Tiësto is one of the most recognizable names in music and today marks the release of his brand new album, A Town Called Paradise. A 14-track album with 4 bonus songs on the deluxe edition, A Town Called Paradise features Matthew Koma, Zac Barnett from American Authors, Ladyhawke, Icona Pop, Sultan + Ned Shepard, Quila, Krewella, and more alluding to its cross-over potential as a revolutionary dance-pop compilation.
BroBible: How did it all start? Has music always been apart of your life?
Tiësto: Well, I was always into music. First it was rock, but then my life changed when I went to a club in my hometown of Breda in the Netherlands and experienced a DJ for the first time. I knew from that moment that this is exactly what I wanted to do.
With an iconic career that stems from over 20 years as both a DJ and producer, it comes as no surprise that the artist FKA DJ Tiësto mixes his trance and house music beginnings with the emotive pop melodies that his sound has evolved into. A Town Called Paradise, may be the important dance music album this year because Tiësto remains an innovator whose music has always provided complex elements of surprise with a structural emphasis.
BroBible: In general, how would you describe today’s EDM scene? And what’s your feeling about deep-house music permeating in the United States?
Tiësto: It’s never been bigger. There’s a lot of variation and something for everyone in the scene. As for the deep house scene, it’s great. I’m a huge fan and for this reason I started an after hours show on my Sirius XM channel and even did an Essential Mix in this style. I think it’s great for people to have an open mind and enjoy all sorts of different styles.
What’s remarkable about A Town Called Paradise is that Tiësto crafted it along a demanding, international tour schedule. In 2014, the Club Life artist has seemingly headlined non-stop at festivals and clubs around the world including appearances at Ultra (Miami), EDC New York and Las Vegas, Spring Awakening (Chicago), HARD Summer (LA), and Jay Z’s Made In America Festival (Philadelphia).
BroBible: You take on one of the most aggressive touring schedules around the world. What is life like on the road and what is the craziest thing you’ve seen, in the crowd, at one of your shows?
Tiësto: Life on the road is normal for me. I’m just so used to being in a different place on any given day and I love it. It’s certainly hard to travel so much but the energy I get from my fans and certainly seeing so many different sites and cultures is unbelievable. As for the craziest thing, well nothing tops Djing the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. I think it was crazy and surreal to be playing while all these amazing athletes were walking into the stadium.
Tiësto’s fifth studio album, A Town Called Paradise is out on Casablanca Records, Republic Records, and his own Musical Freedom imprint. The first single “Red Lights,” which dropped this past February, is the gem that Tiësto is most proud of. In four short months, the song has received high acclaim for its recallable melodies and sweet chorus, hitting #6 on the official UK Singles Chart before becoming Tiësto’s first-ever Top 10 track in the UK amassing over 500,000 sales worldwide.
BroBible: Explain the story behind the title of your latest album, A Town Called Paradise. Is there a theme or message you are trying to get across?
Tiësto: Yes, the title really embodies my idea of Las Vegas. I spend so much time there and have traveled into the desert and places outside of the actual city. It’s just a short drive and it’s complete isolation. You can’t hear any noise and it’s barren. But then, you travel towards Vegas and you see this glow of the lights and energy. It’s like this oasis that pops up in the desert where anything is possible. So to me, that’s a town called paradise!
Sin City has become the epicenter of dance music culture with big budget clubs and hotels/casinos luring talent away from traditional hotbeds like Ibiza. Premier artists such as Tiësto rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars each night from venues like Hakkasan, Wet Republic, Marquee, Wynn, and the Cosmopolitan. Nonetheless, A Town Called Paradise still stands out as an exuberantly warm celebration of Tiësto’s triumphs and self-made successes.
BroBible: Was there a sentiment in mind when you were putting A Town Called Paradise together? And musically, what separates it from your previous albums?
Tiësto: I just wanted it to be all about where I’m at musically right now. That was a key thing for me. To not try and make some album that would follow some sort of trend but something that I really felt really spoke about who I am as an artist. Obviously, Vegas plays a huge part in that as well being that it does play a role in who I am with my residency. I think that so much time has passed since my previous album that what you get on ATCP is something quite different. All of my music is a part of the journey though.
Besides the summer anthem “Wasted” featuring Matthew Koma, and the catchy Icona Pop-assisted party tune, “Let’s Go,” A Town Called Paradise may take some getting used to. Traditional fans who are used to Tiësto’s exotic trance and house productions are likely to dismiss A Town Called Paradise as a deliberately pop album. But the music’s imperfections are also its strengths. Each song boasts a brilliantly selected guest spot pointing to their festival anthem potential and radio ready formulas.
BroBible: A Town Called Paradise is the first album you’ve put out for a major record label. How did you decide who to collaborate with and what unlikely learning experiences did you take away from the artists you worked with?
Tiësto: Each story is different. Some collaborators I know in advance and some I’m introduced to. I’m always incredibly surprised with collaborations and that’s why I love doing it so much. There’s an energy, a flow of ideas and excitement that you get from working with people. Everyone is different so the experiences are unique.
The previously unheard bright spots on A Town Called Paradise are “Footprints” featuring Cruickshank, “A Town Called Paradise” featuring Zac Barnett, “Written In Reverse featuring Matthew Koma,” “Feeling” featuring Ou Est Le Swimming Pool, and of course “Set Yourself Free” featuring dub-step trio, Krewella. Drawing inspiration on these vocal-house records from the next generation of EDM superstars, the deluxe edition contains bonus collaborations with MOTi on “Don’t Hide Your Light” and Dzeko & Torres on “Can’t Forget.”
BroBible: The deluxe edition contains bonus songs from the next generation of Musical Freedom artists. Who are some up-and-coming producers for people to check out that they may not have heard before?
Tiësto: Definitely MOTi, Dzeko & Torres and Kaaze.
An iconic artist today who began from humble beginnings, Tiësto gave advice the length of a tweet to aspiring producers before telling me his master plan for the next few months.
BroBible: In the length of a tweet, give advice to aspiring producers.
Tiësto: The best advice I can give is to be yourself, don’t copy anyone else and practice!
BroBible: What’s next on Tiësto’s agenda? Do you have a master plan?
Tiësto: Will be focusing heavily on the album and then also touring. Playing a lot of festivals and of course my residency in Las Vegas at Hakkasan and Wet Republic.
A Town Called Paradise is out now on iTunes and Beatport. Stream the album via spotify or iTunes radio and start following Tiësto on Twitter as he is set to drop more singles and announce future show dates. Enjoy!