An electronic dance music DJ and record producer, Tijs Michiel Verwest is better known by his stage name of Tiësto. The artist has been operating as a performance DJ since the mid-1980s and has gained many plaudits over the years. DJ Magazine named him as the 'best DJ of the last 20 years' following a readers' poll. In a similar poll of the views of MixMag magazine readers, Tiësto was given the title of the 'Greatest DJ of All Time'. With few peers in the world of house music, the DJ is also a founder of the music label Black Hole Recordings, a business he started with Arny Bink in 1997. Known for its output of trance and progressive trance tracks, Tiësto sold his share in the label in 2009, going on to form a new record company, Musical Freedom, home to acts such as Nicky Romero, Quintino, Bassjackers and Don Diablo.
Tiësto's early career
Born in the Netherlands in 1969, Tiësto began taking an interest in music as a kid. By the time he was a teenager, he started playing records at school parties. His DJing skills soon marked him out as something out of the ordinary, and from the mid-1980s onwards, he was playing in a variety of clubs in his home country as a resident DJ.
After experimenting with acid house, Tiësto went on to produce some of his own gabber tracks in the mid-1990s. He used aliases at this time, such as DJ Limited. Soon he signed a deal with Basic Beat, where he would go on to meet Arny Bink. Several of Tiësto's tracks at this time were put out by Bink on his sub-label. Successful collaborations followed in the 1990s, such as forming the duo Gouryella, as well as Kamaya Painters. The DJ also went on to gain a monthly residency at the famous Gatecrasher club night in Sheffield, where he made his name with UK audiences.
Tiësto's later career highlights
In 2001, Tiësto's debut solo album came out. In My Memory led to a string of hit singles and it got to number 25 in the Dutch Album Charts. That year he was given the Lucky Strike Dance Award in the category for the Best DJ playing Trance and Progressive Music. He later toured with Moby, David Bowie and Busta Rhymes in the US. At this time, Tiësto became known for his six hour-long DJ sets, which did not rely on any opening act.
More recent highlights include Kaleidoscope, an album of 2009 that got to number 20 in the UK. The DJ's single “Red Lights” got to number one in Scotland in 2013, charting all over the globe. It was taken from A Town Called Paradise, which also charted in the UK, peaking at number 22.
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