Tijs Michiel Verwest, (born 17 January 1969), known as Tiësto, is a Dutch musician, DJ and record producer of electronic dance music. Although he has used many aliases in the past, he is best known for his work as DJ Tiësto. On his latest productions, however, he has dropped the "DJ" label and is now known simply as "Tiësto", an artist name which is a twist of his childhood nickname. In 1997, he founded the label Black Hole Recordings with Arny Bink, where he released the Magik and In Search of Sunrise CD series. Tiësto met producer Dennis Waakop Reijers in 1998, and the two have worked together extensively since then. Reijers is credited as producer, writer, composer, or arranger on many of Tiësto's releases. In 1999 and 2000 Tiësto collaborated with Ferry Corsten to create Gouryella. His 2000 remix of Delerium's "Silence" featuring Sarah McLachlan exposed him to more mainstream audiences. In 2001, he released his first solo album In My Memory which gave him several major hits that launched his career. He ranked in the #1 poll position 3 consecutive times in the DJ Magazine Top 100 Popularity Poll from 2002 to 2004.
Just after releasing his second studio album Just Be in 2004 at the Summer Olympics, he performed live at the opening ceremony in Athens, Greece, becoming the first DJ to play live on stage at an Olympics. Tracks he made especially for the Olympics were mixed together and released as the mix compilation Parade of the Athletes later that year. In April 2007 Tiësto launched both his radio show Tiësto's Club Life on Radio 538 in the Netherlands and released his third studio album Elements of Life. The album reached number one on the Dutch album chart as well on "Billboard Top Electronic Albums" in the U.S. and received a nomination for a Grammy Award in 2008. Tiësto released his fourth studio album Kaleidoscope in October 2009.
Early life and career
Tijs Michiel Verwest was born in Mexico City, Mexico on January 17, 1969. It was at The Spock, a small club in Breda, where he was able to fine-tune his own style by playing in a separate room from 10 p.m. until 4 a.m. on weekends. In the beginning of his career, as a DJ he played mostly New Beat and House music.
In 1994, he began releasing material on Noculan Records' sub-labels Chemo and Coolman. During these years, he produced hardcore/gabber tracks under aliases such as Da Joker and DJ Limited. He was later discovered by the general manager of Rotterdam-based Basic Beat Recordings. In late 1994, he signed to Basic Beat where he met Arny Bink, Tiësto released records on the sub-label Trashcan, founded by Arny, and later created the Guardian Angel sub-label with Arny in which they introduced the popular Forbidden Paradise series. Meanwhile from 1995 to 1996 he released four extended plays on Bonzai Jumps and XTC, sub-labels of Lightning Records. In 1997, Tiësto joined his friend Yves Vandichel on his sub-label, DJ Yves, a division of the now defunct Human Resource label XSV Music. In the fall of 1997, both Arny and Tiësto decided to leave Basic Beat and create their own parent label, now known as Black Hole Recordings, Trashcan was discontinued and Guardian Angel continued releasing music until 2002. Through Black Hole, Tiësto released the Magik series and also created two major sub-labels in 1998; In Trance We Trust and SongBird.
From 1998 to 1999, Tiësto released music on Planetary Consciousness where he met A&R Hardy Heller and invited him to release some records on Black Hole. Tiësto later included the In Search of Sunrise series on SongBird. In 1999, Tiësto joined forces with fellow Dutch deejay Ferry Corsten to create the trance based duo of Gouryella. He also collaborated with Benno de Goeij from 1998 to 2000 under the name Kamaya Painters. Since November 1999, he performed monthly as a resident at Gatecrasher in Sheffield, one of the most popular clubs in England. In 1999 he also played in a 12-hour set, being his longest lasting concert in Amsterdam.
