Netherlands-native Tijs Michiel Verwest, better known by fans as Tiesto, is famous for decades of DJing and producing Electronic Dance music. Born in 1969, Tiesto began his career as a Trance DJ, performing six hour pulsating sets, but has become recognized as a House/Electro House/Progressive House/Dubstep/EDM legend.
He began DJing at the Dutch club Sprock, in his hometown, Breda. 1994 saw Verwest not as Tiesto, but under the aliases Da Joker and DJ limited, producing Hardcore/Gabber tracks. Later that year, he was was picked up by Basic Beat Recordings. He would release his first mix CD as part of their Forbidden Paradise series.
In 1997, he linked up with Arny Brink to form Black Hole Recordings. He would release Space Age and his Magik and In Search of Sunrise series under the label. The label is also credited for bringing the music world its first mix compilations. In Trance We Trust introduced John Gielen, Ferry Costen, and Armin van Buuren to the mainstream masses. SongBird was also released.
In 1998, Tiesto began working with producer Dennis Waakop Reijers, who would later produce, write, compose, and arrange Tiesto‘s work.
In 1999, he played his longest lasting set, 12 hours, in Amsterdam. Tiesto consistently collaborated with Ferry Corsten from 1999-2000 and created the Trance duo Gouryella. Tiesto would eventually fly solo in 2000 to focus more on personal works.
Summerbreeze, released under the giant Nettwerk, is known as Tiesto‘s debut album in the United States. It featured his remix of Delerium‘s “Silence,” featuring Sarah McLachlan, and jumpstarted Tiesto into the mainstream. It also earned him four weeks on the UK charts, a number 3 spot on Billboard, and credited him as being one of the most influential artists in the Progressive Dance era.
Tiesto began to focus on female-vocal remixes with artists like Chicane, Faithless, and Leigh Nash, singer in Sixpence None the Richer.
In the early 2000′s he became a sensation for being the first DJ to perform solo, without any other DJs or performing acts besides himself. His performances became known as “Tiesto Solos” that lasted around 6 hours each.
In 2001, he released his first solo album In My Memory. It ranked number 1 three times in a row on DJ Magazine’s Top 100 Popularity Poll from 02-04. The album was also one of Holland’s best selling Dance albums in 2002. In the same year, Tiesto was voted DJ Magazine‘s Number 1 DJ.
Tiesto created Magik Muzik sub-label and released several personal tracks under it as well as tracks from artists Oliver Lieb, Mojado, Jes Brieden, Phynn, and Filterheadz. With the release of Tiesto‘s “Flight 643” in 2001, the label became a trademark for superb EDM anthems. Tiesto remixed several Elvis Presley songs, including “Burning Love,” which earned him a nomination for UK’s Muzik Magazine’s Dance Award as Best Raido 1 Essential Mix.
Global touring exposed Tiesto‘s talents worldwide. He performed on Moby‘s Area2 Tour, travelling throughout the US with Moby, David Bowie, and Busta Rhymes. He would later win the annual Dutch Propprijs, meaning the Pop Award, during the 2003 Noorderslag Festival. That same year he joined the PlayStation2 Dual Play tour alongside Noel Sanger, Dieselboy, and Bad Boy Bill. He also began what would later be known as Tiesto In Concert around the world, performing in enormous stadiums. His performances won him the title Number One DJ in the World once again by DJ Magazine.
2004 saw Tiesto tour across Latin America, with the release of In Search of Sunrise 3: Panama. The tour continued into 2005 and Tiesto performed live in Brazil, Argentina, Panama, Peru, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Paraguay, Ecuador and Colombia. Tiesto released his second album Just Be and shortly after, his Parade of the Athletes, recalling hits of Jean Michel Jarre and Giorgio. Parade of the Athletes would become the soundtrack for the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. Tiesto’s performance there was the first ever of any DJ to play live at the Olympic Games. He also set the record for the largest crowd any DJ had ever performed in front of- 3.8 billion people. That same year, he would release “Traffic,” the first non-vocal song to hit Dutch national charts in the last 23 years. Tiesto was also crowned by Queen Beatrix in Nassua, Bahamas as the Officer of the Order of Orange. He is also noted for remixing Kane‘s song “Rain Down on Me” which was later featured in the FIFA Football video game.
