Tiësto's Take on Las Vegas

As far as EDM goes, there's simply no other city in the world that compares.

The most in-demand name in electronic music, Tiësto was the first DJ to perform on stage at the Olympics (2004 in Athens, Greece) and won a Grammy Award earlier this year for Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical, for his version of the John Legend hit “All of Me.” His globally syndicated “Club Life Podcast” is the No. 1 podcast on iTunes. In Las Vegas, Tiësto performs exclusively at Hakkasan and Wet Republic at MGM Grand.

When you were a kid, did you know you wanted to be in the music world?

Yeah, I knew from a young age that I wanted to be involved in music in some capacity. I was a huge rock and metal fan when I was a teenager and used to go to big festivals like Monsters Of Rock. It was when I saw a DJ play at a small club in my hometown of Breda in the Netherlands that I knew I wanted to make DJing my own profession. I was just amazed at what the DJ was doing and how he interacted with the crowd.

Who have been your artistic influences along the way?

Early on I was influenced by music from Eye Q Records and Sven Vath. I’m really into all sorts of styles, though, so I’m influenced by dance music, rock, hip hop and more.  

What’s your creative process in putting together a set?

There’s really no process in that I don’t put it together in advance. The only song I definitely know I will play is the first song. From there it’s unpredictable and dependent on the crowd.

In the last few years, the Vegas nightlife and daylight worlds have really exploded. Why do you think that is?

It’s the perfect scenario, a place where people are always going to party, to lose their inhibitions. All the hotels are in close proximity, so you have the finest talent in such a small area. Dance music is so big now on a commercial level—Vegas is the perfect place for it to explode.   

What was your impression of Vegas before you visited for the first time? Did it live up to your expectations?

I’ve always loved Vegas. From an entertainment and food point of view, how could you not? I think Vegas has lived up to—if not surpassed—everything I thought it would be. It’s pretty mind-blowing just how huge dance music is here. I mean, look back through history at all the legendary artists who have played here, as well as the incredible sporting events. Now, dance music is one of the major draws in Vegas.

When you perform at Hakkasan and Wet Republic back-to-back, what is it like making the shift between the two?

It’s a ton of fun because I tend to play differently at both parties. There’s a totally different vibe between a night and day party. Hakkasan is massive but it still feels intimate to me. Wet Republic gets downright crazy with people going wild in the pool. I get a total kick out of the fans going nuts.

What inspires you?

The fans. Truly, the most unbelievable thing is when I first get on that stage and everyone is going crazy. I’m so pumped. 

Is the club scene in other cities similar to the club scene in Las Vegas?

Nothing is comparable to Vegas right now.  

What do you like best about performing in Las Vegas?

It’s kind of like inviting out-of-town friends to your house. I consider Vegas a second home and the nature of Vegas is that there are always people coming in from all over the world to party. The fans are always different and full-on!

Do you have any pre- or post-show rituals?

Not really. Just hang out with some friends, have a drink and relax.

What do you do in Vegas when you’re not on stage?

I love checking out the restaurants. Vegas has some of the best in the world.

Do you have a personal philosophy or creed you’ve followed through the years?

Not really, though I put out this track “Maximal Crazy” a few years back that pretty much embodies what I want the fans to experience; to go “Maximal Crazy.” The video for this song was actually shot in Vegas when I was taking a helicopter into EDC [Electric Daisy Carnival].

What’s your favorite guilty indulgence?

I’m big-time into clothes. I love fashion.