DJ/Producer Armin van Buuren spoke to the Dutch talk show host Eva Jinek about the mental health struggles he personally faced, his upcoming balance album and the darker side of a performer’s life.
Since the demise of the Swedish icon DJ Avicii, many artists are coming out to express their burdens that come with touring and performing. The most recent person to do so is Armin van Buuren. While on tour promoting his new album, “Balance”, Armin sat down with Dutch talk show host Eva Jinek.
The five-time DJ Mag #1 DJ discussed the good, bad and ugly he’s faced over his 20-year voyage in the EDM industry.
The Dutch DJ acknowledged the shift of electronic music saying “At the beginning, dance music was counter current. In the ’80s you had all the Madonnas and Michael Jacksons of this world, and then house came and that was an anti-reaction, so we were completely averse to everything that was top 40 and things like that. But nowadays you can also see that in the top 40 there is almost no song without a dance beat behind, so it is completely reversed, you could say”
Many trance fans worldwide are inherently purists. When artists like Tiesto and Armin van Buuren tried something new, the negativity started pouring in, marking them as “sell-outs”, however, the trance legend had a few words to say about his fans.
“I think I have changed over the years. I am still doing a lot of underground things, like the recent ‘Gaia’ album, but I am increasingly developing myself and spreading my wings”
“If you would have told me five years ago that I would score a number 1 hit with Marco Borsato, I would probably have laughed in your face, because it could be considered too commercial. And now I just notice that that is actually the fuel to keep doing what I do. I mean, I’ve been doing this thing for 20 years and I think it’s great to play and travel all over the world, but you have to be very careful that producing and making music doesn’t become just an easy thing, and do the same over and over”.
Addressing the criticism that he received over the years, Armin went on to say, “Yes, I still want to please every fan. Every fan is important to me. I can’t stand it when one fan says he didn’t like it at all. Somewhere it is also good because that also triggers you to get better and there is always some truth in it”.
“I suffered a lot from it. In 2010, I was number 1 in the world, but the unhappiest person on earth.”
“You are just as good as your last show; you are just as good as your last single, and I started producing only for those few fans who were critical. That felt like a straitjacket, but since ‘This is what it feels like,’ I actually got rid of that, and I am still very loyal to my fans, and the new album also has a bit of the old Armin sound. I also like that sound and I still embrace that, but I noticed that I have to take those creative steps to keep developing myself.”
Recently, the Dutch DJ released a six-episode series titled “Armin van Buuren is Mr. Perfect” wherein, one can watch how a young Armin van Buuren evolved into the superstar that he is now and the struggles he faced during all these years in terms of balancing his life.