Having earned over $39 million in 2017 aloneand garnered worldwide recognition as the godfather of EDM over the last 20 years, Dutchman Tijs Michiel Verwest, or Tiesto, needs little introduction. Here is a man, who, at 49 years of age, shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, Tiesto is arguably as prolific as he has ever been, particularly in terms of touring.
Between March and September 2018, Tiesto has over 50 tour dates announced, and those are just the ones that are confirmed on his website—more dates will surely follow. Tiesto is a fan-pleaser; a man who is passionate about putting on the best shows possible and ensuring people want to party all night long. His dedication to touring is such that many days on his grueling schedule involve him playing two shows on the same day!
Tiesto’s hard work and passion for electronic music are obvious and admirable, however, an often overlooked impact of Tiesto’s hectic schedule is how it affects his ability to make new music. After all, much work goes into each set Tiesto performs, which is the reason he has been at the top of the EDM industry for so long. Aside from choosing tracks, transitions, and sound effects, a lot of work goes into staging and lighting, which Tiesto plays a part in. The end result is a man who is perennially busy.
A 2018 CNN interview provided some insight into how this Dutchman spends an average week. “One week I did three, four parties, and played in Ibiza. I played in Bulgaria on the beach. I played Mykonos until seven in the morning. I played with Kanye West, you know, on a private party. I met the supermodel, Kate Upton…You know, every week, something else.” It’s not stretching it to say Tiesto packs more action into an average week of touring than many DJs would in the space of a month.
Such a heavy focus on wowing fans with live performances across the planet means it is no surprise that Tiesto has enlisted the help of other producers for the majority of his latest tracks. A brief foray onto the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) website listing for Tiesto shows him using quite a number of producers on various songs over the last two decades, coinciding with the duration for which Tiesto has reigned supreme in EDM.
Bad Behaviour, a track from his 2009 track Kaleidoscope, features producers including Floyd Nathaniel Hills, D Mills, Dylan Kwabena Mills, and Tijs M Verwest. Similarly, 2017’s On My Way, featuring Bright Sparks, has Ashley Hicklin, Sergio M Popken, Kimberley Sawford, and Tijs M Verwest all listed as producers. Ferry Corsten is listed as a producer as far back as Tiesto-s 1999 song, Dreamtime.
Between putting in the work to deliver amazing sets and city-hopping across the planet, often multiple times a week, it’s easy to see why Tiesto’s schedule doesn’t give him much time to make new music. In this scenario, it makes complete sense to hire ghost producers and other people to assist with his work.
Ghost production is, therefore, almost a necessity for the modern global superstar DJ. By hiring other talented producers, and utilizing their abilities on the biggest stage, the likes of Tiesto give other producers the opportunity to earn money while helping out the names that define modern EDM. DJs like Tiesto benefit from fresh new sounds that align with their images, while giving them the time to focus on their maxed out international touring schedules. It’s the very definition of a win-win situation.