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Armin van Buuren talks about AI on the future of the music industry

Dutch trance DJ and producer Armin van Buuren spoke about AI on the future of the music industry.

Armin van Buuren
Armin van Buuren. Photo Credit: Bart Heemskerk
Armin van Buuren. Photo Credit: Bart Heemskerk

Dutch trance DJ and producer Armin van Buuren spoke about AI on the future of the music industry.

Most recently, he released his latest studio album “Breathe In” via Armada Music. This marked his ninth career solo musical effort.

Lessons learned from doing this album

On the lessons learned about himself while making this album, he said, “The most important thing is having fun. Most things in life are actually really simple. Have fun and don’t put so many rules on yourself like I did at an early age.”

“Back in the day, I was only trying to please the fans so I would read all the moments on social media,” he said.

“At that time, we didn’t know how harmful it was. I was getting some harsh criticism already at that time even though I think the Internet has been relatively mild to me in general, compared to some other DJs and artists,” he acknowledged.

“I’ve always stayed true to my core,” he said. “I do what I love. I didn’t ride a lot of waves too much. I’ve always been loyal to ‘A State of Trance’ even though trance is not the most popular sound. Now, people are realizing that trance is coming back even though I think that trance never left.”

“I am super glad that so many people are embracing that sound again, and it is making a full comeback right now,” he added.

AI on the future of the music business

He shared his thoughts on the future of AI on the music industry. “Right now, I am seeing a lot of the positives sides of it,” he said. “I think it is another tool.”

“Actually, I’ve used AI on the new album,” he revealed. “The track ‘Make It Count,’ which I did with Just_us is actually my voice but I’ve never said these words.”

“I made an AI version of my voice, I read three minutes of news on CNN or some other news website, and it makes a copy of your voice, and then I typed in those words. Then, what came out is what we sampled, and we used it for the track ‘Make It Count’ on the album. So, that was a lot of fun,” he elaborated.

“Right now, I see AI as a tool,” he admitted. “I know there are a lot of DJs experimenting with technology. One of my good friends put a lot of his music into an AI, and now that AI can make music for him, which is kind of scary. I heard some of the music that came out of that, and it’s crazy.”

Armin van Buuren states that he is a primarily a ‘pianist’

“At the moment, I am old-school. My brain is always on,” he said. “I’m a pianist, first and foremost. I actually have piano lessons every week.”

“Most of my compositions start with me sitting behind the piano recording some stuff. I definitely don’t want to close my eyes to AI; it’s a development and I don’t think you can close your eyes to that,” he said.

Armin van Buuren
Armin van Buuren. Photo Credit: SNDR, Armada Music

“I am a little bit afraid that the market will be flooded with new music,” he said. “Right now, there are 100,000 tracks uploaded to Spotify every day. They expect with AI for that number to be one million tracks a day. How are you going to stand out? From a marketing standpoint, record labels are more important than ever to tell a story behind a song.”

He continued, “I think that the people that consume your music and listen to your sets also need to see the human behind it. I think there needs to be a story behind it.”

“For me, the whole discussion about AI reminds me of when sequencers first came out. It was at the end of the ‘80s and early 90s when a lot of music magazines said that computers can’t make music,” he said.

“Now, if you look at the Billboard Hot 100 charts, I don’t think you can find many tracks that don’t have a sequenced background on them,” he added.

“Back in the day, they had 24-track tapes, which is a whole different ball game, and now look what it was… it brought us a lot of music, so I don’t want to be too skeptical about it but nobody can really predict where this is going, and I do think there is a scary side to it,” he added.

His album “Breathe In” is available on digital service providers by clicking here.

For more information on Armin van Buuren, follow him on InstagramFacebook, and check out his official website.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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