We have a tendency to stereotype legends in the world of music. When we think of the superstars in this field, we think of the dancing pop stars and the electrifying rock stars. It seems as if the spotlight is always on these two genres. These musicians are great indeed. They are icons of the industry in fact. However, it does not change the fact that some of the more unconventional stars of music can be legends as well.
Tiesto may not be the music world’s poster boy, but he certainly is a celebrity musician in his own right. Born Tjis Michiel Verwest, Tiesto is a 45 year old Dutch DJ and record producer. Tiesto is his stage name, and it was derived from his childhood nickname. Tiesto is a household name among the fans of Electronic Dance Music.
He was born in Breda, Netherlands, and became a professional in the year 1994. His first job was to release material on Chemo and Coolman which were sub labels of Noculan Records.
Here, he produced hardcore/gabber tracks, and used stage names such as Da Joker and DJ Limited. He was scouted by the general of Beat Recordings. This paved the way for him to sign with Basic Beat. From the years of 1995 to 1996 he produced four extended plays under the sub labels Bonzai Jumps and XTC.
Black Hole Recordings
The breakthrough in his career came in the year 1997 when he decided to leave Basic Beat and establish his very own parent label Black Hole Recordings in association with his friend Arny Bink. Tiesto released the Magik Series and founded two sub labels through Black Hole Recordings. In the two years that followed, Tiesto collaborated with a number of artists to release recordings on Black Hole. This drew attention towards his label and raised his reputation in the DJ community of Netherlands and Europe in large.
Growing Reputation in 2000
By the end of 2000, Tiesto decided to shift his focus from Black Hole Recordings to his personal work as a DJ. This led to the release of Summerbreeze, Tiesto’s debut DJ mix album in the United States. He went on to expand his work by creating another sub label, Magik Muzik, which mainly featured Tiesto’s work.
In My Memory
Tiesto’s set at the ID&T innercity party was a humongous hit. People began to show interest in him, and this spike in popularity motivated him to release his first solo album, In My Memory, in 2001. Some of the popular singles from the album include Lethal Industry, 643 (Love’s on Fire), Obsession, Suburban Train and the title track “In My Memory”. The release of this album resulted in the Lucky Strike Dance Award for Tiesto. He won the award for the best DJ Trance/Progressive category. He also toured with Moby as a part of the Area 2 Tour.
He continued to climb up the ladder of renown through his extraordinary work with the sets. On May 2003, Tiesto became the first DJ to have his own solo concert in a stadium when he performed in the Arnhem’s GelreDome in front of 25,000 people. Next year, he performed two other similar concerts. On the back of the success of his first album and his unique solo concerts, Tiesto attained the number one spot in the DJ Magazine (UK) Top 100 popularity poll in 2002. He retained this spot in 2003 and 2004.
His second artist album, “Just Be” was released in 2004. This album featured the hit single, “Traffic”. It was the first non vocal track to reach the number one position in the Dutch charts for over two decades. The release of the album was followed by the highly impressive Just Be: Train Tour. Courtesy of his continued success in the music scene, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the Orange-Nassau by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of Netherlands.
Olympic Games, Recognition and US Tour
Tiesto added another feather in his cap during the 2004 Summer Olympics Ceremony in Athens as he became the first ever DJ to play live on stage at an Olympic Games event. By the end of the year, he resumed his touring, travelled across Latin America where he had developed a huge fan base.
In 2005, Tiesto toured the United States. Based on the success of his tour, he grabbed the number one spot in the BPM magazine’s annual poll in the US. In addition to that, Warlock Records released his Perfect Volume Remixes Vol.3, which turned out to be yet another huge success.
In 2006, Tiesto had the unique honor of having his own wax statue placed at Madame Tussauds in Amsterdam. This undoubtedly cemented his legacy as one of the greatest musicians in the history of Netherlands. Next in line for him was a weekly radio show that he began presenting in 2007. It was a two hour show called Tiesto’s Club Life.
Elements of Life
In the summer of 2007, he released his third album which was named “Elements of Life”. The album, which was a mix of rock, trance and experimental music was deemed as a huge commercial success. Notable tracks from the album include In the Dark and Break My Fall. The album received a nomination for a Grammy Award in the Best Electronic/Dance Album category. In support of the album, he launched the Elements of Life World Tour which spanned several cities across the globe.
The year 2009 saw the release of Tiesto’s fourth studio album, Kaleidoscope. In this album, he collaborated with world renowned music artists such as Priscilla Ann, Calvin Harris, Tegan & Sara and Nelly Furtado. The album attained unprecedented success and was topping charts in Netherlands, Europe and also the United States.
The release of this album came at the cost of his long standing partnership with Black Hole Recordings. The album was released under the umbrella of the newly formed label called Musical Freedom. The spin-off tour of the album, “Kaleidoscope World Tour” began in 2009.
In 2011 he released his mix compilation, Club Life: Volume One Las Vegas. In addition to that, he produced another studio album by the name of Kiss From the Past which was released under his alias Allure. The album featured Christian Burns, JES and Emma Hewitt. His most recent work is the album called “A Town Called Paradise”. This album resulted in two Billboard top 100 singles. He is currently working on his 2014 tour which will be sponsored by 7up Brand.
Some have labelled Tiesto as the Maestro of Electronic Music. When you look at his life’s work and all the accolades that he has achieved, it’s safe to say that this outsanding DJ is leaving behind a legacy for music enthusiasts all around the world.