye?
Afrojack from Holland, I think he created his own new sound and a DJ from Sweden called Avicii. Dada life, another Swedish band and a couple more I’m going to sign before I tell you their names!

This interview was published on September 7, 2010

Tiesto - DJ Hero 2 launch at Aguas de Ibiza: 06/09/10

Photography by Noam Ofir