Late in 2000, Tiësto decided to concentrate on his personal work and left Corsten by himself to write and produce Gouryella's next single with John Ewbank, the record company was demanding more tracks and neither Tiësto or Ferry could work together at the time. Tiësto introduced Armin van Buuren, Johan Gielen and Ferry Corsten to the mainstream with his first compilations and the In Trance We Trust series. Summerbreeze became Tiësto's debut DJ mix album in the US with the help of a contract signed to Nettwerk. Summerbreeze featured his remix of Delerium's "Silence", which spent four weeks in the UK's Top Ten chart and reached number three in the Billboard dance chart. In Search of Sunrise 2 was released in 2000. Tiësto decided to create a sub-label, known as Magik Muzik. The label began releasing Tiësto's own releases, but it has also released tracks for the Filterheadz, Oliver Lieb, Mark Norman, Mojado, Phynn and JES. The label became a trademark that stands for high quality electronic dance music which was due to the release of Tiësto's classic dance anthem "Flight 643" in 2001.
In My Memory (2001–2004)
Tiësto's popularity started to rise in the early 2000s after his set at the first ID&T Innercity party (Live at Innercity: Amsterdam RAI), and the release of In My Memory, his first solo album released in 2001 which contained 10 singles and 5 major hits; The singles from the album were: "Lethal Industry" which was actually produced in 1999 and had only 3 copies released at that time, the track was officially released in 2001 which was remixed by Richard Durand in 2006 along with "Flight 643" which was another leading single that was later adapted with vocals by Suzanne Palmer and released as "643 (Love's on Fire)". Other tracks were "Obsession" in which Tiësto worked alongside Junkie XL, the instrumental tracks "Dallas 4PM" and "Suburban Train" with "Urban Train" as its B-Side which contained some vocals. The last singles to be released were "In My Memory" which is the title track for the album as it only received high ratings in the United States and the opening track "Magik Journey" which opened Tiësto in Concert (2003). On February 2, 2002 Tiësto played nine consecutive hours during the second edition of the Dutch Dimension festival. On February 27 he was awarded a Zilveren ('Silver') Harp music award. The same year he also received a Lucky Strike Dance Award in the category Best DJ Trance/Progressive. In August he became part of Moby's Area2 Tour. For eighteen days he travelled through the United States with artists such as Moby himself, but also David Bowie and Busta Rhymes. In January 2003, Tiësto received the annual Dutch Popprijs ('Pop Award') during the Noorderslag festival. After touring with Moby, Tiësto remixed two songs from him, "We Are All Made of Stars" and "Extreme Ways" in the same year, having "We Are All Made of Stars" reach number 13 in the Hot Dance Club Play. In 2002 he released his first In Search of Sunrise mix to feature a place on its name, In Search of Sunrise 3: Panama. On March 28, 2003; Tiësto, Dieselboy, Bad Boy Bill, and Noel Sanger joined the PlayStation2 Dual Play tour. Tiësto and Noel's appearance began on April 13 and ended on June 6.
His fame continued to increase for then known he has in the early 2000s, following his six-hour "Tiësto Solo" sets which he performed without other DJs or opening acts. This idea, of one DJ playing alone to a large crowd was new. Tiësto was the first DJ to hold a solo concert in a stadium; on May 10, 2003, he performed for 25,000 people in Arnhem's GelreDome. This concert was later called Tiësto in Concert. He repeated the same type of concert the following year during two consecutive nights in late October. In addition to holding these two concerts for 35,000 of his fans, he held another concert for a crowd of 20,000 in Hasselt, Belgium the following week. DVDs of both his May 10, 2003 and October 30, 2004 concerts have been released, having the other DVD titled Tiësto in Concert 2. The DVD's show the journey from the first idea to the main event, it features live performances by Andain, Dinand Woesthoff, and Jan Johnston. The event includes live music and dancers performing at different times throughout the set. The theme of the event is a mystical, musical journey around the world based on the theme of Magik. It consists of 200+ minutes of performances with a second disc with special features, It includes a behind-the-scenes looking at The Making Of the event, the music video for his song "Traffic" and TV Commercials for the event. The second DVD has performances from Aqualung and violin player DJ Mason, Micha Klein and the Bulgarian Children of Orpheus choir. During this period, he attained the #1 poll position in the DJ Magazine (UK) Top 100 popularity poll in 2002, 2003, and 2004.
Just Be (2004–2007)
In 2004, he released his second artist album Just Be, which featured his first single "Traffic" which is the first non-vocal track to reach number one spot in the Dutch national charts for 23 years. The track "Sweet Misery" was originally written for Evanescence but it did not meet the deadline for the release of their album. In support to his Just Be album, he played at Breda, Eindhoven, Utrecht, and Amsterdam; these stops were later named Just Be: Train Tour. On May 20, 2004 he was appointed Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.
