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VIBE Interview: Tiësto Unfolds A Third Chapter Of His High Octane ‘Club Life’

Tiësto has no patience for timewasters. Like his hip-hop ally Kanye West, the producer has more mountains to move, a loud new album to speed up the process and to further shake up the music-sphere.

It’s easy to argue that Tiësto is the Kanye West of dance music. Albeit a decibel less provocative when it comes to public persona. After interviewing him multiple times over the past few years, there is one question I always ask the DJ superstar, born, Tijs Michiel Verwest: “What rapper is your joie de vivre?” To which, the Dutchman always answers: “Kanye West.” Contrary to the “big pimp music hero” personas, Tiësto’s new offering, Club Life Vol. 3 - Stockholm, should never be compared to Yeezus, let alone used in the same sentence. While the electronic elements of Ye’s latest masterpiece are all clear and present, that’s where we draw the line. In fact, Club Life is the aural opposite of Yeezus. While West wears a darkly cloaked veil of serious, stunner synths and lyrics, Tiësto’s comp is a cavalcade of fun, finely arranged summer (and spring and fall) anthems.

The 44-year-old’s third installment of Club Life also comes as a high-BPM encore to his sophomore fashion endeavor with GUESS. Tiësto says he “went in with ideas” and was “heavily involved” in the design process for the SWAGGY-club threads. “We had brainstorming sessions [mulling over] designs and the overall feel for the collection.” With a new tour schedule for Club Life Vol. 3 - Stockholm, a residency at glam-raver-baller haven, Hakkasan Las Vegas, it’s clear why his biggest weakness is being “very impatient,” Tijs admits. “I always need everything done, A.S.A.P.” He’s got no time to wait.

Tiësto needn’t hop on stages or interrupt award shows to make some noise. He’s a bit more calm-spirited for Yeezy-like behavior. There’s something about this dude—like his pal Kanye— the man dances to the beat of his own click. - Sarah Polonsky

VIBE: What would you say are the main changes in Club Life, from Vol. 1 to now with its third volume?
Tiësto: When the first album came out, it was on my label, Musical Freedom, [which was] in its infancy. It's grown tremendously since the first album and I'm really proud of the music that's come out. Of course, the "vibe" here is different. I also feel that the series has grown—where it's more about being at a place where fans can hear my own original material and remixes more than just [compiling] a mix CD filled with [other artists’] hot tracks. I want this series to be something really special and that's why I worked hard to fill it with so much material that you can't find anywhere else.

There's a lot of underlying rock n’ roll themes in this album. The first two tracks alone, “Paradise” with Dyro and “Take Me” ft. Kyler England (she's got a rock band, after all), is rock a secret passion of yours?
I grew up as a fan of rock and was a big fan of bands like Iron Maiden. So there's a big connection for me.

Will you be spinning the album on a specific tour? Is it necessary to tour an album when true fans may want to hear all your stuff?
The album contains a lot of new material. Many of my own original tracks, remixes and collaborations. Many of these are already fan favorites and they are certainly a part of my sets, combined with some classic tracks and favorites from other artists at the moment. I don't think fans want to be stuck in the past. I think a balance of the old, new and a look to the future is the perfect DJ set. I'm on ‘The Club Life’ tour, so there is the obvious connection here.

Do you tailor your sets to suit the crowd and vibe? Or do you just play what you want with an ability to steer the party?
I've always wanted to be a DJ so I could play the music I love for other people. That feeling hasn't changed, but my sets are always evolving. In terms of tailoring to a specific crowd, certainly I do play differently depending on the situation. It's a different feel, for example, in a small club versus a festival.

Do you have a preference for festival settings or arenas versus more intimate venues?
I have no preference. The fans came out to party with me so I always bring it. There's an amazing intimate feeling in a small club but an insane rush playing a stadium or festival.

To this day, what would you say your most memorable set has been?
It's a harder question to answer than you may think. I can easily say it was my first ever gig in Breda [Netherlands town where Tiësto hails from] because that was as a rookie getting up in front of people for the first time. Then, the moments like [when I performed at] the Opening Ceremonies of the Athens Olympics or Home Depot Center in California. That was the biggest single DJ show ever in U.S. history so it was quite memorable for me. There are many others, too, I could go on forever.

It is no question you are a pioneer in dance music, if you were to tell us several up and coming artists to keep on our radar who would they be?
A bunch of guys on the compilation fit the bill: Alvaro, Quintino, Moti, DJ Punish, to name some.

