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article imageWorld's top DJ Armin van Buuren talks tour and music career Special

By Markos Papadatos     Apr 12, 2014 in Music
New York - Global dance music superstar Armin van Buuren chatted about his "Armin Only: Intense" tour and his future plans, prior to his concert at New York's Madison Square Garden on April 11.
An acclaimed Dutch DJ, he has been honored as DJ Magazine's "Top DJ" a record-breaking five times throughout his career, in their Top 100 poll.
Armin van Buuren is drawn to electronic dance music since it is "closest to his heart." "Trance is very emotional music and very uplifting. I am a sentimental person," he said.
On performing a sold-out show at New York City's hallowed Madison Square Garden, he remarked, "It is a dream come true. I am very proud of the whole team and everybody that is here with me tonight that we were able to pull it off. It took months and months of rehearsals, and I am just very proud and blessed. I am really glad that everything is coming together. Tonight, I am here to give my fans in New York that have supported me through all these years something extra in return for all of their years of support."
He shared that his "Armin Only: Intense" tour has been "amazing" so far. "It is a very different concept. I don't think that any other DJ is doing the same thing right now. It is not only a unique stage, it is also a unique concept. I am the only DJ, hence the name 'Armin Only,' and it is an extended solo set with loads of special acts and surprises. It is not only singers, it is also acrobats, a full band, live violin players and loads of little tricks and surprises that people have never seen before," he explained.
His smash single "This is What It Feels Like" featuring Trevor Guthrie, garnered a 2014 Grammy nomination for "Best Dance Recording," becoming the fourth trance artist to achieve this milestone, along with such dance producers as Paul van Dyk, Tiesto and BT. "That was awesome," he said. "Right after the nomination, I was here in New York for some press meeting and what everybody asked was all about the Grammy nomination. For the United States, the Grammy nomination was almost bigger than the DJ Magazine wins, which felt surreal to me, because the nomination feels like you are a part of a certain group as soon as you got that stamp. It is still a big deal for a lot of people."
He wrote "This is What It Feels Like" as an instrumental with Dutch composer and producer John Ewbank (who is playing the piano at his show tonight), as well as his studio partner Benno de Goeij. "We sent that to Jenson Vaughan, a very famous writer from Toronto, Canada, and he sent it to Trevor Guthrie. It was inspired by a neighbor of Trevor who was diagnosed with a brain tumor who unfortunately passed away a few months ago. The song was actually written about the loss of the neighbor. Those words were the inspiration. Trevor and Jenson did a fantastic job writing it and they sent us back a demo and I started working on the final song and we bounced back and forth the final version of the song. We met up a few times to record it and the song was on the shelf for about a year since I wanted to finish the rest of the album first before I would release it. Now it has had such an immense success. It is amazing," he said.
Over the years, he has learned that it is more important to have fun in the studio and create things that he likes. "If there is something you really passionately like that you create, it must be weird that nobody likes it too. When I make music in the studio, I don't make it for my fans since they are not there. I make music for myself, and it is great to get such recognition when you play it out and people really like it. My audience is my best judge," he said.
Armin noted that he is really fond of "Vice Versa," his collaboration with fellow DJ ATB. "I am a fan of ambient music and we wanted to do something different, so that was amazing," he said.
In 2011, he was created an Officer of the Order of Orange Nassau for his services to music, an honor which is bestowed upon prominent individuals in the Netherlands. "That is such a high order. Usually you become a knight, but now I am already an officer. It makes me extremely proud and it's one of the things that I am most proud of, since I am representing my country," he said.
In the future, he will be heading to Asia and South Africa with this tour. "I just released a new album called 'A State of Trance 2014' and I have been working on a lot of Gaia songs, since it is my dream to do a Gaia album. I am already working on the next artist album which I hope to finish in 2015," he said.
He is motivated most simply by having fun in the studio, as well as the love from his family and fans.
Aside from his music, he is a husband to Erika and father to two young children. On balancing a music career and a family life, he noted that it is tough. "I tour less now. I am 37 and I have a beautiful wife and two children. I live in the Netherlands and I am very comfortable in doing so. When I tour, I am blessed with a great team of people that help me and that is the best thing," he said.
Armin's key to longevity is quite clever. "Never let them catch you," he said. "Always keep them guessing and keep surprising. Don't try to copy the success of the past, but do something that you like."
He stays connected with his avid fans through his radio show, "A State of Trance," which he compares as a "cafe meeting" with his fans each week, and rightfully so."I love radio and I think that the format of TV is changing but radio will always stay. The power of radio is the power of now and being here. Radio is very personal and it is a lot more direct than TV. I use it as a medium to communicate with my fans," he said.
For his fans, he shared a simple, yet deep message. "I love them and I think it is great that they have still stuck with me. I see it is a responsibility to keep things fresh and interesting, but my heart will always be with trance," he said.
Armin defined success as being healthy and being surrounded by loved ones. "Success is not about money or the awards that you win. It is about how happy you are in life and what you have achieved," he concluded.
For more information on world renowned DJ and producer Armin van Buuren, visit his official website.
More about armin van buuren, Madison square garden, New york, trevor guthrie, Dutch
 
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