In the world of dance music, few have amassed as stellar a resume — or rocked as many clubs and festivals around the globe — as Dutch superstar and trance pioneer Armin van Buuren.
The globetrotting producer and DJ has been crowned with the coveted number-one ranking by DJ Magazine five times in his career and his work has earned him fistfuls of additional awards and nominations worldwide.
In addition to releasing five albums under his name, he is the host of A State of Trance, a weekly radio show heard by over 33 million listeners via more than 100 FM stations around the world.
Here’s what van Buuren had to say about crafting body-shaking beats, collaborating in the studio, at his kitchen table, and across oceans, and how Apple Logic Pro X and UAD Powered Plug-Ins give him the sonic firepower to entrance audiences, night after night.
A State of Trance, has been enormously successful. Did you expect it to still be going?
I always envisioned doing A State of Trance just for a couple years and then moving on, but the trance genre is currently reinventing itself. New guys like Mark Sixma, Jerome Isma-Ae, Orjan Nilsen, Andrew Rayel, and David Gravell are bringing new and fresh sounds.
It’s a lot of fun, as a DJ, to be in the middle between the audiences and producers, passing along the music and following the development of this sound that I like the most.
I always told myself that I wouldn’t continue A State of Trance just for the sake of doing it. The music has to be inspiring. I’m very glad to say that, every week, two hours isn’t enough. I usually have enough music to fill three or four hours with good, inspirational tunes. I have to go through all of the new trance music for my DJ sets anyway, so it’s convenient. [Laughs.]
You collaborate with a lot of producers and musicians. How do these typically originate?
The most honest answer is that I don’t have a standard way of working. Sometimes people approach me with a good vocal idea, but every track comes together in a completely different way.