Ultra Music Festival

Tiësto on Dirty Dutch, His First U.S. Show in Miami, and Loving the Hotel Life

Tiësto is a classic. That is, if an electronic musician can be a classic in 2012. If you grew up listening to EDM or even if you just went clubbing on Miami Beach as a teenager, you know his name and you've heard his sound.

Tiësto was giving interviews at the Soho House on South Beach on Thursday, kindly answering probably the same questions, over and over again with a pleasant sense of humor.

Turns out, the first city the Netherlands native visited in the United States was Miami. "It was already a huge adventure for me," he admitted. "Back then in the clubs, you had the European mixer, which is with faders, which is what I was used to, and they had the rotaries, the button mixers. I came to the club, and I was like, what is this? I'd never seen anything like it! It was very tough for me to mix. Everything was shaking. It was a very bad performance for me." The after-hours show wasn't all a bust. His British girlfriend at the time was thrilled to see all of the big-time DJs she admired. Since that first awkward Miami experience, he's obviously improved and returned frequently.  

His latest Club Live mix series, which New Times spoke with him about recently, is dedicated to the city itself. There were some collaborations, experimenting, and remixes on this endeavor, but, he says, "I think the next album is going in that direction but even more eclectic and more developed and underground in an indie rock kind of way." 

Tiësto is proud of the music coming out of his homeland as well. "The Netherlands are very creative. I think it's the number-one country to export dance music, so many DJs and also so many styles," he observed. "Everybody knows the Dirty Dutch style, the Afrojack style, the Tiësto style. We also have a huge techno movement, we have club house music, so we are representing almost every category in the genre." 

It's a tradition for him to play at Ultra, and he's a huge fan of Liv, saying that it "takes the club scene to the next level." He is always on the road. Though he owns houses, he doesn't have a home. But that doesn't bother him. Tiësto says he's a fan of the hotel lifestyle, "I love to be in a different environment every week. It keeps my spirit fresh, and it's nice! You get different furniture every week. You live in a different house every week. They bring you food, whatever you want. You get pampered by spas downstairs," he laughs. "I live like a king!" 

Tiësto. Friday, March 23, at Ultra Music Festival. Bayfront Park, 301 N. Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Sold out. 

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Liz has her master’s degree in religion from Florida State University. She has since written for publications and outlets such as Miami New Times, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Ocean Drive, the Huffington Post, NBC Miami, Time Out Miami, Insomniac, the Daily Dot, and the Atlantic. Liz spent three years as New Times Broward-Palm Beach’s music editor, was the weekend news editor at Inverse, and is currently the managing editor at Tom Tom Magazine.
Contact: Liz Tracy