In 2005 he released, under Warlock Records, his Perfect Remixes Vol. 3 compilation which included tracks from earlier in his career.
Disneyland Resort in Paris asked Tiesto to inagurate the Space Mountain: Mission 2 ride by offering a live concert in Disneyland Park. He and Bob Sinclair performed a special remix to Space Mountian: Mission 2′s soundtrack and won an Edison music award for Best Dance. The following year Walt Disney Pictures released Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest along with the soundtrack hit, “He’s a Pirate.” Tiësto was asked to remix and produced a Trance anthem and Orchestral mix of the track. The Pirates Remixed EP contains the Tiësto remix and a radio edit. The “He’s Pirate” remix reached number 7 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play chart and number 5 in the Netherlands Dutch Top 40. The song marked the beginning of Elements of Life, his future album at this time.
The Dutch National Football Competition is the most viewed programme on Dutch TV. Tiesto’s tune “Match of the Day,” is now played in every football stadium before opening each game, making Tiesto the first artist to influence the programme’s directors.
Later that year, he took on the US. Tiesto performed at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena with Cirque du Soleil dancing performers and at the New Years’ Eve concert in Vegas for the second year in a row. Despite his US tour being cut short, he was still voted number one on BPM magazine’s annual poll. In Search of Sunrise 5: Los Angeles was released, peaking at number 34 in Canada and number 59 in Austria. Steady on the go, Tiesto began his In Search of Sunrise 5 Asia Tour in Malaysia, Japan, Philippines, South Korea, China, Thailand, Taiwan, and Indonesia. From there he appeared back in Amsterdam at the world’s biggest dance event, Sensation White. Tickets sold out within the 2 hours of their pre-sale.
In the fall, he went on to tour around Central and Eastern Europe. His successful talent was witnessed in Ukraine, Slovakia, Serbia, Macedonia, Romania, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Croatia, and Poland. Tiësto also performed in South Africa at the UNITY festival.
2006 saw Tiesto appointed as the official ambassador for the Dance4Life foundation. He and Maxi Jazz co-released “Dance4Life,” to raise awareness for the HIV/AIDS epidemic. A few years later, artists like Tiësto, including Sied van Riel, Leon Bolier, Joop, and MC Gunner, presented a concert at The Sand, in Amsterdam, promoted by Dance4Life. The profits from the event would go to the foundation to support next year’s Schools4Life project.
Elements of Life, Tiesto‘s third studio album, was released, spicing the artist’s work with Rock and Pop variations. His experimental fusion reflected the shift of interest Tiesto had developed. The album ranked number one on local Dutch charts but also hit number one on Billboards’ Top Electronic Albums in the United States. Elements of Life would recieve a Grammy in 2008 for Best Electronic/Dance Album. It also receieved gold cerifications in Hungary, Netherlands, Belgium, and Romania.
A curveball was thrown at Tiesto when he was admitted to the hopsital for chest pains. He was diagnosed with pericarditis and even though cancelled a few shows, insisted nothing could slow him down.
In 07 he was back at it. He launched his radio show Tiesto’s Club Life, airing on the Netherlands’ Radio 538. He also opened Cineac, a club-restaurant specializing in Chinese cuisine, live entertainment, and great music by top known DJs. He later renamed it The Mansion.