The Olympic Flame at the 2004 Summer Olympics opening ceremony
The Athens Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (ATHOC) asked Tiësto to perform at the Olympic Games, making him the first DJ to play live on stage at an Olympic Games at the 2004 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in Athens, where he played for 90 minutes. Tiësto flew to Athens in January 2004 to have a meeting with the ATHOC. His Tiësto in Concert DVD caught their attention, after which he was asked to write more tracks based on his opening tune "Adagio for Strings" which could fit in with the Olympic spirit and combine the classical with the modern age. The first rehearsal was on Saturday August, 7, for an empty stadium; the second rehearsal was on Sunday August 8 with 35,000 volunteers. The last rehearsal included almost 60,000 people in the stadium which was on Tuesday August 10, and there were some technical problems.
During the course of his performance at the Olympics, the Dutch athletes started dancing in front of the DJ booth and had to be moved on by officials. The performance included new tracks produced especially for the Opening Ceremony and songs that were created to complement the spirit and theme of the ceremony. A condensed studio-recorded album of the songs played on the Olympic set was later released, including new songs specially composed for the occasion, entitled Parade of the Athletes in October 2004. In the liner notes, he noted the IOC requested that the music not contain any lyrics as they could be inadvertently misinterpreted.
In late 2004, he began his touring across Latin America, with his release of In Search of Sunrise 3: Panama in which he gained influence from the sun and sand in summer 2002. The tour continued in 2005, and Tiësto performed live at Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Panama, Peru, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Paraguay, Ecuador, Venezuela and Colombia. Following the tours, In Search of Sunrise 4: Latin America was released in 2005, featuring a second CD for the first time in the In Search of Sunrise series.
In 2005, his Perfect Remixes Vol. 3 compilation was released through Warlock Records, containing ten tracks which were created during the beginning of his career, between those is Junkie XL, Mauro Picotto and The Roc Project. On August 20, 2005, Verwest took Tiësto in Concert to the US when he played to 16,000 at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena with Cirque du Soleil dancers. For the second year in a row he performed live at a New Year's Eve/New Year's concert in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Orleans Arena to a sell-out crowd. His four-city US tour was postponed due to the hurricane damage in New Orleans and Miami. BPM magazine has an annual poll in the US which is unveiled in the WMC, in 2005 Tiësto took the No. 1 spot. The influences of Los Angeles remained with him and would later influence his In Search of Sunrise compilation.
Elements of Life (2007–2009)
Tiësto performing on his Elements of Life World Tour in Amsterdam on March 16, 2007
On April 16, 2007, Tiësto released his third studio album Elements of Life, the album moved 73,000 units in its April release, according to Nielsen SoundScan. During the production of the album Tiësto in several cases sent a demo with the music to certain artists, and they replied back with the lyrics and vocals and other duration times. In the case of Christian Burns from BBMak, Tiësto met him through MySpace and got in contact with him and the production of the single "In the Dark". The album consists of rock, trance and experimental music, which shows the style Tiësto has grown throughout the years since his previous albums which contained lyrics, In My Memory and Just Be. Producer Brian Transeau collaborated with Tiësto in three tracks, he composed "Bright Morningstar" and "Sweet Things", he also performed the vocals in the single "Break My Fall". Together, they produced more tracks which were not released in the album, Tiësto has mentioned they would work again during the coming summer. In December 2007 it was announced that the album was nominated for a Grammy Award, in the category "Best Electronic/Dance Album." The album also received gold certifications in Belgium, Hungary, Netherlands, and Romania. A special release party was held at the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam on November 3, 2007 for In Search of Sunrise 6: Ibiza.
In support of the album, he embarked on his Elements of Life World Tour which had shows across the world. Tiësto's performance at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen, Denmark on November 10, 2007 was also sold out. The Copenhagen: Elements of Life World Tour DVD was released in a party which was held on February 29, 2008 in London at the IndigO2 club.
