Tiësto talks ‘Club Life,’ authenticity, and career management ahead of new album release
Tomorrow marks the release of Stockholm, the third installment of Tiësto‘s compilation series that began in 2011 with Las Vegas, and continued to reign in 2012 with Miami. As Tiësto’s ear has evolved, so has his Club Life brand, and this year’s offering comes packed with well-polished gems from start to finish. On the brink of release, Tiësto took the time to open up on Club Life Volume III, from its production process to its collaborations, and the creative challenges faced when putting together an album while jet-setting around the world.
Beyond the new album, Tiësto touches upon authenticity in the dance music industry, managing career responsibilities, manning his Musical Freedom label, and possibile personas for future tours.
When approaching the creation of Club Life III, did you have a particular direction in mind?
Yes, I knew that I didn’t just want it to be a mix with tracks my fans could find on every other compilation or were just the hottest tracks of the moment. Rather, I wanted to this be heavy on my own productions, remixes and collaborations.
How did you decide which tracks made the album? Did any get cut that you would have liked to include?
I’m always working on music and once I nailed down that Stockholm would be the city to base the music around everything else fell into place. I worked to create tracks that fit with the spirit of my experiences in Stockholm. I’m happy with the way it turned out and everything I wanted on there made it.
How do you approach the creation of a track, do you go into the studio with something in mind or is everything created on the fly?
I don’t go into the studio trying to create a specific sound. It depends on the situation. When in a collaboration with another artist we feed off each other. If by myself my ideas are often based around my experiences. How I’ve been feeling, what I’ve been doing, and my mood. I get into the studio and the flow is natural.
Were there any particular challenges that you faced during the creation of Club Life III?
Nothing outside the norm. I’m always traveling so finding the time to sit down and put together an album of this magnitude is tough but I’m used to balancing many different things at the same time.
What collaborations are you most excited about on the album?
I can’t really single anyone out because they we’re all memorable in different ways. There’s a certain energy you get when collaborating and bouncing ideas. It’s really cool to see everything built from the ground up and then when the fans enjoy it – that’s amazing.
You’ve held numerous titles throughout your career, producer, activist, labelhead – how do you manage to juggle all of the responsibilities alongside your nearly endless touring schedule?
Well, it’s tough. But I’ve been doing this for a while and have learned the routine of balancing my schedule. You need to set certain times in the day for everything in order to make it work.
As one of the industry’s biggest names, I am sure you are aware of the constant debate about authenticity in the industry – do you believe that the current concerns are well-founded?
Whenever something (music, film, etc) gets popular and crosses over there will always be a segment of people who look at things with a sense of skepticism. It’s probably a normal reaction for some people to feel this way, though speaking for myself. I only surround myself with hard working, talented people who are in this for the love of dance music.
Your Musical Freedom imprint has quickly developed into one of the most impressive in the industry – what is the secret to finding and fostering such a wide array of forward-thinking talent?
I’ve been lucky to have a successful career in this industry and a goal I’ve had with the label from the start was to release music from up and coming artists. We’ve been fortunate to have a network of strong relationships, many of which result in releases for the label. We’re a great springboard for a young artist and we make this a place people want to be associated with.
Kaskade recently did his Redux tour, playing smaller rooms and deeper sounds – could a trance-focused Tiësto tour be in the future? A return to Kaleidoscope era-Tiësto perhaps?
I can’t really say at the moment as I will be fully focused on a tour promoting Club Life – Volume Three Stockholm. However, my sets run the gamut of my career so you will hear tracks from the past, present and future.