It only takes a couple gigs for Tiesto, currently ranking 3rd in the Forbes list of top-paid DJs, to rake in more money than most of us will see in multiple lifetimes. With the rise of dance music over the past handful of years, we now see acts such as Tiesto taking the stage before bands like Kings of Leon.
He also doesn’t seem to be jealous at all of the likes of Calvin Harris, who ranked 1st on the Forbes list, and overly doubling Tiesto’s earning by bringing in a whopping $66 million. Here’s what he had to say in a recent interview with Philly.com:
“I think my perspective on money is everything above $10 million, you’re so rich it doesn’t really matter. What are you going to buy? A golden car? I don’t care if I’m number one or number 10 on that list. I’d rather have a Grammy instead.”
So what has caused such an underground scene to rise into such manic popularity? Tiesto, who has annually averaged over 150 gigs for the past twenty years, says:
“. . .it’s become more and more mainstream because vocals were added to the tracks and pop producers got involved. Those are the guys responsible for it. The basic EDM is still not radio-friendly. . .Everything is in your face, and EDM is more accessible than ever through social media and Spotify. That really helped, blowing it up a lot. It’s always been big, but now it’s more accessible. Now, everyone has their phone with them, and their favorite tracks, everywhere they go.”
But with the sudden explosion of dance music across the world, there comes a lot of ignorance from outsiders looking in. One of the larger complaints we all seem to hear surfacing is the complaint that the biggest acts seem to simply hit a play button on an iPod playlist. But that is very rarely the case, and Tiesto is right there to defend that claim on what he is actually doing while playing a gig.
“I prepare my sets a lot in advance with mashups and vocals and a cappella and just mix it together on the spot. So every two or three minutes, I make a couple of transitions, put some sound effects on it, and yeah, just mix it up in a nice way. And then look at how the crowd reacts, and from that, change the course of the set. Because if you have a prerecorded set and you push one button, you can’t change anything.”
And this statement is quite true. DJing is an art that is the epitome of ‘the greatest at it make it look easy,’ since it often can appear that they are just hitting buttons and hitting play. But the true talent is control of the crowd’s energy along with reacting to how they are feeling the music. Anyone can whip up a playlist that will keep people pumped for a party, but it takes the true talent of DJs like Tiesto to really throw down a smashing set.