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Tiësto: ‘India has a huge EDM following’

The EDM star, who starts long-term residency at Vegas’ Hakkasan next month, returns to India for a three-city tour starting March 29th

Rolling Stone India Mar 28, 2013
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Tiesto. Photo: Times Music

Tiesto. Photo: Times Music

In 2008, Tiesto performed in India for the first time in Hyderabad touring with his 2007 Grammy nominated album, Elements Of Life, which featured the hit “In The Dark”. So low key were the promotions for the show, it may as well have been one of the few underground gigs performed by the EDM superstar. Still, Hyderabad’s Gachibowli Stadium drew a packed house [we only managed to find an amateur recording of his debut show] as the Dutch trance artist made his India debut. “It was a great experience though. India was getting into the EDM scene since Sunburn had started off since 2007,” says Tiesto in an email interview.

Now with both David Guetta and Dutch compatriot Armin van Buuren having performed twice in India already, Tiësto’s second visit was long overdue. “India has a huge EDM following. Especially, brands like Sunburn have taken the EDM scene in India to another level. It’s a brand that every artist knows and wants to associate with,” says the 44-year-old Grammy-nominated DJ. The Dutch trance DJ, who began leaning towards electro and progressive house in recent times, has worked with bands such as Coldplay, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Goldfrapp among others. “It was an intuitional decision [to move from trance to prog house]. I make music based on my inspirations. There is so much flexibility with making electronic music; I can collaborate with so many artists from so many different genres. To me, electronic brings the music community and world community together,” he says.

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After relentlessly touring the world for over 15 years, Tiësto, who has undertaken short residencies at Gatecrasher in Leeds and at Privilege, Ibiza in the past, recently surprised many fans when he announced a year-long residency at Hakkasan, Las Vegas. “Vegas is so much fun. Considering the way the dance music scene is blowing up in America, it’s the right time to be there,” he says, adding, “I always look for something new and a new challenge. It is going to be as good as touring. I will be doing 20 daytime shows at the resort’s outdoor pool and over 40 performances at Hakkasan Restaurant and Bar.” And though one would believe that his upcoming shows in New Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai would be his last this year till he settles for the residency this April, Tiësto’s tour diary shows no signs of stopping [he has shows lined up in Mexico in May and across Europe in June].  

Ranked the richest DJ in the world by Forbes Magazine in 2012, Tiësto was the first DJ to perform at the Olympics [he played at the 2004 Olympics opening ceremony in Athens] as well as at London’s O2 Arena. Ask him how DJs from Netherlands have made it so far and Tiesto attributes it to the weather.“With the weather being so bad, instead of going out and playing sports, a lot of kids and young adults head to the studio or the nightclub and are really able to learn the craft of DJing and producing,” says Tiësto, adding, “Netherlands has made its place in the history of dance music. There are so many great producers and DJs from Holland, so kids look up to them.” Now that’s turning a challenge to one’s advantage.

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Tiësto performs at Mahalaxmi Race Course, Mumbai on March 29th; Bhartiya City, Bengaluru on March 30th and Unitech Golf Course, Delhi on March 31st. For tickets, click here

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