Plus: Why you shouldn't hold your breath for a 'Simple Life' revival
Much has been written about Paris Hilton since she eclipsed the fame of the storied hotel dynasty from which she hails when The Simple Life — her Fox reality show with Nicole Richie — became a hit in 2003. But one thing’s undeniable: The American heiress knows how to party, and she’s made a business of it.
This summer, the 36-year-old returned to Ibiza, a notoriously fun island on the east coast of Spain, to host her event, Foam & Diamonds, at popular nightclub Amnesia for the fifth year in a row. The residency isn’t an excuse to go wild on the Mediterranean, Hilton tells EW: Abstaining from alcohol at the DJ booth, Hilton is focused on cultivating a “very special” night for guests. Below, she tells us her strategy, why she doesn’t talk about President Donald Trump (she previously indicated that she voted for him), the chances of a Simple Life revival, and more.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You’re back at Amnesia nightclub in Ibiza for the fifth year of your residency. To what do you attribute your success in Ibiza and as a DJ in general?
PARIS HILTON: Ibiza is a magical island. I’ve been coming here since I was a teenager. I feel like if I were an island, I would be Ibiza. It’s fun: the energy, the music, the people. People love to come to my parties because I know how to throw an amazing party and I play the best music. I have an incredible crowd that flies in from all around the world, so the atmosphere is very special. Being a DJ, just because I love music, has always been a passion of mine. I was the first one to actually kind of invent making a living off of hosting parties, and then, about seven years ago, I started doing the DJing, and became a huge success with that. It’s been so much fun.
What’s your strategy for picking songs to play in the club?
I travel all around the world and I go to every single music festival — Ultra, Burning Man, Coachella, EDC, Tomorrowland. Basically every single huge music festival. I always pay attention; I kind of use it as research, and I am listening to music and watching how the crowd reacts. I’ve never played the same set twice. So every time I go somewhere, I’ll research the club, what ages will be there, what are the top 10 songs in that country at that point. Then I put together like six hours of my favorite songs. As I’m playing, I can feel the crowd and I watch them. They never stop jumping. Everyone’s always jumping and dancing and having a great time. I think I definitely am an expert when it comes to clubbing and music and knowing what people want.
Are you allowed to drink and party while you are at the turntables, or do you have limits?
A lot of DJs do, but there are so many technical things that you have to do when you’re DJing — especially on the new Denon SC5000 CDJ that I’m playing on — that I like to be totally focused and know exactly what I’m doing, so I usually just drink Red Bull for energy since my set is so late. I don’t start until 4 a.m., and I play until 6 a.m. It’s a really late night.
What is your Song of the Summer?
My new single that I just [debuted] two weeks ago for the grand opening is called “Summer Reign,” r-e-i-g-n, not like rain, but like reign. [Laughs] It’s a new song that I wrote and actually just finished recording a week before I went to Ibiza, and that’s my favorite song to play. Everyone is really responding to it incredibly, and everyone loves it when I perform it live. The response has been amazing, so I’m very proud of that song.
With whom have you worked on the new music, and what’s the direction you’re taking?
Well, I’m actually doing a remix of “Stars Are Blind” with the same guys, Chris Daniel and DJ Suri, who produced my new song “Summer Reign.” We’re going to be doing that in the next week or two. The sound is very dance mixed with a little bit of deep house, but mostly like progressive house.
You’re in the music video for Demi Lovato’s new single “Sorry Not Sorry.” How did that come about?
I’ve known Demi for so many years. We’ve been friends for I think 10 years now. She’s always been such a sweetheart. She just called me and asked me to be in the video. I play one of her friends in it and also the DJ at the party. It’s like a house party music video, and she thought that I would be the perfect DJ for her party. It was fun. It was me, Wiz Khalifa, and Demi dancing in this really cool arcade room, and then we did another scene where it’s me and Jamie Foxx in the DJ booth. And I’m DJing this huge pool party. The song is amazing, and her voice is incredible. She’s so talented, such a sweet girl. I really love her. I was actually supposed to fly to Ibiza, but then I extended my trip in L.A. just so that I could be there for her and do the video.
In May, you had a bunch of friends — Katy Perry, Iggy Azalea, Sofia Richie, and Bella Thorne — at your home in Beverly Hills. Do you have what everyone’s calling a squad, and are they in it?
I love all those girls. We’ve hung out a lot of times, and they’re amazing and so much fun, and I especially love having people come over to my house because it’s more private. It was my boyfriend [Chris Zylka]’s birthday, so I wanted to throw him a special birthday party. I travel so much — I’m literally on a plane 250 days a year — so I don’t really consider myself having a squad because I’m always traveling. My squad used to be me and my sister [Nicky Hilton Rothschild] and my cousins and Nicole [Richie] and everyone, but now everyone’s growing up. My sister has her baby and lives in New York, so it’s like the squad [laughs] is basically my boyfriend, me, and the puppies. But yeah, I love those girls. They’re all so much fun, they’re all so beautiful, and it’s really nice to have friends like that around; people you know just love you for you, and they don’t need anything from you. Because it’s hard in Hollywood, especially — you don’t know what people’s intentions are, why they want to be your friend. With certain people, you know that they just like you for you, and there are no ulterior motives. So I really love and respect all of them. And that was a fun night!
