There are many things to love about Paris Hilton – almost too many to mention, in fact. Whether it’s because of her Barbie-doll looks, fun-loving personality, signature catchphrases “loves it” and “that’s hot”, strong work ethic, glamorous Instagram posts or the facts that she adores the colour pink and is always smiling, Hilton has long been one of society’s favourite celebrities.
She’s come a long way since her days on the reality TV-show The Simple Life. Besides being a successful entrepreneur, media mogul, socialite, author (her book, Confessions of an Heiress, was a New York Times best seller), actress and singer (“High Off My Love”, the third single from her second album, dominated the US Billboard Dance/Electronic Songs chart), the 35 year-old has in the last couple of years added the title of DJ to her portfolio of personas.
One of the highest-paid celebrity DJs out there, she has already locked down four summer residencies at the famous Ibiza hotspot Amnesia, been named Best Female DJ of the Year at the NRJ awards in 2014 and received two consecutive nominations for Celebrity DJ of the Year at the Global Spin Awards.
Putting her musical career aside for a moment, Hilton will release her 20th fragrance this year, launch a cosmetics line, expand her clothing and accessory collections, and develop a new chain of luxury resorts around the world.
I sit down with her on the day of her DJ appearance at the first Summer Love pool party series at Pacha Macau nightclub in Studio City Macau. And let me tell you that not only is she breathtakingly beautiful, she’s also incredibly sweet, smart and down-to-earth. To top it all off, this girl really knows how to work it in front of the cameras.
How did you get into DJ-ing?
I learned how to DJ 11 years ago from my friend DJ AM. He actually taught me on vinyl before there was anything else, and then about six years ago I was asked to headline a concert and close for Jennifer Lopez for 30,000 people. I was so excited. I did it and I fell in love with it. After that, I hired the best people in the business and really learned and studied for about six hours a day for seven months straight. I learned everything there was to learn about it and now I’ve been killing it around the world ever since.
Who have you been working with on your upcoming tracks?
I’ve been working with a lot of people. There are some surprises, but some people that are on the album . . . well, Snoop Dogg is one of them. We’ve been friends for many years so I can’t wait for everyone to hear that track, it’s pretty sick.
This year marked your fourth summer residency at Amnesia in Ibiza. What do you like about DJ-ing there?
Ibiza is the most amazing place on earth to party. I’ve been going there since I was a teenager. And now I can’t believe I’m back for my fourth year as DJ. It’s been such a huge success and it’s always completely sold out and packed. The energy is incredible. Just being on stage playing in front of thousands of people, everyone is having the time of their life. I play the sickest sets, everybody who comes in from all around the world comes to see me and it’s just . . . there’s no party like it in the world.
What makes a fun pool party?
Me [laughs]! No, seriously. Fun pool parties . . . definitely amazing music, a fun crowd, everybody in their bikinis or swimsuits, great drinks, obviously, and a fun DJ. I don’t think anyone knows how to throw a pool party like I do. I’ve thrown many of them, everybody always has the time of their life.
Give us your top tips on throwing a great party.
First, the most important thing is having an amazing DJ, such as me [laughs] or somebody else. Getting a great crowd there, so if it’s a private party you want to make sure the guest list has fun people, a lot of hot girls and a lot of hot guys, so everybody is happy. Get a chef that has hors d’oeuvres you can pass around, so you have good food, or just order pizza, if you want. Lighting is important. You don’t want it too dark and you don’t want it too bright, so it’s good to have a sexy kind of lighting for everybody. What else? An amazing space like Pacha, here at [Studio City Macau], would be an amazing place for someone to rent out if they wanted to do an amazing birthday party.
How would you describe your style?
I’m a chameleon. It depends on what’s happening. If I’m going to a business meeting and I’m in New York, I will be head-to-toe in a Chanel suit and be dressed like a businesswoman. If I’m going to Coachella, I’ll be dressed like a raver with coloured hair and braids and wear hippie dresses. When I DJ, I call myself the raver Barbie and I’m blinged out, with my DJ gloves, cat ears and something that’s sparkling and just really glam. When I’m at home chilling, I’m just in my sweatpants and a T-shirt and no make-up and just sitting and chilling with my pets and relaxing. So it’s always different. I like being a trendsetter and just wearing whatever I feel happy and comfortable in.
It’s been reported your fragrance business is worth more than US $2.5 billion. What’s made this empire of yours so successful?
Yes, I’m so proud, I’ve been in this business for 12 years now, and I’m about to release my 20th fragrance. So it’s so exciting, what a huge success it’s been. I think the reason is because I always pick up and develop perfumes that have incredible scents. They’re always very different. I make sure all the campaigns are always something that’s just fun and interesting, too. For the new perfume, we filmed a beautiful commercial, and this is actually the first time that we’ve used a male model. It’s really hot, and I can’t wait for everybody to see it. It makes me feel great that people love my products and continue to buy them every single year.
How have your fragrances evolved over the years?
They always change. In the beginning it was me as a Tinkerbell fairy or me as a mermaid. They were very girly and now the newer fragrances, like Heiress, is more grown up and sophisticated. We’re doing this entire series, for which all of the perfume bottles are blinged out and these are all limited editions. It’s great for people to have a limited edition and every scent is just completely different.
We hear you’re planning to launch a cosmetics collection and an apparel line in China. Tell us more.
Yes, we launched the make-up line last year and it’s been such a huge success. We sold out right away and now we’re actually relaunching around the world because everybody’s loving the makeup. It’s beautiful colours, gorgeous packaging, no animal testing, amazing ingredients. Everything is just the highest quality that you can get. So I’m excited about that because I love make-up and beauty and glam, so it’s a perfect product for me to have. And my clothing line I’m doing with Young Essence – it’s going be clothing and accessories, jewellery, and I also have my sunglasses line out here. So it’s very exciting.
You always look fabulous. Do you have a glam squad?
I’m not a diva, I don’t like travelling with a huge entourage. Right now, it’s just me and him [Jaeson Ma]. We work together and we’re business partners. We always find out who are the best hair and make-up people in the place I’m going to and then we use them. It’s easier, they’re local and I like trying out new people, because it’s fun and I get to try different styles. When I’m in LA, I do have my team that I always use.
Have you had any interesting fan experiences?
Yes. I’ve had lots of very interesting ones. I’ve had some scary ones, but I’ve had amazing fan experiences, too. When I find out if they’re going to be in a certain country, I’ll invite them or they’ll fly in. Sometimes I’ll fly them in and get them a hotel room where I’m staying. I have one of my really big fans, Chelsea, who actually just flew in last night from Manila and I got her a room here and we’re going to hang out the whole time and party. I think that’s something nice to do with the fans, because they mean so much to me and just to see their smile and how excited they are. It just means the world to me. I feel that I’m lucky enough to be able to bring happiness to people like this and I love doing it.