Childhood & Early Life
Tiësto was born Tijs Michiel Verwest on 17 January, 1969 in Breda, Netherlands. His parents got divorced when he was just four years old. He, along with his older brother and sister, was raised single-handedly by his mother.
During his school days, Tiësto played soccer as a forward striker. He used to play for ‘Saint Anna Boys Club’ and then later played for ‘Vesting Boys’. After completinghis schooling, he took up many odd jobs to manage his finances.
Tiësto developed a passion for music at an early age. He started off by randomly mixingdifferentgenres of music to create new tracks.He also managed to sell a few of those tracks for money. He then worked at restaurants for a few months.
It was only after he turned 14 that he became a professional DJ. He started his career byplaying at house parties. Then he moved on to play at the clubs where he could get maximum attention. The first club that he played for was ‘Spock’ in Netherlands.
The time that he spent at ‘Spock’ proved to be beneficial asplaying the playlists that were preferred by the audience gave him a plethora of ideas that inspired him to make revolutionary changes to his profession.
Initially, he started playing acid house, a subgenre of house music. He then switched over togabber, a form of electronic music. During the initial stages of his career, he was known by names like Da Joker and DJ Limited.
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The breakthrough in Tiësto’s career came in 1994 when the general manager of ‘Basic Beat Recordings’, a music label company, discovered him while he was playing in a clubhouse. The manager found his music to be groovy and enticing. In no time, he earned a contract with ‘Basic Beat Recordings’.
He then met the already established DJ Arny Bink with whom he released several tracks under the label, ‘Trashcan Records’, which was launched by Arny. In the mid-1990s, they released four albumsunder thelabel, ‘Guardian Angel Records’.
In the late 1990s, he collaborated with one of his friends, Yves Vandichel, to release a few tracks. In 1997, he and Arny terminated their contract with ‘Basic BeatRecordings’and started their own label, ‘Black Hole Recordings’.
The first album which Tiësto released under his label was ‘Magik Series’ which was a collection of trance music. Soon after, he launched two sub-labels, ‘Song Bird’ and ‘In Trance We Trust’.
He then collaborated with Ferry Corsten, a Dutch DJ, for his next project ‘Gouryella’ which was again a compilation of trance music. The album smashed many music records and sold over a million copies within the first week of its release. It also featured in the top ten list of UK Singles Chart for a long period of time.
Tiësto’s next project was ‘Kamaya Painters’for which he collaborated with the then top DJ, Benno De Goeij. By the end of 1999, the first instalment of the trance albumseries, ‘In Search of Sunrise’, hit the shelves.
He has been a regular performer at‘Gatecrasher’, the biggest DJ event in Yorkshire. He created a record byplaying continuously for 12 hours in Amsterdam.
On October 10, 2000, he released his album, ‘Summerbreeze’, for the first time in the US. The album included a remix track of the hit number‘Silence’, composed by the famous electronic musicalduo, Delerium. The track topped the Billboard US chart and made him famousin theStates. The next month, Tiësto released the second instalment of ‘In Search of Sunrise’.
He launched his next label ‘Magik Muzik’ in 2001. Under this label, he released his debut solo album, ‘In My Memory’. In 2002, heplayed at one of the biggest music events, ‘The Area Festival’. He toured for eighteen days across the United States and shared the stage with eminent artists like Moby, David Bowie and Busta Rhymes.
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He then became a part of the PlayStation2’s Dual Play tour in 2003. This tour is organized every year by Sony Interactive Entertainment America and House of Blues.
The next year, Tiësto released his second studio album, ‘Just Be’, which was well-received by critics and music lovers. After the release, he was appointed as the Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau which is the formal name for Netherland’s order of chivalry.
This caught the attention of the Olympic Committee. They approached Tiësto to compose exclusive tracks for the 2004 event. He became the first ever DJ to play at the Olympics. He performed at the opening ceremony of the games,held in Athens.
The track which he played at the event was incorporated into an album and was later released under the title, ‘Parade of the Athletes’. Tiësto launched his third studio album, ‘Elements of Life’, in April 2007. The album reached the top spot on the Dutch Album Chart and on US Billboard Top Electronic Albums. The album was also nominated for the 2008 Grammy Award.
He was made the new official ambassador for the ‘Dance4Life’ foundation. He composed tracks by collaborating with Maxi Jazz of ‘Faithless’ fame in order to perform at the charitable event to raise funds for HIV and AIDS awareness.
He tried his hand at business too. He inaugurated his club-restaurant ‘Cineac’ in collaboration with a Chinese Michelin brigade of chefs. The restaurant offered a perfect amalgamation of music, live entertainment and lip-smacking food. The restaurant was later renamed as ‘Mansion’.
Premier sports shoe brand ‘Reebok’ honored Tiësto by launching an exclusive edition of shoes named after him.
In October 2009, Tiësto released his fourth studio album, ‘Kaleidoscope’. He came up with a unique style of music which was quite contrasting to his conventional style. He also composed tracks for the beverage brand‘Coca-Cola’.
He launched a fashion line under his name by collaborating with the luxury brand, ‘Armani’. He has been featured as the top DJ in the list of DJ Magazine. This is an international magazine which releases a list of the top 100 DJsevery year.
He launched his fifth album, ‘A Town Called Paradise’, on 13 June 2014 under the labels, ‘Musical Freedom’, ‘PM: AM Recordings’ and ‘Universal Music’. The album consisted of many tracks, but the tracks ‘Red Lights’, ‘Wasted’ and ‘Light Years Away’ gained record-breaking success across the globe.