Tiësto announced his residence at Privilege. He played in Ibiza every Monday, from July 7 until September 22. The gigs consisted of sets in the style of his In Search of Sunrise series. In 2007, he had released In Search of Sunrise 6: Ibiza which was inspired by the island.
Tiësto at the O2 Arena in London on August 8, 2008
On April 28, Tiësto released Elements of Life: Remixed, a recompilation of the Elements of Life album with all songs being replaced by remixed versions. In mid-2008, Tiësto announced his In Search of Sunrise: Summer Tour 2008, which will be presented by Armani Exchange on May in support of his upcoming In Search of Sunrise 7: Asia compilation ] and the previously released In Search of Sunrise 6: Ibiza.
Tiësto performing on Queen's Day on April 30, 2009 at Museumplein in Amsterdam
During his time at Privilege he previewed tracks from his upcoming artist album. InTheBooth, the official members-only fansite of Tiësto launched July 17, 2009. On July 31, he was the first DJ to perform for 25,000 people at an exclusive outdoor concert in Victoria Park, London.
On October 6, 2009, Tiësto released his fourth studio album Kaleidoscope, which featured artists such as Priscilla Ahn, Calvin Harris, Tegan & Sara and Nelly Furtado. Unlike his earlier albums, which were all mostly trance, Kaleidoscope explores other electronic genres, and is considered Tiesto's most experimental album. The first single "I Will Be Here" featuring Sneaky Sound System being released in July 2009. It reached number three on the much acclaimed Driscoll 5, and lasted there for 24 weeks in the beginning of 2012. In its first week, the album reached the Top 10 chart on iTunes.
To release the album he has set up a new record label called Musical Freedom after parting ways with Black Hole Recordings. Tiësto felt that his music was evolving in a new direction and his focus as an artist was moving away from what Black Hole was set up to support. His new tour, sharing the name of his new album, called Kaleidoscope World Tour commenced in late September.
Tiësto contributed songs to both the DJ Hero and DJ Hero 2 video games and is a playable character in the second game. He contributed two exclusive mixes to the second game, and used content from DJ Hero 2 to create the official video for his single 'Speed Rail' - the world's first music video to be created entirely using in-game footage.
Tiësto has produced a trance-flavoured song on Memphis rap duo Three 6 Mafia's upcoming album Laws of Power called "Feel It," which features Flo Rida and Sean Kingston.
On March 16, 2010, Tiësto released his greatest hits album called Magikal Journey: The Hits Collection 1998–2008, a two disc album focusing on his most famous songs and remixes of his songs.
On April 7, 2010, Tiësto announced that he would start a new compilation series called A New Dawn with his own label Musical Freedom. In his interview Tiësto furthermore confirmed that he would no longer have any more involvement with Black Hole Recordings.
On August 31, 2010, Kaleidoscope: Remixed was released, a remix album of his album Kaleidoscope.
On December 11, 2010, Tiësto was one of the headlining acts at ZoukOut 2010, which was held in Singapore at Siloso Beach, Sentosa Island.
Club Life (2011–present)
On April 4, 2011, his mix compilation Club Life: Volume One Las Vegas was released.
On June 13, his studio album Kiss from the Past was released under his alias Allure. It was released on Tiësto's own label Magik Muzik. The album featured artists such as Christian Burns, JES, and Emma Hewitt.
On August 15, his single "Work Hard, Play Hard" was released. On September 5, his single "Maximal Crazy" was released on Beatport.
On March 5, 2012, Tiësto announced the second installment of his Club Life series, Club Life: Volume Two Miami. It was released on April 24, 2012.
On April 1, 2013, Tiesto announced via his Facebook that Club Life Volume 3 is in the works. On April 29, Tiesto announced via Facebook and Twitter that Club Life Vol 3 is entitled Stockholm, similar to previous Club Life albums Las Vegas and Miami. The announcement also included a promotional picture resembling cover art for the new album. Club Life Vol 3 - Stockholm was released worldwide physically on June 25, 2013, and it hit #16 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart. Tiësto said that he "didn’t just want it to be a mix with tracks my fans could find on every other compilation or were just the hottest tracks of the moment. Rather, I wanted this to be heavy on my own productions, remixes and collaborations."
