AN EARLY DISCIPLE OF THE TRANCE MOVEMENT, DUTCH DJ ARMIN VAN BUUREN’S SMOOTH, HYPNOTIC SOUNDS HELPED USHER THE ONCE COUNTERCULTURE SCENE INTO THE MAINSTREAM
BY TIA KIM
BORN: Leiden, the Netherlands.
EARLY CAREER: Van Buuren began experimenting with low profile mix tapes at the age of ten and eventually graduated to high quality mixes with the help of his uncle. The budding artist had ambitions of pursuing a career in music, but thinking it wise to have a backup plan, he studied law at Leiden University while playing multiple sets a week at Club Nexus in his hometown. His first wave of success came from the track “Blue Fear” (Cyber Records) in 1997, and in 2000, his first charted hit, “Communication,” went to number 18 on the U.K. Singles Chart.
SOUND: Electronic dance music, but wildly eclectic in its range, from trance and progressive house to electro, pop, and psytrance.
NOTABLE ACCOMPLISHMENTS: In 2013, van Buuren performed for the newly crowned king and queen of the Netherlands, Willem Alexander and Máxima (the royal couple surprised the crowd of 15,000 by getting on stage and dancing alongside the DJ). That same year, he became the first solo artist to play and sell out Madison Square Garden. In 2014, he was nominated for a Grammy for Best Dancing Song for “This is What it Feels Like” featuring Trevor Guthrie, and he is a five time winner of the Top 100 DJs contest by DJ Magazine.
RADIO: IN 2001, the first episode of van Buuren’s dance radio show “A State of Trance” aired to a small audience, and today the show reaches an estimated 40 million listeners across 84 countries, each tuning in every Thursday for the latest in trance and progressive beats. The hit show has led to a series of spin offs, including a State of Trance record label, an annual live music event in Utrecht, and several world tours.
MOTTO: “Don’t be a prisoner of your own style.”
Armin van Buuren