With a mixed bag of emotions coming from pioneers of dance music in regards to the industry changes, where do you still find your inspiration to do what you do?
I can honestly say that the fans inspire. There's an unexplainable rush that comes when I'm in the middle of a set and the energy from the fans hit me. I also get really inspired through collaborations. I've learned so much from the emerging producers I've worked with just as they've learned from me.

One thing you can't live without?
My laptop! I can't live a day without it!

If you weren't a DJ, what would you be doing?
I always saw myself working in the record industry. Probably as an A&R guy or CEO at Beatport or iTunes.

Anything we should keep our ears and eyes on the lookout for in the upcoming months?
Yes, I'll be on the road promoting the album and focusing on my residency at Hakkasan in Las Vegas. After that, I'll be putting the finishing touches on my new artist album that's set for release in 2014.

Got any outrageous tour tales of stalker fan stories?
My fans are crazy, but in a good way. Very supportive and some tweet me more like a 100 times a day. As for tour tales, I have a saying, “What happens on tour stays on tour.”

Cop Club Life Vol. 3 - Stockholm on iTunes.

Photo Credit: GUESS

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French Montana Sued For Sexual Assault, Battery And Emotional Distress

French Montana is being accused of sexually assaulting an intoxicated woman, according to a lawsuit filed in L.A. Superior Court on Thursday (March 26). The accuser claims that she was sexually assaulted at the rapper's home two years ago.

The woman, identified only as Jane Doe, is suing for assault and battery, sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence and more. Montana, his Coke Boys Records imprint, and employee, Mansour Bennounare, are named in the suit, which alleges that on or around March 28, 2018, the woman was invited to a recording studio where Montana and Bennouna were “working.” The documents allege that Montana and Bennouna were “drinking and using drugs” in the studio and offered her drinks, before inviting her back to Montana’s home in Hidden Hills, Calif.

The woman allegedly arrived at the home at around 6 a.m. Thirty minutes later, the woman claims that she stepped outside to phone a friend but was “lucid” and “unable to carry a conversation.” The woman went back inside Montana’s kitchen and although she “wanted to leave” she was urged to “take a shot,” the documents assert.

After being given a drink, the woman says that she blacked out and was therefore unable to give consent to “engage in any sexual activity” but remembers “several men” coming in out of the bedroom. She believes that Montana was one of the men.

The accuser says she woke up on a couch in a room “filled with curtains” at around 1 p.m. She was “confused” and “intoxicated” and felt pain in her pelvic area, vagina, and lower back, the suit states. The lawsuit also alleges that Bennouna was laying behind her in a “spooning manner,” groping her, and rubbing his genitals against her back.

The woman began “crying hysterically” because she believed that she had been drugged and raped. She grabbed her things and left the home. According to the suit, the woman went to a local hospital where a rape kit was administered. She also reported the alleged incident to police, the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit goes on to allege that the defendants earn money from “promoting drinking, taking drugs and having sex with women,” and use their business as a front to “lure” women to their homes where they provide them with drugs and alcohol to have sex, with or without consent.

“Defendants had a longstanding practice of inviting women to their recording sessions, or choosing women at bars, and inviting them back to the Hidden Hills house which is also a hub of EMPLOYER DEFENDANTS business enterprises,” the lawsuit reads. “There Defendants would supply the women with drinks and drugs, with the purpose of engaging in sexual acts with them, without any regard to whether or not they consented, or were able to consent.”

The alleged assault caused the woman to have anxiety, “extreme emotional distress,” flashbacks, depression, and prevented her from continuing to pursue a career in modeling and acting. The suit is asking for a jury trial.

Montana, whose birth name is Karim Kharbouch, hasn’t publicly responded to the allegations.

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Prince’s Siblings Reportedly File Petition To Get Money From His Estate

The heirs to Prince’s fortune want his estate to pay up. According to The Blast, the music legend’s siblings, Norine, Sharon and John, filed legal documents in hopes of green lighting “payment for service and efforts provided to the Estate.”

The trio claims that while “others” have been compensated, they have yet to be paid after putting time and energy into “business matters” related to the estate, which is being run by Comerica Bank.

“As this Court is aware, the Estate has now been on-going for over three years,” the documents reportedly state. “In this time, millions have been paid to the Personal Representatives, their accountants, attorneys, and legal advisors.”

The heirs accused Comerica of making money decisions without notifying them, which the bank has denied. Last year, a Minnesota judge denied the siblings’ request to limit the bank’s power over the estate.