In The Booth series
In The Booth is a YouTube series that started on January 18, 2012. It stars Tiësto and is a behind-the-scene series about some of the gigs and travels of Tiësto and his tour friends around the world. One new episode is released every Tuesday on his YouTube channel. The season 2 was announced for 2014.
On January 6, 2005, Tiësto performed in an outdoor fundraiser in De Dam, Amsterdam. The event was free, and many famous Dutch artists like Dinand Woesthoff, BLØF, Acda & De Munnik, Di-rect, Berget Lewis, Xander de Buisonjé and Trijntje Oosterhuis were involved in it to provide financial aid to the people who suffered from the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in Southern and Southeastern Asia. All profits made of all TV commercials and live broadcast were given to the organisations collecting the relief funds.
In April 2006, Tiësto was named the official worldwide ambassador for the Dance4Life foundation promoting awareness of HIV/AIDS, as the foundation's ambassador he has helped the organisation with fundraising along with recording the track "Dance4life" that he recorded with Maxi Jazz from Faithless. The foundation consists on a better way of living with safe sex in exchange of entertainment to the young crowd. The song was a huge success, peaking for five weeks in number 3 and eleven consecutive weeks in the Top 10 of the Dutch Singles Chart, it also reached number 5 in Belgium, number 6 in Finland and also charting in the UK and Germany. With the successful release of Elements of Life, Tiësto and fashion designer Giorgio Armani collaborated on a limited edition Tiësto T-shirt available at Armani Exchange stores. His single "Sweet Things" comes with the shirt including an exclusive "A|X Remix" by Tom Cloud which shows the great influence Tiësto has in fashion culture. The charity raised over US$300,000. On November 29, 2008 artists like Tiësto himself, Sied van Riel, Leon Bolier, Joop, and MC Gunner presented a concert at The Sand, Amsterdam promoted by Dance4Life, the sales from the event will go to the foundation to support next year's Schools4Life project.
In November 2012, Tiësto released a compilation album Dance (RED) Save Lives in collaboration with Product Red, with the aim of donating any proceeds from the album to the fight against AIDS. Tiësto himself have committed to match up to US$100,000 in donations to the cause.
Until early 2006, Tiësto was in a relationship with Dutch model Monique Spronk. On January 10, 2008, Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf announced that Tiësto and his girlfriend Stacey Blokzijl were going to get married on October 10, 2008 in Cartagena, Colombia. He proposed to her in December 2007 while they were visiting Mauritius. Tiësto cancelled his wedding for October 10, because he claimed to have a busy schedule and too little time for the preparations. During Christmas 2008, Blokzijl broke off the engagement owing to the constant delays to their wedding.
Video-Tiësto - Live at Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam 2013
Video-Tomorrowland 2013 LIVE Tiesto
Whether it be the 250,000 revelers coming together at Ipanema Beach in Rio De Janeiro, the adoring clubbers who descend upon Privilege in Ibiza on a Monday night every summer, or the 25,000 fans en masse at Victoria Park in London, all are in attendance for the same reason: they have come to see Tiësto, the world's biggest DJ/Producer! Tiësto, a.k.a. Tijs Verwest, is a performer who has transcended musical genres to create a global 'Tiësto' brand. His achievements include a Grammy nomination, numerous MTV awards, performing at the opening ceremony of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, and even a wax statue at Madame Tussauds. With over 7 million followers on Facebook and over 130 million hits on YouTube, Tiësto has truly become a universal phenomenon. Recently voted 'The Greatest DJ Of All Time' in a Mixmag poll, Tiësto has worked with artists as diverse as Nelly Furtado, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Goldfrapp, Jónsi from Sigur Rós, Diplo, and Busta Ryhmes. When he is not collaborating with some of the world's most respected artists he is jet setting his way around the globe playing sold out shows to his adoring fans. His recently completed Kaleidoscope World Tour spanned more than 15 months and 175 dates across 6 continents playing to over 1,000,000 people. The hugely successful tour was recognized as such when Tiësto was nominated for two 2010 Billboard Touring Awards and listed in Billboard's Top 25 biggest grossing touring acts of 2010. Tiësto invested heavily in the visual aspect of his DJ sets including a mesmerizing exhibition of lasers, light shows