Since you’re friends with Katy, do you have a take on the situation with Taylor Swift?
I don’t get involved in anyone else’s thing because I feel like the media has made up so many stories about me and feuds, and there’s really no feuds. So I don’t believe anything I read. And I never comment on situations like that because I feel like the media always likes to blow everything out of proportion and kind of invent stories and make something just to have something interesting to say. They’re both very busy, powerful businesswomen, brands, and artists touring and traveling the world. I don’t think that they really have time to think about things like that. I don’t know — that’s just how I would be in my situation.
Does your boyfriend Chris join you in Ibiza?
We’ve never spent a night apart, ever since our first date. We literally have been inseparable. I think the most we’ve been away from each other has been three hours. It’s really amazing to have someone that I love and trust so much. He’s my best friend. We have the most incredible time together. He’s inspiring, and I’ve just never felt so close to someone.
How long have you been together now?
We met seven years ago at the Chateau [Marmont] at this Osars party, actually. … We didn’t officially start dating until we went to Vegas together for Super Bowl weekend… After that, the first date, it was just like, we were together forever. [Laughs.] We’re so happy. And we’ve been having so much fun.
Thank you! He’s never been to Ibiza, so it’s fun showing him the island and experiencing all these new things with somebody who has never seen it before. I love our life together.
What do you do in your downtime in Ibiza?
There’s so much to do. Of course, it has some of the best clubs and parties in the world, but there’s so much more to the island. It literally has this energy that is indescribable unless you come here. When I’m not working, I love to ride jet skis and go swimming and see amazing parts of town, such as Es Vedra. The people are lovely. It’s the new St. Tropez. I feel like St. Tropez used to be the sickest, coolest place to go, but now it’s over, and everybody’s here. It’s crazy. There’s nothing like it, and my party is so much fun. I feel so honored to be playing here every weekend for the past five years.
Your debut single “Stars Are Blind” turned 11 years old on June 5. The song has received a lot of praise from people, including Lady Gaga. What does the song mean to you 11 years later?
Wow, time flies when you’re having fun! I can’t believe it’s been that long. I’ve grown a lot, but I feel like I still look the same. [Laughs]
It’s just weird. I read all the comments and everyone’s like, “Are you an alien? How do you not age?” I’m very proud that I’m all-natural. I’ve never done anything in my life. I’ve never done Botox, I’ve never done a filler, I’ve never touched anything, like nothing. So I feel very proud of that fact, and everyone’s like, “What the heck?” So that was one thing that I was very weirded out by, like, how the hell has it been 11 years? I love that song. I think it’s just timeless and iconic, and I feel like it will be around forever.
Meanwhile, The Simple Life is approaching its 14th anniversary in December. Would you be down for a revival with Nicole Richie?
They actually have approached me about that idea. I feel like the show was so amazing, just the first of its time. I don’t know how you could recreate that. It was so much fun, but I feel like we’ve already done it. I just don’t think it would be the same. I get offered reality shows every day, and I turn them down. If I were to ever do something again, it would have to be something very new and innovative and different. But I love The Simple Life. I think it’s hilarious, and my boyfriend and I watch it all the time. Nicole is one of the funniest people in the world on her new show, [Great News on NBC]. She is hilarious on it. I’ve been watching it, and I really am so proud of her. She just killed it on that show.
In recent years, you’ve received more credit for contributing to the model of the modern celebrity — someone with extensive branding, a reality show, and signature slogans. What does getting that credit mean to you now?
Back in the day, when I first came into this world, there was no one like it. It was almost like creating a new genre, and I think before its time. Back when I was a teenager, people were like, “Oh my God, what’s she wearing? What’s she doing? What’s she saying?” Now we see it all coming back, and everyone’s calling me the OG, and it’s like, Yeah. It feels really good. I feel just proud. Because I always was original, and I always believed in myself and never, never care what anyone says about me. Even with my fans, a lot of them say, “The one thing you taught me is to not care what anyone says about me and to believe in myself.” Now seeing everything, it’s a really amazing feeling, because I love that I can be a role model as a businesswoman, as a brand, as a person. Young people being inspired by it [gives me] a really magical feeling.
Has Kim Kardashian ever given you credit for that or thanked you?
We’ve known each other since we were little girls. She’s always been so sweet, and I love her whole family, and I think that what they’ve done is amazing. Kris [Jenner] is a genius, and they’re beautiful and killing it. I’m really happy for all of them.
You’ve discussed knowing Donald Trump since you were a child. What do you make of his presidency so far?
My mom always told me to never talk about money or politics, so I don’t really want to get into it.
Do Europeans try discussing American politics with you when you’re abroad and working in Ibiza?
No, not really. Everyone out here, all my friends — DJs or their wives — everyone just talks about music and Burning Man and the food. No one talks about politics. That’s the last thing on people’s minds here. I think people come here to get away from all of that and be free and not even think about that. There are so many crazy, negative things happening right now in the world. It’s the one place where people don’t even want to think about it.
Which musical artists have you been listening to lately?
I love Black Coffee — I think she’s incredibly talented. I’ve been listening to that new song with Drake, which I really, really love. Also, Adriatique & Chuckie, Calvin Harris, and JAY-Z’s new album.