Prince’s brothers and sisters want a judge to force Comerica to compensate them so that they can get out of financial ruin, including paying legal bills.

The Purple One’s estate is worth an estimated $200 million (down from $300 million) since his death in 2016. Prince died without a will but a judge ruled that his estate would be split between his six half-siblings. His brother, Alfred Jackson, who was 1/6 of the estate heirs died in 2019. Last December, Prince’s sister, Tyka Nelson, sold off a chunk of her percentage of the estate to cover legal bills.

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Here’s How New Orleans Is Being Affected By Coronavirus

New Orleans has twice as many COVID-19 cases per capita than any other county or parish in the country. This time last month, the Big Easy welcomed over a million visitors for Mardi Gras, which likely contributed to the diseases spreading rapidly around the city.

New Orleans registered its first case of COVID-19 on March 9. As of Friday (March 27), the city reported more than 20 additional coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the total to 119. The death tole increased by 19% in one day, according to the Times-Picayune. That said, the number of those who have contracted the disease could vary due to a lack of testing in Louisiana, and around the country. The state reported 441 new cases as of Friday.

Male patients account for 43% of the COVID-19 cases in the state, while women make up 57%. The largest number of cases by age group are adults between the ages of 50-59. Orleans Parish, which is Louisiana’s third most populous parish behind East Baton Rouge and Jefferson Parish, reported 57 of the 87 coronavirus-related deaths.

At least 24% percent of New Orleans residents are living below the poverty line, and 1 in 5 households are without a vehicle, further limiting access to testing and treatment, USA Today reports. The poverty stats, compounded with lack of access to proper health care and those with underlying medical conditions, contribute to the spike in cases.

“New Orleans is preparing to mobilize in a way we hope we will never see again in our lifetimes,” New Orleans Homeland Security Director Collin Arnold said, per USA Today. “This disaster will define us for generations.”

The city is running out of hospital beds, and ventilators could be next on the list. Of the more the 773 reported patients hospitalized over COVID-19, 270 of them require ventilators. Louisiana has close to 2,800 ventilators statewide. While the city works to gain access to necessary medical supplies, others are stepping forward to help feed NOLA residents.

Earlier in the week, New Orleans Saints player Drew Brees and his wife, Brittany, announced that they are donating $5 million to various charities including Second Harvest Food Bank, Ochsner Health, Jimmy Johns, and Waitr, to prepare and deliver over 10,000 meals per day throughout Louisiana.

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Brittany and I are committing $5,000,000 to the State of Louisiana in 2020. The priority now is helping our communities get through this tough time. After considerable research and conversations with local organizations, we will be mobilizing our partnerships with Second Harvest Food Bank, Ochsner Health Systems, Walk-Ons, Jimmy Johns, Smalls Sliders and Waitr to prepare and deliver over 10,000 meals per day throughout Louisiana for as long as it takes to children on meal programs, seniors, and families in need. Let’s all do our part, maintain hope, and get through this together.

A post shared by Drew Brees (@drewbrees) on Mar 26, 2020 at 8:31am PDT

In neighboring Mississippi, there are 570 confirmed COVID-19 cases and eight deaths out of 3,139 tests administered. Mississippi also has more women battling the disease (59%) than men (41%).

According to the U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, New Orleans, Detroit, Chicago and other “hot spots” will have a worse week next week than they had this week.

In Milwaukee, the city’s Black community is being hit harder than any other group in the state. All of the eight deaths (five men and three women) in Milwaukee County were Black people, and seven of the eight were Milwaukee residents.

Philadelphia has at least 475 cases of the disease with over 2,200 confirmed cases statewide. On a positive note, more than 21,000 people  have tested negative for coronavirus in Pennsylvania.

With over 42,246 people testing positive for the disease, New York tops the list of coronavirus cases around the country and has been receiving the brunt of nationwide press around the pandemic, while states like Michigan, which falls fifth on the nationwide list, aren't generating the same amount of national headlines. The Midwestern state has been considered an epicenter  for the disease, and cities such as Detroit and Flint, where residents have been without clean water for years, are among the most vulnerable.

As of Thursday (March 28), the U.S. confirmed more cases of COVID-19 than any other country in the world. Over 100,000 people tested positive for the disease and while hospitals are still in need of critical supplies and testing kits, there is one small glimmer of hope: the fatality rate in the U.S. remains at less than 10% (1607 confirmed deaths), and over 2,000 people in the country have been reported as recovered from COVID-19.

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