Earlier this month, the world's no.1 DJ hit South African shores and brought with him his special brand of DJ magic. Thousands flocked to Splash in Centurion for a day in the sun and the chance to see Tijs Verwest (aka TiŽsto) in the flesh.We managed to steal a few minutes with him before his set. Enjoy!

Our first question is from Cape Town. "Who is the producer you most respect in electronic music today and who would you like to work with on tracks." - Umm, I think Moby.

Really? I wouldn't have thought so… - Yeah! Because he started with a track like "Go" many years ago, and then he went into extreme punk and rock music. He developed himself.

And you are not worried about Eminem then? - I'm not worried about Eminem. If I see Eminem I am going to kick his butt!

When you do a re-mix, do you choose the track based on the style of the song or because you want to work with that person. - No, most of the time they send me the tracks. I get six or seven offers a week for tracks to remix. So we get many offers. I just pick out the song I feel I can do something with. I always try to keep the original elements from the original song in there. I don't want to remix it too much, I keep the melody and vocal.

Ok, lets talk about your label, Black Hole. All of our subscribers are asking how they can get their demos to TiŽsto! - Yeah! They can send it to the label. The A&R guy from black hole, he is called Dimitri, make it attention to Dimitri. He has to make a shifting, so he is going to separate the good from the bad, and all the good stuff we listen to together. So you then send to black hole and if its good, I hear it, if it is not good, crap I won't hear it.

Are you interested in African influenced trance? Some local producers are trying to fuse African Rhythms with their music. - I am interested in every kind of music. I think it should work really well, like tribal drums and trance melodies … definitely.

Trance has become much more progressive in its sound, where do you think its going and what has your part been in that. - Ahh. I think trance will always be progressive. Progressive is getting a bit harder nowadays, because the really progressive techno - the really deep stuff - is nice to listen to at home but not at a party. Party people want to hear uplifting music, so I think the uplifting music is getting more back now. In the last one and a half years in the UK, its been slagging off all the time. But now, The DJ List saw like seven DJs in the top ten that are trance DJs. The uplifting music is back now; it's not a shame to play a big trance track.

I saw you play at Turnmills in London about two or three months ago. You were playing with Tall Paul and Judge Jules. What is it like to always play with the best DJ's in the world all the time? - <Laughs> Well actually you don't feel like you are playing with the best DJs in the world because every DJ has his own little thing. They are all little islands, you get the Jules island, you have the Tall Paul island and the TiŽsto island. I mean we all get along very well, of course, but music wise we all very egoistic. We play our own music. So it doesn't matter what Jules plays. I will play my set anyway and the same with Jules if I play. Some records we both play - so it's good to get there early and hear what is getting played before you start playing!

Tell us about your studio, what are you running? Is it PC or Mac based? - Its PC now again, I used to work with Logic, but now I'm back to Cubase. Much more facilities with Cubase than with Logic, Logic is for the Mac.

Yes, Logic recently stopped support for the PC's… - Exactly!

Carrying on with your studio. Do you feel you are more of a producer than a DJ or are they both very much parts of your life? - Actually, in the beginning I felt more like a DJ. And then after a couple of years, it was like well, I want to make this music myself, its much more fulfilling if you get to play your own music. So then I started producing. I'm getting more into the producing stuff nowadays. Now I work with my engineer. Before, I couldn't make a good mix down, because until three years ago I used to do it all by myself - everything, the programming, the mix down - and I just noticed that I missed some talent in mixing down the track. Now they sound so phat and that's because of my engineer.

Who is your engineer? - Ahh, he wants to stay anonymous. He does not want to be in the picture.

No problem; let's talk a little bit about DJ technology and things like Final Scratch… - Yes it's from Holland! <Now Final Scratch is owned by Stanton, but the original company is Dutch-based>

And what about the new Denon DNS 5000 CD players where you can mix 4 tracks from the same CD? - I have not seen those yet - DNS-5000? You know more than I <laughs>

Yeah well I can't use the thing so it does not really matter. Are you excited about DJ technology, and do you think is enhancing and allowing people to do things that they could not do before. - Yes, I think vinyl will disappear. Everybody is shocked when I say that, I mean it's the 21st century, we have such high tech equipment and a vinyl record is so old school.

Do you not enjoy the feel of vinyl? - I love vinyl, I mean I'm an old school DJ. When I started DJing there were not even CDs. But I think its good, because in that way, things are much faster. Like with the Final Scratch, you can play MP3s and you can play them as records, it's great for development of the scene. But on the other hand it makes it much more difficult to break through as a DJ.

This is a question from Liz also from Cape Town: "I read an interview that you cried after Innercity in 1999, because it was so overwhelming. How much emotion do you put into your DJ sets?" - Well at that time I was very emotional, because it was my first big set for 30,000 people and I was overwhelmed by the response. I was under so much tension the whole day because I knew if I played a good set over there I would have my breakthrough in Holland. But I always dreamed about it. In the beginning when I was DJing, I dreamed to be a big DJ in Holland, not worldwide. World Wide was like "Ahh…Impossible!" And that's why I cried because I felt like I achieved something, after all those years of playing in small clubs and not getting any recognition.

A last question: There are rumours about a second solo album. Can you tell us a little but more? - They are just rumours.

C'mon. never lies! <grin> - TranceAddict! Well the thing is I am going to work on a new album, but it is going to take a while before it is finished, I just quit remixing at the moment and I just want to produce my own tracks. And if I have enough tracks finished then I am going to release an album. But I can't say when or how it is going to sound, because I just started to produce new tracks now. But one thing that I can say, the quality of the sound is amazing, you have never heard anything like it before.

Will you send us copies to give away as prizes? - Yeah! At the time yeah sure. Talk to Sheerdance.

Cool. We will. Thank you TiŽsto!! ••