Meet Iain Thomas, the 36-year-old South African poet who is famous all over the world except in SA

Trevor Noah has pulled out at the last minute from hosting the MAMAs 2016, due to 'a severe upper respiratory infection'

Tiësto vs Blk Jks

2010-04-27 12:02
Tiësto vs Blk Jks
Read more about the collaboration, and listen to the full song here.

Why did you get involved with Smirnoff Experience South Africa?
I’ve been impressed with the other Smirnoff Experience events around the world in places like Paris, Shanghai and Moscow. It’s all about bringing one-of-kind experiences to life, which I like. I think the South Africa Smirnoff Experience is going to be the best yet!

What was it like working with BLK JKS?
It was really interesting to work with such young and up-and-coming artists. BLK JKS have great creative vision and a lot of enthusiasm. It was a lot of fun working together!

What are you looking forward to most about performing at Smirnoff Experience South Africa?
I haven't been to South Africa for a long time and it's going to be an amazing time to do a Smirnoff Experience show and we're going to broadcast live around the world! It's also right before the World Cup! Go Holland...! Can't wait to Be There on 15th May.

Tell us about your interest in music, when and how did it start?
I was interested in music from an early age. When I was younger, I would listen to a radio show called the Soul Show, and to Ben Liebrand's mix radio program, where he would remix and cut up different tracks, and I just thought - I want to do this!

Are you a self taught DJ or did someone show you the ropes?
Self taught. I started with 1 turntable and a cassette deck !

At what age did you start playing as a professional DJ, and how would you describe your DJ style?
My first break came just after grade school when I was given a steady weekend time slot at The Spock for six hours a night. That was where I was able to develop my own sound and begin to grow a following. I'd describe my music as uplifting and emotional but recently my style has been in transition. On Kaleidoscope, I brought together all of the different musical influences I was enjoying at the moment. It still has the essence of what makes up the Tiësto signature sound, but I took it in a whole new direction. Generally, I tend to experiment with new sounds and textures as it’s important for me to continue to break new ground musically.

You have played all over the world, which show is your most memorable and why?
Performing at the opening ceremonies of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens was a once in a lifetime experience. The feeling and energy of being a part of an event of that importance and being surrounded by the athletes as they entered the stadium is something that I will never forget.

What’s the biggest crowd you have ever played for?
Probably my show in Brazil on Ipanema Beach... 250,000 people!

What do you think of the migration from CD to buying music online?
I have always embraced technology. I think that being able to make music and share it, pretty much as soon as I have finished it is amazing. It used to take a long time for a CD to be distributed, but now it’s at the click of the button.

How have you maintained your relevance as an artist in the dance music industry?
For me, pushing my musical boundaries has been instrumental in my success all these years. I continually strive to evolve as a musician, experimenting with a variety of textures and styles while maintaining the signature sound that is "Tiësto".

What’s your favourite song at the moment?
My favorite song at the moment is my remix I just did for Ou Est Le Swimming Pool called “These New Knights”.

Which of your fellow DJs do you most respect or feel inspired by?
There are a lot of great DJ’s but Sven Vath is one that has always stood out and been a serious inspiration to me throughout my career.

You have worked with a lot of big name artists for collaborations and remixes already, who was your favourite and why?
Sigur Rós is one of my favorite bands and it was amazing to get the opportunity to collaborate with Jónsi, their lead singer. We wrote "Kaleidoscope" together, which turned out to be the title track to my current album.

Watch Tiësto video interview:

Tell us about your interest in music, when and how did it start?
I believe our interest in music begins in the womb or whatever dimension which precedes this one and when the sounds are right—from pop to classical, all the way to drum and bass or kwaito—we love it to bits, because we find ourselves tapping into the sensory memory of our primordial super selves.

Are you self-taught musicians?
Yes, guess we are insofar as we are Afrikan, DIY, rebel and punk like that! It was high time we started our own party, our own way. Some of us are more classically trained, some of us started off more self-taught, but these days we learn a lot from each other.

You blend rock with musical influences from your local culture but how would you best describe your sound in a few words?
Unique, because you too are unique, just like everybody else — and that's the truth. Our music is all about the RAW. It’s HONEST.

You have a national following and have played to crowds around South Africa – what’s your favorite gig to date and why?
Our favorite is either the next one or the last. In terms of the last in this case we just played at the Cape Town Jazz Fest and it was a "howler"… we had a lot of fun, summoning the spirits of the Mother City, yes, it was like the wind, cried, Mary. We were the first band on that day, and they shut the stage down after we played. Tell you what, can't wait for the SMIRNOFF mash-up, it's going to be a riot!

You obviously love to rock out, but are there other music styles and sounds that you enjoy?
We are into all types of music and stuff, as long as it kicks ass.

Which other musicians do you most respect or feel inspired by?
Too many to mention… those who master, build and go to war for entirely new language of self, searching ever for that beastly beautiful musical universe to move masses to, with only this intangible tool and energy of the sonic god force, so that we might realize like: Bjork, Fela Kuti and Michael Jackson.

You have been nominated for 'Album of the Year' at the South Africa Music Awards – how did you feel when you heard the news?
Acknowledged. It feels real nice.

You will be performing at the World Cup Opening ceremony in South Africa, are you nervous about the performance?
No no no... We are not nervous at all, possibly anxious…wish it was tomorrow!

The world's number one DJ/producer Tiësto has set another musical milestone with a new collaboration merging his own unique sound with the prog rock of South Africa’s hottest emerging band BLK JKS - recently awarded 'Best Alternative Music Album' at the South African Music Awards. As part of a global Smirnoff Experience™ event in South Africa called 'Mashup Street', Tiësto has created a new and exclusive track for download. This is what the artists had to say about the collaboration.
Read more on:    joburg
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