Tiesto leaped into the commercial world with his partnership with Reebok. He introduced “Tiesto shoes” in 2007. He now owns a line of RBK shoes. He was also invited by Microsoft to help launch their new Vista operating system, which offered much opportunity for the Dutch market. Tiesto‘s benefit on the merge was a Vista application, personally built in his honor, which provided thousands of his downloads and a toolbar with all updates regarding his gigs, appearances, and releases. Armani Exchange teamed up with Tiesto and announced their sponsorship of his In Search of Sunrise Tour 2008, offering exclusive apparel and limited edition 3 CD sets. Their partnership grew after Armani released a watch collection known as A|X: Time, aimed at stores across the US, specifically in LA and NY. Upon the announced partnership between New York‘s Ultra Records and Coca-Cola, Tiesto was chosen to create a track inspired by a uniquely designed Coke bottle. He produced “Global Harmony” and also “Searching,” a track used for one of Coke’s TV commercials.
His official residence at Privilege, the largest club in the world according to Guinness World Records, was announced and set for a few Summer months. Tiesto selected guest DJs like Chris Lake, Andy Duguid, Mat Zo, Cosmic Gate, Alex Kunnari and Sander van Doorn as well as exclusive appearances by Fonzerelli and Airbase. His compilation In Search of Sunrise 6: Ibiza was inspired here and soon released. It landed him the Best Full Length DJ Mix CD at the 2008 WMC Awards in Miami. He returned to Privilege for a second year in 2009 to perform on Monday nights.
In 2008, he performed for the first time in South Asia at the Gachibowli Stadium in India. He returned to joint produce “No More Heroes” with the infamous mute performers Blue Man Group.
2009 saw the release of his fourth studio album Kaleidoscope with Pop singer Nelly Furtado and vocalist Jonsi. Tiesto’s Kaliedoscope World Tour began in late September. The same year he produced a Techno twisted track with Three 6 Mafia called “Feel It,” featuring Flo Rida and Sean Kingston. He earned Mixmag‘s Number 1 DJ of 2008. He was also awarded Best Global DJ, Best Solo Artist, Best Full Length DJ Mix (for his In Search of Sunrise 7: Asia), and Best Podcast (for his Radio 538: Tiesto’s Club Life Podcast) all at the Annual International Dance Music Awards in 2009. Tiesto was also nominated at the WMC Awards Miami for Best Progressive House/Trance Track (for his “Imagination” remix) and Best European DJ. Beatport also nominated him for Best Trance Artist.
Tiesto left Black Hole Recordings because he felt his music was taking steps away from the direction of the label. He created a new record label, Musical Freedom, and began working on a new compliation series A New Dawn. He also released Kaleidoscope: Remixed, a remixed version of Kaleidoscope under his personal label in 2010.
Magikal Journey: The Hits Collection 1998-2008 in 2010 would round up highlights of the artist’s previous hits from this sensational decade. This same year, Tiesto headlined at ZoukOut in Sentosa Island, Singapore. He was ranked DJ Magazine’s 3rd best DJ.
2011 kicked of the Club Life series. Vol.1: Las Vegas was first released then Vol.2: Miami would follow in 2012, featuring remixes of Coldplay‘s “Paradise” and Gotye‘s “Somebody I Used to Know.” Tiesto also released his studio album Kiss From The Past, under the alias Allure, on his personal music label Magik Muzik, featuring artists JES, Emma Hewitt, and Christian Burns. His single “Maximal Crazy” was released on Beatport and would become the routine closer for all of his upcoming sets. Tiesto also kicked off his College Invasion Tour. He was again ranked 3rd in DJ Magazine’s Top 100.
Tiesto snagged the number 3 poll seat for DJ Magazine‘s 100 Popularity Poll in 2012. He also began starring in a YouTube series, In The Booth Series, about his behind-the-scenes adventures during his tours, gigs, and travels. Tiesto‘s fellow EDM stars will be featured in the series as well. Every new episode is posted weekly on his YouTube channel.
When asked about the legend’s huge success, Tiesto replied: “Because people care and they see that I care. I’m very honest in what I do. It’s not an act or a gimmick. It’s pure, it’s emotion.”
Tiesto’s ‘Maximal Crazy’:
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