An Interview With Tiësto

15 years and 17 million Facebook likes later, Netherlands native Tiësto (Tijs Verwest) has become a household name (in addition to one of the busiest guys on the planet). Part of his fame can be attributed to the fact he set the record for the biggest audience ever played to by a DJ when he played the 2004 Olympics Opening Ceremony for 3.8 billion people, but the majority of his success is a product of endless work and dedication. Among his other accomplishments, the superstar was named #1 DJ on the planet for 3 consecutive years, sold out STAPLES Center, is currently the 92nd most liked celebrity on all of Facebook and has sold over two and a half million albums. Tiësto released his fifth studio album, A Town Called Paradise, this year, where it debuted at 18th on the Billboard 200. The first single, Red Lights, has taken over the airwaves worldwide along with his second single off the album, Wasted (feat. Matthew Koma) which has garnered a modest 27 million views on YouTube and was featured in the recent movie “22 Jump Street.”

FFW ~ Hardest & most exciting part about making A Town Called Paradise?

TV ~ It’s been quite a few years since I made an album, so it’s getting back into that songwriting mode and putting all the pieces together that’s tough. Finding the right vocalists, etc. Best part was collaborating and bouncing ideas back and forth. The energy was amazing.

FFW ~ How have you stayed the #1 DJ in the world for so long?

TV ~ I think a lot of it has to do with the willingness to evolve but also to collaborate with others. For me, it’s not about being content with one sound or past achievements. I’m always looking to move it forward.

FFW ~ Who or what inspires your work?

TV ~ Collaborating with younger artists inspires me. I’ve been doing this for a while because I know it’s never too late to learn new things.

FFW ~ What’s the greatest experience you’ve had so far in your career?

TV ~ To have the opportunity to do what I love for a living and at such a level has been more than I could have imagined. However, if I choose one moment that was unforgettable it must be playing the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics. That was surreal!

Follow Tiësto on Twitter at @Tiesto.

An Interview With Electronic Artist Tycho

It’s not common to find an artist who has successfully excelled in multiple areas on a professional level, but that is the life of Sacramento native Scott Hansen, who’s work consists of touring and writing “ambient” music under the name Tycho as well as working in graphic design and photography under the moniker ISO50. Tycho has released four albums, most recently Awake which hit stores in March 2014. Unlike many other electronic artists, Hansen is dedicated to taking his solo electronic work to an even further level for his stunning live performances.

Tycho has been on tour for the past 5 months in support of Awake and the North American and European Awake Tour officially kicked off with a set at LA’s FYF Fest on August 23rd. The tour will also come through Oakland’s Fox Theater for a show on October 30th.

FFW ~ Where do you draw inspiration for your music and visual art?

T ~ I draw inspiration from many of the same places;with both, I’m trying to fill in the gaps in this overall vision. There are some things that music can’t quite describe or can’t quite relate to with some people and there are shortcomings with visual art as well. They all come together in the live show and that’s where it’s this immersive audio-visual experience, that’s the core of what I’m trying to do with this whole project.

FFW ~ What’s the vision?

T ~ For me, there’s always been this imagery and this space that I’ve always been aware of but I’ve never experienced in actual life. I’ve always been trying to find a way to actually make that real or have it materialize in some form. The two ways I’ve found this is through music and design and this is how I can articulate that to other people.

FFW ~ You’ve said “music is entirely emotional.” What were the main emotions you were trying to convey through Awake?

T ~ Awake was a result of pent-up energy. I had never in my life spent so much time away from home and so much time not able to get real work done. I used to play a show every month, I’m used to working on music and working on design every day. My other work was the result of years of messing around and cobbling together a bunch of ideas, whereas in Awake, I wanted it to be a very concise slice of time in my life as an artist. It was the result of that, wanting it to be a really focused effort affected by all this pent-up energy over the past few years preceding it.

Follow Tycho on Twitter at @ISO50. You can also catch Tycho’s show at Oakland’s Fox Theater on October 30th.