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Meet Maykel Piron: Co-Founder and CEO of Armada Music (Includes interview)

He has been an integral part of the music industry for over two decades, where the last 12 years he spent as the CEO of Armada Music.

In 2003, Piron set up Armada Music along with business partners David Lewis and world renowned DJ and producer Armin van Buuren. Ever since its start, it has grown into a super-label that houses some of the biggest sub-labels in the electronic music world, including Zouk, Who’s Afraid of 138?!, Armind, Mainstage Music, The Bearded Man, and Armada Captivating, Armada Deep and Armada Trice. The first signing to The Bearded Man was Lost Frequencies, whose first single, “Are You With Me” went on to dominate the summer playlists and was recognized as the most-played song on European radio during the summer of 2015.

Under Piron’s leadership, Armada Music has been named “Best Global Record Label” for five years in a row at the International Dance Music Awards (IDMA’s); he has also been named “Best Record Label Promoter or Exec In-House” at the IDMA’s in 2010, 2011 and 2012. In 2012, he was presented with a “feather,” for his extraordinary contributions to Dutch music, where he was the youngest person to ever receive that award.

Armada CEO Maykel Piron

Armada CEO Maykel Piron
Armada Music

Among Piron’s proudest moments, he said, “I really enjoy working with the team, small things and also, the Grammy nomination. The feather was also great, since I received it at such a young age. That’s really an honor and it makes you proud for sure.”

Aside from his work with Armada, Piron serves as the co-founder and member of the board of Cloud 9 Music, which specializes in music publishing, compilations and artist development, and it represents a variety of musical styles, which range from dance to pop to children’s music and hip-hop.

Most recently, Piron also opened Chased Management, which offers wide range of services to current and future artists.

Regarding the success of Armanda Music, Piron said, “For me, it was always a dream to start my own company. I’ve been in the music business for 20 years, and if you do something that you love that much, then it’s a dream coming true. I am really blessed with what I am doing.”

Armada Music releases music from producers of all genres, not just trance, including Tommy Trash, Borgore, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Juicy M, and others. Armada has the largest dance music catalog of any record label in the world, and last year alone, the label clocked over 1.5 billion streams.

Armada’s A&R managers are constantly on the hunt for new talent and they are always hungry. Recently, Armada signed the new talent Lost Frequencies, whose single “Are You With Me” was the most-played song in all of Europe this summer. In terms of popularity at American radio, Armada has two new tracks added each week. “There are so many radio stations in America, so we work with American radio promoters, and they are doing a great job for us, so we have some ads every week,” Piron said.

Piron had nothing but the kindest words for his co-founder and flagship artist Armin van Buuren. “Armin’s super-nice and a hard worker, and somebody I met 20 years ago. We know each other for a long time, so it’s very easy for me to work with him,” said Piron. “It’s a real pleasure to work with such a talented artist, who is also a friend.”

Armada Music and all the other companies just hired its 108th employee. “I love working with my team,” Piron exclaimed. “We have over 100 people in our office in Amsterdam, and the people that are working for us and with me, are nice people. That’s one of our rules. We want to work with people with great energy and with a good heart and knowledge that we could always teach them. I really love the people working for Armada,” Piron said.

On the future of the electronic genre of music, Piron said, “Electronic music is evolving constantly, and it is a big circle as well.”

It seems that the key to longevity in the music industry for Piron is the “quality” of the music, and he defined success as “being happy in life.”

For more information on Armada Music, visit its official website.

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 15,000 original articles over the past 15 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a five-time consecutive "Best of Long Island" winner, and in the past two years, 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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