Being the official World’s Most Popular DJ is just one of his many achievements, but the driving force behind his success is an overriding passion for dance music.
Awards & Accolades
Even a basic list of recent successes reads like a lifetime of work: he was awarded with the prestigious Buma Cultuur Pop Award in 2008. This was followed by being voted as the Best Trance Artist in the Beatport Music Awards judged on the musician’s artistic achievements, national and international success. Next to that, Armin was awarded for ‘Best European DJ’ at the 2009 IDMA Awards, followed by ‘Best Global DJ’ in 2010 and most popular International DJ at Australia’s Sony inthemix DJ Poll, along with 3 other big Awards. In March 2010, Armin received the ‘Gouden Harp’, the highest distinction a Dutch artist can get. It is evident that Armin van Buuren has become one of the decade’s most influential trance acts.
But there’s more. ‘Best Album’ for artist album ‘Shivers’ at both the Dutch Release Dance Awards and the prestigious Edison Awards; ‘Best Compilation’ for ‘A State Of Trance’, in 2006, claiming the ‘Best European DJ’ award in 2007 and ‘Best Mix Radio Show’ at the Miami Winter Music Conference 5 years in a row for radio show ‘A State Of Trance’ – now broadcasting on a massive 40 FM stations as well as satellite and internet radio, with over 15 million listeners a week; a 7 year residency in Ibiza at Amnesia and over 50,000 downloads every week from podcasting high end chart-bothering positions all over the world for singles, albums and compilations, with single ‘Rush Hour’ used as the anthem to the UEFA European Youth Championship; the #1 entry in the Dutch album charts with his artist album ‘Imagine’, the #1 entry of the DVD registration of ‘Armin Only ‘ Imagine’ – the landmarks just keep coming!
Armin’s own productions have all made a huge impact and quickly gain worldwide acclaim; his third artist album titled ‘Imagine’ entered the Dutch Album Top 100 Chart at number one; this is the first time a dance producer has ever accomplished such a feat in the history of Dutch music. The first single to be taken from this album, ‘Going Wrong’ with DJ Shah featuring Chris Jones, entered the Dutch Singles Chart at number five. The ‘Armin Only DVD’ was also released and reached the acclaimed number one spot in its second week. The music video of ‘In & Out of Love’, the hit-single with singer Sharon den Adel, received more than 68 million views on YouTube, holding the first position on the Dutch Top 10 of most viewed videos all-time. Armin’s back catalogue includes Blue Fear, Communication, Sound of Goodbye, Shivers, Rush Hour, Burned With Desire, Exhale, Love You More, This World Is Watching Me, and Yet Another Day. While the remix offers flood in, Armin only takes on tracks that he really loves. He uses exactly the same criteria for his compilations, meaning that every release from Armin or his long-running Armind label is a bone fide stormer that’s earned its place. His output includes tracks for the cult TV series 24 and the likes of Motorcycle, The Killers, Faithless, BT and Kerli.
But, as a true artist befits, Armin keeps creating new music and has released his fourth artist album, ‘Mirage’, in September 2010. For the album, Armin collaborated with the likes of BT, Christian Burns, Ferry Corsten, Adam Young and Nadia Ali. After the first single, the instrumental, powerful trance track ‘Full Focus’, the second release of the album was a collaboration with Sophie Ellis-Bextor, ‘Not Giving Up On Love’. The music video for the track was shot on party island Ibiza, including shots of Club Amnesia, where Armin holds his residency.
A State of Trance
But aside from recognition and ever-going fan support, it’s the music that means most to Armin. The perfect example of that given fact, is his weekly 2-hour radioshow ‘A State of Trance’. Listened to by 15 million EDM lovers, he continues to deliver his fans a selection of the best in trance and progressive, no matter how busy his tour schedule might be. The 400th and therefore 8th birthday of the show was celebrated in style with a cross-country 72-hour live broadcast, with three events in Germany, UK and the Netherlands. ASOT 450 was even bigger, with 5 events in 4 different countries. A State of Trance 500, the 10th anniversary of the show, will be celebrated in 5 different countries on 5 different continents; South-Africa, the Netherlands, USA, Argentina and Australia. All A state of Trance 500 shows will be broadcast live.
In addition to the weekly show, Armin also started the weekly ASOT podcasts, which contain highlights and Armin’s favourite tracks from the previous episode, to ensure that trance lovers across the world will never miss another episode.
Armin’s annual A State of Trance compilations have won several awards and continue to lead the trance fans in the right trancy direction with a fresh and exclusive selection of tracks. As if one compilation isn’t enough yet, Armin has been live recording some of his sets at the Armada parties in Amnesia, Ibiza and released them under the ‘Universal Religion’ series. The summer of 2009 saw the 4th edition of this beloved series, a one hour live recording of a more than special night.