and massive LED screens. "Throughout 2010 I concentrated all my energy on the Kaleidoscope World Tour. Along with the music, I created some of the best production to date, and it really felt like something special." Never one to rest on his laurels, Tiësto is more enthusiastic than ever for the new and improved 2011 live experience. The 2011 'CLUB LIFE TOUR' and 'TIËSTO LIVE IN CONCERT' shows in Vegas will continue to evolve and expand what a live DJ show can be. "For me the possibilities are limitless and I have once again been working with a really talented team on state of the art production elements. I am really pleased with the results and I can't wait for the fans to experience these incredible new shows!" Tiësto has also been hard at work in the studio fine-tuning 'CLUB LIFE - Volume One Las Vegas' his new mix album released in April 2011. This is the first in a brand new 'CLUB LIFE' series that replaces 'In Search of Sunrise', one of the most successful DJ mix compilation series of all time. Released through Tiësto's own Musical Freedom record label, the album features 15 of the hottest new tracks and remixes from the best in dance music all mixed seamlessly by Tiësto. Artists such as Kaskade, Diplo, Hardwell, Henrik B, Moguai, Dúné, and Marcel Woods all make an appearance along with remixes from Sultan and Ned Shepard, Angger Dimas, Alesso, Thomas Gold, and Tiësto himself. "I wanted a fresh new series to reflect my new style which has been evolving in the clubs for the past few years. It fees great to launch my own series on my new label" says Tiësto. Musically Tiësto has been experimenting more than ever before. "You would be surprised to hear what is on my personal playlist. I like all kinds of music and as I continue to develop as an artist I do not feel I should be confined to any one sound or expected genre. I draw influences from various sources whether it be movies, the people I meet, and of course all the amazing places I have been lucky enough to visit. This is definitely one of the best things about being a DJ." This was one of the reasons he set up the appropriately named Musical Freedom record label. Tiësto explains, "I want to be able to sign artists and release music that as a fan I would listen to. Musical Freedom allows me to do this and hopefully help out some new and exciting developing artists." Musical Freedom had immediate success with 'C'Mon', the massive Tiësto vs. Diplo collaboration that churned up dance floors worldwide in 2010. The track has now been reworked as 'C'Mon (Catch 'Em By Surprise)' with none other than Busta Rhymes who adds his raw and energetic vocals, taking it in an entirely new direction. This new version is a worldwide top 10 hit and the music video has surpassed over 4 million views on YouTube. Additional releases on Musical Freedom include Dada Life's 'Unleash The F**king Dada', Tiësto vs Hardwell 'Zero 76', as well as other collaborations. Other artists with releases scheduled for 2011 include Henrik B, Angger Dimas, and more… If you are the world's #1 DJ/Producer at some point you have to conquer Las Vegas, therefore January 2011 saw the launch of 'Tiësto In Concert' at The Joint in The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The monthly residency will play to over 4,000 people a night and promises to be a remarkable live music experience at one of the most dynamic venues in Las Vegas, "I'm so excited to play in Vegas, it's a magical place and I'm looking forward to partying in this amazing city!" The feeling is obviously mutual as the city of Las Vegas has named a street 'TiëstoWay' and January 1st is now officially known as 'Tiësto Day'. Always on the cutting edge, Tiësto is also leading the way when it comes to working with some of the world's most successful and recognizable global brands. He has been involved in hugely successful campaigns with Armani Exchange, SanDisk, Heineken, Smirnoff, Škoda, and he was recently named as the official European Ambassador for Activision's DJ Hero 2. Tiësto is featured within the game as he takes to the virtual ones and twos delivering a pair of pulse-pounding exclusive mixes and joining the ever-growing roster of playable characters. Tiësto even used the footage of his character from within the game to create a music video for his recent hit track 'Speed Rail'. So with the launch of his Musical Freedom record label, the release of 'CLUB LIFE – Volume One Las Vegas', plus his monthly residency at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, and the CLUB LIFE WORLD TOUR in full swing, 2011 is shaping up to be yet another huge year for Tiësto. We can only imagine what he has in store for 2012 and beyond. Watch this space!
Source: Tiesto website