Tiesto on His Next Album, "Red Lights," and Why He'll "Never Stop Challenging" Himself

Photo by Guy Aroch

Whoa, bro. The world's biggest DJ is finally about to drop a new studio slab?

That's right. And though he has continued to let loose a steady supply of Club Life mixtapes (not to mention a full-length as Allure), it's been almost five years since Tijs Michiel Verwest, best known to EDM fanatics as Tiësto, put out 2009's Kaleidoscope, his last proper artist album.

Now, he won't tell us the upcoming record's title ("I don't even know it," he jokes) or its exact release date. But Tijs does admit that he's growing just as impatient as his most obsessed fans. "I'm going crazy!" he laughs. "I can't wait."

Last week, in the run up to Winter Music Conference, Miami Music Week, and Ultra Music Festival 2014, the $32-million-per-year man chatted with Crossfade about being immortalized in wax, prepping the next album, and why EDM isn't pop.

See also: Pete Tong on Commercial Dance Music: "The Craft Has Gone Up to Another Level"

Crossfade: What's it like knowing that people actually pay money to see a wax statue of Tiësto in a museum?
Tiësto: Well, I don't think that anyone pays to only see me. [Laughs] But it's really cool. And when the statue was just finished, I went to check myself out. So if you look on the Internet, there are photos of me standing next to myself, and we're both wearing the same shirt.

He's been around since, like, 2007. He's even traveled all the way to Las Vegas and then back to Amsterdam. So he's almost as well traveled as I am.

Of course, though, the wax Tiësto isn't gearing up for the release of his next studio album. And the real Tiësto recently dropped the first single, "Red Lights," off that new record.
Yes, I did. The original version of that track is actually already almost two and a half years old. It all started one night in Sweden when I met up with producer Rami Yacoub, who also does a lot of pop stuff, and he played me the chorus. I was like, "Wow, this is so uplifting and euphoric! This is so me!" And I knew that I wanted to work on the track. It was a very long process, but it was definitely worth it.

Interestingly, "Red Lights" opens with some acoustic guitar work. And like you, Avicii recently toyed with a singer-songwriter vibe on "Wake Me Up." Is mixing acoustic or live instruments with synthesized sounds something that'll characterize much of your new album?
It's not a one-off. But the whole album isn't completely like "Red Lights" either. In fact, it's a nice mix of both styles. There are some songs that have acoustic elements, maybe half of them. And then the other half of the tracks are denser, more layered EDM songs.

How close are you to completing the record?
Very close. I've actually completed pretty much all of my work on the album. But I'm waiting to find the right vocalists to nail some of the songs. It is all written and the instrumental tracks are finished. I am just being patient, trying to find the people who can sing the vocal parts the way I want.

See also: Ultra 2014's Five Best Live Acts

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