We talk to Tiësto about what it's like to be a role model, his fans, and even managed to dig up a few obscure facts about the world's greatest DJ.

-By Brian Frederick

When rapper Eminem verbally attacked Moby in the early part of the 2000s and proclaimed that, “It’s over, nobody listens to technooooo,” more than a few people scratched their heads in disbelief. The broadened label of techno was a new movement of music, and at that time had just barely gotten its nails into the listeners’ dirt. Electronic music, or techno as it was once called, was overtaking the world quicker than any dial-up Internet could have imagined. It was a booming genre and has since generated household names more popular than biblical characters.

One of them is Tijs Michiel Verwest, a Dutch-born, international DJ formerly known as Allure, Paradise in Dubs, Steve Forte Rio and Tom Ace, names that didn’t boast the appeal that his current brand is known for. In 2001, Verwest — then known as DJ Tiësto — released his first solo album “In My Memory” to candid success and pounced into the ranks with some of the biggest names in the EDM industry. From there his allure grew boundless and now places him with electronic elite.

He’s even dropped the often overused prefix to his stage name, putting him in with a small crowd of people that only need one arbitrary label to evoke a certain kind of familiarity. The iconic Prince, Madonna, Bono and, now, Tiësto all demand a certain kind of respect.

It’s a build Tiësto enjoys to this day. He continues to rack up accolades on a list far too long to be bothered by reading. In fact, one of those presentations of grandeur was recently awarded to Tiësto this past October in the form of a “Top 100 DJs Legend Award” by the respected and genre-defining outlet DJ Mag. His protégé Hardwell also walked away with prestige as the No. 1 DJ in the world, establishing Tiësto as not only a musical force, but also as a successful role model who’s building future generations of EDM aristocracy.

So leave it up to us — the No. 1 magazine in the world named after a farm animal — to bring you one of the top DJs in the game. Recently, Tiësto allowed us a little back and forth time before his appearance at the Decadence New Years Eve party to ask a few questions about his role as an EDM enterprise.

Are there ever times you want it to end?

Never. This is what I always wanted to do with my life and I’m so incredibly fortunate to make this my career. I’m incredibly passionate about the music, and nothing makes me happier than to see my fans enjoying themselves.

Hardwell was recently named the world’s top DJ, and he’s been known to cite you as an inspiration growing up. How does it feel to be in the shoes of a role model now, helping build the next generation of legends?

It’s a great feeling to know I’ve made such an impression on people, whether they be other artists or fans. That’s exactly why I do this, to share my love for the music with others.

Speaking of legends, you yourself were gifted an award (the Top 100 DJs Legend Award). First of all congratulations, and second, did this kind of recognition ever cross your mind when you first started out?

Thanks. No, I didn’t start doing this with any thought that one day I could be presented such an award. There are so many great and influential DJs out there, so it’s a great honor.

Why do you think electronic music has had such a global impact?

People love to party, and dance music is the soundtrack to the ultimate party without any borders. We’re all one people on the dance floor.

Where do you think the electronic music world will be in 10 or even 20 years?

It’s incredibly difficult to predict. I’d love to say that it will only get bigger.

What are some of the biggest differences you see in your travels between music fans around the globe?

It’s a good question because no two audiences are alike. Even in the same country. People in NYC are different than the people in L.A., for instance. Each region has its own unique flavor, so travelling abroad is very interesting. I feed off the crowd, so what I play in one city is much different than what I may play in another.

You’ll be here in Denver on Dec. 30 helping us ring in a two-day New Year’s Eve celebration. How do New Year’s parties compare to other parties the rest of the year?

People are always in the party mood when they come to see me, but I think NYE is something special. NYE is about celebrating the year but also looking forward to what the future holds. People always expect something special, and as a DJ, there is definitely a different energy in the room on that night!

Other than Hardwell, who are some up and coming DJs/artists we should be paying attention to?

Danny Avila, MOTi and twoloud are some of the guys I think are going to be big.

What can fans of Tiësto’s expect out of you in the future?

My new artist album is coming in 2014 and that will be huge!


Okay, that interview was swell, but we wanted more; so we looked up some obscure facts about our bff Tiësto for your viewing pleasure.

– Tiësto became the first DJ ever to sell out a stadium in 2003, performing in front of 25,000 people in Arnhem’s GelreDome.

– He’s a knight, dubbed so by the Queen of Holland.

– If it weren’t for DJing, Tiësto has said he would probably be a chef, because he loves to cook.

– In 2004, Tiësto became the world’s first DJ ever to perform at the Olympics when he did so in Athens, Greece.

– He is the official ambassador for Dance4Life, an organization that promotes HIV awareness.

– His longest set ever was in Amsterdam during a 1999 performance that lasted 12 hours. Sweet Jesus Christ.