A Look At The Legacy Of Armada Music As It Celebrates 16 Years

armada music 16 years

Earlier this week, Netherlands based record label, Armada Music completed a successful 16 years in the running!

In today’s times, the name Armada is one that every electronic music listener is familiar with. At one point, at least one artist that they listen to has either released a track or been featured on the label in some sort of way or the other. From winning countless awards to having some of the best artists signed to the label, it’s hard to imagine that something this colossal was founded in a tiny room in the Netherlands. What sprouted from the need to want to release music without any boundaries has grown to become the biggest and the most coveted independent record label in the world.


armada music story

Deriving its name from the first two alphabets of its three founders, AR-min Van Buuren, MA-ykel Piron, and DA-vid Lewis, the label was founded in early 2003. Armin van Buuren at that point was being managed by David Lewis and had released chart-toppers such as Communications, The Sound of Goodbye and a lot more. An issue that most artists face when they wish to release music is running behind record labels and modifying their personal sound to ensure it fits into the guidelines that the label follows.

Breaking the habit

Armin wanted to break out of that mould and wanted to create something that was open to releasing music no matter how different and experimental it was. At the same point, while releasing on Warner, they stumbled upon Maykel who was given the responsibility of setting up a separate dance division under the label. After successfully working together and realizing the potential that dance music had over the coming years, the three of them decided to start something by themselves and release some of the best in dance music.

‘Best Global Dance Label’

armada music best global dance label

From 2009 to 2013, the Dutch label was annually awarded the ‘Best Global Dance Label’ title from the International Dance Music Awards in Miami. Working with and managing some of the biggest names in the dance music industry, Armada is home to – amongst others – Andrew Rayel, Borgeous, Chicane, Dash Berlin, David Gravell, Erick Morillo, Gareth Emery, Jochen Miller, John Dahlbäck, Juicy M, Max Vangeli, Michael Woods, Mike Hawkins, Ørjan Nilsen, Third Party, W&W, and of course, Armin van Buuren himself.

Various genres of dance music

Throughout the years, the record company has continued to bring in countless quality releases within the wide spectrum of electronic dance music. Outstanding releases in Trance, Deep House, Progressive House, Techno, and even Pop music make Armada Music a label that stands out from the crowd. The Armada Music umbrella includes more than 25 sub-labels and the company also hosts its own worldwide events, Armada Nights, in places like Buenos Aires, London, Rome, New York, Jakarta, and Mexico City.


But what about Armada continues to make it shine and remain this relevant? Over the years, we have seen dance music evolve and it’s trends continuously change. Armada has always been at the forefront when it comes to identifying talent and investing in them. Striking the perfect balance between signing your big commercial stadium fillers and niche talent, you can find practically anything when you search for music on the label. And that is probably where the success of the label lies.

Quoting Maykel Piron, “At Armada, we believe in everyone we sign, whether they’re big, stadium-filling artists or talented, but rather new artists. We value everyone both as an artist and as a person or individual and do not force them to create music that doesn’t feel right to them. Everyone gets the complete creative freedom to do what inspires him or her the most and they get our undivided attention, no exceptions. I like to think that’s the reason why we’ve been able to maintain such a strong roster.”

Global expansion

Armada doesn’t restrict itself as a label and continues to evolve with the scene. Currently having offices out of Amsterdam, London, and New York, Armada continues to deliver track after track and doesn’t shy away from diversifying its sound. Having discovered gems in the industry such as Lost Frequencies, Loud Luxury, Andrew Rayel, Eelke Kleijn and a lot more, the label is ever expanding and will continue to push the boundaries in dance music. We can’t wait to see them grow and touch another decade successfully!

Shivani Murthy


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