By Scott T. Sterling
A quick look around the world of EDM reveals a prevailing trend: youth rules. From teenage dynamo Martin Garrix to the fresh-faced brothers of Disclosure, one is hard-pressed to find acts over the age of 25, let alone a dynamic, scene-dominating veteran who’s been around long enough to have been Garrix’s idol growing up.
Such is the case with 45-year-old Tijs Michiel Verwest, better known as Tiësto, who has stood tall at the top of the ever-expanding dance music universe since the turn of the century. While sub-genres and public tastes have shifted wildly, Tiësto is the bridge between dance music’s underground past and its current status as the sound of young America.
With the release of his new album, A Town Called Paradise, Tiësto seeks to elevate his stratospheric career beyond EDM and towards becoming a household-name. Marrying his hands-in-the-air trance euphoria with finely crafted pop forms, the album has already generated the hit single “Red Lights,” which has had a major impact on the Billboard charts as well as American pop radio, a first for the Dutch DJ. The follow-up single, “Wasted,” looks to follow suit.
“I never thought that would happen, but it’s definitely for me one of the icings on the cake of my career,” Tiësto explained during an interview with Radio.com about the success of “Red Lights.” “I’m so proud to have a song on the radio, because I’ve never had that kind of music. It’s not that I try to make something that fits the radio, I just like to write songs which I really like myself. And then the radio picks it up, it’s like a mega-bonus.”
The influence of Las Vegas is stamped all over A Town Called Paradise, a city that Tiësto helped turn into America’s current dance music capital.