Of all the DJs who've headlined Ultra Music Festival, Tiësto is the unofficial godfather. (Short of having his own mega-tent like Carl Cox, of course.) And he's presided over the jubilee since the early days. In fact, Miami is kind of his town.
He may be a Dutchman, but he's even kept a crash pad in our city. And we know for a fact that the biggest name in Dutch house can't wait to celebrate New Year's Eve on South Beach. He's got a special evening planned for LIV, and though tickets may be expensive, he's promising to put on "the ultimate Tiësto set."
And if he sticks to his 2014 resolutions, his new album will be dropping in the coming months too.
See also: Miami's New Year's Eve 2014 Party Guide
Crossfade: What are your New Year's resolutions?
Tiësto: To finish my album!
Some months ago, you posted on Facebook, teasing fans that if the post had enough likes, you'd make another trance album. Any news on that?
I think I was just having a little fun there. I really enjoy social media and connecting with the fans, so it was a playful thing. I'm incorporating trance into my sets as it's part of what I'm all about historically, but my focus musically is my new artist album that's coming in 2014. Pete Tong already premiered the first single, "Red Lights," and that's a first taste of what's to come!
I grew up in South Florida, and when I was in high school ten years ago, I was going to Ultra and you were already headlining every year. Do you feel a sense of personal pride watching the festival grow from a one-day to a three-day and even a two-weekend fest?
One-hundred percent, absolutely. I feel this way about dance music in general, though. I've been coming to the U.S.A. for so many years, and to see how things have grown is remarkable.
All-time favorite Ultra memory ... Go!
Looking back, I'd say it would have to be 2012. I always had a really strong connection with Miami, but that year, I was also celebrating the release of my mix album Club Life: Volume Two, Miami. So I was really in a Miami state of mind well before Ultra, and the set was quite memorable. Actually, the whole time I had in Miami was one of the best ever.
You often position yourself as a mentor on the scene. Can you put into words the special something that makes a newcomer jump out at you from the crowd? How do you find them?
It's no secret that I love working with other artists. There's such energy when you click with another artist in the studio. I've been fortunate to be doing this successfully for quite a long time, and it makes me happy to work with the next generation of talent. I always looked at my career as one that continuously evolves, so while the artists are learning from me, I also learn from them. It's hard to say what makes one artist stand out from another. It's just a feeling I have, and the connection made while communicating. It's something I feel.
Who do you look at right now and think, Wow, that's the future of dance music?
I don't really have that feeling. There are so many great producers from multiple genres that it's impossible to single out. There are great big-room producers, techno and house producers, trap producers, etc. Besides, things move so fast these days, it's as if the future is here by the time I finish a sentence!
A lot of lower-income fans of yours are freaking out about the $50,000 price of the upcoming NYE show at LIV. Obviously, that's the highest cost of a table, but you've been known to play some big-ticket shows. Is there such a thing as too high a price for what you do?
The most important thing for my fans to realize is that I don't control ticket prices, but I always give 100 percent to make sure everyone will have the best time of their lives, regardless of the price. I make sure to play all different types of shows, from intimate spaces to big clubs to festivals, so that everyone gets the chance to see a Tiësto show.
What will you do to make NYE worth that kind of money?
It's up to each person to decide if it's worth it, but I can assure everyone that NYE will be the ultimate Tiësto set -- past, present, and future. You'll hear the classics, my favorites, and get a great look into the music from my forthcoming album. It will be an unforgettable night and the perfect way to say hello to 2014.
Is there anything else you'd like to say?
It's been an amazing 2013 for dance music, and I've been so inspired by our industry. I can't wait to see what 2014 brings. But for one night, Miami, let's party!
Tiësto. Tuesday, December 31. LIV, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. The show starts at 9 p.m. and tickets cost $400 and up plus fees via wantickets.com. Midnight champagne toast, plus premium open bar from 9 p.m. to midnight. Ages 21 and up. Call 305-674-4680 or visit livnightclub.com.
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Follow Kat Bein on Twitter @KatSaysKill.