Performances & Armin Only
Being the world’s number 1 DJ sees the Dutch DJ perform at some of the world’s biggest and best festivals, clubs, events and shows. One of the highlights of 2010 was Armin’s DJ set at the Museumplein in Amsterdam in July, during the honoring of the Dutch soccer team. Even though the national team lost in the FIFA Worldcup, they partied like they were the absolute winners, and so did the 200.000 strong crowd.
Sold-out shows for Armin Only in 2005 and 2006 created eager anticipation of the third edition, which kicked off in a sold-out Jaarbeurs in Utrecht in 2008; over 16,000 fans attended and were enthralled by the DJ’s nine hour set. The theme of the night was ‘Imagine’, described by Armin as “the celebration of our sensations both in life and in club land.” Fans all around the world needed not to despair, as ‘Armin Only’ tour dates were also set for Romania, Poland, Belgium, Australia and USA; aside from his ‘normal’ tour in England, Scotland, Ibiza, Brazil, Mexico, Canada and more. On New Years Eve 2008-2009, Armin managed to draw 35,000 people to his Armin Only show in the Los Angeles Sports Arena, making him the first Dutch DJ ever to have drawn such a big crowd to an own event.
For his fourth artist album, ‘Mirage’, Armin will kick off another Armin Only World tour. After the first show in the sold-out Jaarbeurs in Utrecht on November 13th, Armin will continue to travel the globe with shows in 15 different countries, ranging from Australia to Ukraine, Argentina, Libanon and more.
Amsterdam based record label Armada music was created in 2003 by Armin van Buuren, Maykel Piron and David Lewis. Releasing tracks by some of the biggest names in trance, progressive and house, plus organizing several club nights, had Armada gaining a steady and ever growing position in the dance industry. With 29 imprints residing under one umbrella and over 2500 releases, Armada has definitely proven to be working hard and after five years still feel passionate for top quality music.
Armin & New Media
In October 2009, Armin had the premiere of launching the first full music DVD as an application for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The complete DVD of Armin’s ‘Armin Only’ concert in the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht, is now available as app. After downloading the app, users can see the full live registration on their iPhone or iPod Touch.
New media is something that surely gets Armin’s attention. Armin’s YouTube channel, as part of the Armada Music channel, is one of the most views channels on the net. In fact, the Armada Music channel is the most viewed music channel in the world. The music video for Armin’s ‘In & Out of Love’ has received more than 67 million views, and is therefore the most viewed music video of alltime within all categories, on the Dutch YouTube. On Armin’s YouTube, his fans can find the official music videos, exclusive interviews, specials, previews and party reports.
On the road biography ‘Armin Only’
The author of ‘Eén op Eén’(Dutch title), Coen Bom, has followed Armin around the world for over a year. He reports about the hectic life of one of the most popular DJ’s of this moment. During the process of writing ‘Armin Only’, Armin was voted ‘most popular DJ of the world’ by the readers of British Magazine DJ Mag in their annual ‘DJ Mag Top 100′. Coen Bom challenged himself to dig deep in Armin’s past and present to find an answer to the question ‘what is the key to Armin’s success?’.
How it all began
Born in Leiden, Holland (on December 25, 1976) to a musical family, Armin indulged his passion for music from a young age. He spent all the money he earned with his paper round on records. His mum won a computer when he was 10, gaining Armin’s interest. “So as a little nerdy kid I was writing my own basic programs, and learnt about the technology from there.” He 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. “I was so stunned by what I saw him doing on the computer, that I got addicted to creating music right there and then!”
“I loved dance music immediately – this great rebellious sound that was so different to the ‘beautiful’ songs of the years before”. Armin cites electronic pioneer Jean Michel Jarre as a major influence, as well as Dutch producer Ben Liebrand, who later mentored him in his mixing and producing.
In the early days, Armin thought it was wise to have something extra in case the dj’ing didn’t work out. So he studied for a law degree. The final year of his course was inevitably stretched as he juggled his studies with his increasingly hectic schedule; his rise to fame included lots of productions and remixes, as well as playing out to packed clubs every weekend. It took him three years to graduate, but his determination made him succeed!
Armin is a dedicated trance lover, but isn’t imprisoned by a single genre, saying “What makes trance work so well is that it doesn’t stick to one style, and can incorporate electro, minimal, whatever it likes.”
The main ingredient to Armin’s life will always be music. “This is just what I really want,” says Armin. “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”.
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