“This is just what I really want. It’s not just love for music, it’s my passion. It goes beyond liking and beyond a hobby—it’s about a way of living. Music is essential to my life,” says Armin Van Burren, one of the most influential EDM figures in the world, in his website biography. Van Buuren is a producer, songwriter and DJ who helped shape trance music into what it is today.
Trance music originated in 90’s Germany and is generally categorized as a form of dance music that builds up and releases throughout a track. The genre stands on its own but can also include other styles of EDM such as house, techno, pop or classical music. It got its name from the “trance-like” state of consciousness one feels when listening to the music. The genre describes exactly the notion we feel as we listen to the sounds of Van Buuren, as he sends us on an endless journey of enchantment with his style of production and DJ-ing.
The 37 year old DJ was born in Leiden, Netherlands and raised in Koudekerk aan den Rijn. Armin Van Buuren began making music at the age of 14, although when he attended college at Leiden University, he studied law. During his college years, he would study during the day and DJ at night, playing multiple sets at Club Next a week. However, he had to put his law degree on hold because his music career began to take off around the same time. Not only did Van Buuren go on to become one of the most famous international DJ’s in the world, but he was also able to return to school years later and graduate with a law degree. The successful DJ also developed a podcast project called “A State of Trance”, which broadcasts to over 100 FM stations, satellite, and internet radio. The podcast has more than 20 million listeners every week with 50,000 plus downloads per week. In addition, “A State of Trance” reaches listeners across the globe from over 74 different countries.
To add to Van Buuren’s list of achievements, his track “This Is What It Feels Like” received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Dance Record, making him the fourth trance artist to ever receive a Grammy nomination. When the Netherlands DJ created a music video for his hit single “In and Out of Love” featuring Sharon den Adel, the video received over 140 million views, making it one of the most viewed videos on YouTube. Van Buuren has also landed in the top three spot of DJ Magazine’s Top 100 DJs since 2003 and reached number one for four consecutive years between 2007 and 2010. The past three years he has reached number 2 (2011), number 1 (2012), and currently is the number 2 DJ in the 2013 edition. There is high expectation for him to achieve the top spot again for the unannounced 2014 magazine.
If all of that wasn’t impressive enough, Armin, along with the help of Maykel Piron and David Lewis, has created one of the most successful record labels worldwide. Their label, titled “Armada Music,” just passed its ten year anniversary,contains over 25 sub-labels, and hosts productions by music industry renowned while giving opportunity to rising stars. Armada Music was voted “Best Global Record Label” for five years in a row at Miami’s International Dance Music Awards.
Armin enjoys the rebellious sound of EDM and how it is incomparable with other forms of music. “I see it as my responsibility to promote trance as a genre and I want to support it in every way I can. Music should connect us. As long as the music keeps evolving like it is, I will continue and I don’t see any reason to slow it down”, says Van Buuren in his website biography. This exceptional DJ has already accomplished so much in the music industry but it is his passion and love for music that keeps him striving for more. He currently has five studio albums, and numerous DJ mixes, including his latest effort, A State of Trance 2014, released as part of a series of the same name. If you have not been following the work of Armin Van Buuren, it is strongly encouraged. Be sure to check out the following tracks: “This Is What It Feels Like,” “Intense,” “In and Out of Love,” “Face to Face,” and “Forever is Ours.”
By Lisa Holahan