A man like Armin van Buuren needs no introduction. The Dutch legend has been the undisputed king of Trance for many years and continues to be the overlord of trance and progressive.
Whether creating music in his studio or en route to his next high-end club or festival show around the globe, Armin van Buuren is constantly on the move.
For Armin, the musical journey started at an early age thank to his father being an avid record buyer. A close friend introduced him to the world of dance music, and the Dutch DJ and remixer Ben Liebrand quickly became his main inspiration.
It led van Buuren to investigate the roots of the electronic music he was becoming fond of. Computers and turntables were also purchased, and creating his own music became a priority. Armin progressed from making low-profile mix tapes for friends to higher profile mixes when he discovered experimenting with different sequences on his computer through his uncle.
Armin released his first hit, “Blue Fear,” in 1995, and by 1999 his “Communication” was successful enough to get him signed to AM:PM.
He also formed his own label, Armind, in 1999 and met Dave Lewis, a man responsible for jump-starting the careers of DJ Tiësto and Ferry Corsten.
A collaboration with Tiësto yielded his biggest hit yet on Armind, “Eternity,” and marathon five-hour sets brought him more attention. High-profile remixes of Madison Avenue’s “Don’t Call Me Baby” and Wamdue Project’s “King of My Castle” followed, and numerous mix CDs were released on United Recordings.
By 2002 he’d placed number five in DJ Magazine’s Top 100 and was hosting his own weekly show on the Dutch ID&T radio station. In June 2001, Armin van Buuren aired the first episode of ‘A State of Trance’.
Fast forward 2017, ASOT is responsible for dishing out big tunes week in, week out and provides an interactive way for fans to discover new music. ASOT boasts a massive following of over 37 million listeners, broadcasting to over 100 FM stations and fans from over 84 countries. Regular features of the show are the ‘Tune of the Week’, ‘A State of Trance Radio Classic’, and the ‘Future Favorite’, which is based on an online voting poll.
Along with producing some of the most ground breaking tunes over the years, Armin has also nurtured numerous budding artists. Armada music is one of the most successful record labels worldwide. The label was voted (voted ‘Best Global Record Label’ five years in a row) is home to more than 20 sub-labels and boasts a plethora of some of biggest names in the industry accompanied by some seriously talented upcoming producers. With imprints such as Armada Trice, Armada Deep, Armada Captivating, it is by a country mile, the biggest Trance label in the world with an array of different styles and genres.
In 2013, Armin’s career hit another milestone when he was the first solo dance artist to play in Madison Square Garden. The event was completely sold out, representing another crowning achievement for the DJ.
Armin kicked off a new ‘Armin Only’ world tour based on his ‘Intense’ album, in collaboration with theatre director Jos Thie. ‘Armin Only’ was seen by fans as the most ambitious and adventurous exploit by the Dutch stalwart. The show was set up in cities such as Kiev, Mumbai, Saint-Petersburg, Helsinki, New York, Toronto, Mexico City, Sydney, Johannesburg, and more. From just one show in 2005, ‘Armin Only’ reached new heights in 2013 when he toured his special showcase in 28 cities for the release of Intense. In total, more than 500,000 visitors attended, spanning 5 continents. A ‘Road Movie’ series was also created, documenting behind-the-scenes footage of the entire tour as it took place.
Intense was again met with a huge milestone. “This Is What It Feels Like”, featuring Canadian singer-songwriter Trevor Guthrie, sold over 500,000 copies. The tune made him the 4th trance artist ever to receive a GRAMMY nomination where the single was nominated for best dance recording. The video of the song went viral, racking up millions of views and reached silver status in the United Kingdom, and attained platinum, double-platinum and gold status in various countries worldwide.
The next edition of ‘Armin Only’ was the Embrace world tour, which was closely related to Armin van Buuren’s latest artist album, ‘Embrace’, in which the five-time #1 DJ of the world embraces different styles, genres, and sounds through collaborations with a wide range of internationally acclaimed artists. The majority of these artists, including Kensington, Eric Vloeimans, Mr. Probz, and Cimo Fränkel accompanied the world-renowned DJ and producer on tour.
Armin has also had the privilege of performing at some of the world’s biggest and best festivals, clubs, events, and shows. His music has mesmerized his followers and every time he plays, there is a sense of intimacy he shares with his fans. Armin’s sets are packed with melodies and uplifting tunes which tend to engage the crowds in a completely immersive experience.
One of the highlights of his career was Armin’s performance for the newly crowned King and Queen of The Netherlands in 2013, Willem-Alexander and Máxima. Together with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, in front of the monarchs and 15,000 fans, he performed both ‘The Bolero’ as well as an orchestral version of the title track from his ‘Intense’ album.
This May, Armin will play a couple of shows in his home country Netherlands titled “Best of Armin Only”, to celebrate 20 years of his DJing career, and that’s why he is our Artist Of The Month! We wish him all the best for these shows and hope he continues to create great music!
To book tickets for Best of Armin Only, click here.
Header image courtesy – Bart Heemskerk