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Poll 2021: Paul van Dyk

Paul van Dyk
Rising star DJ/producer of 2021: “Rafael Osmo."
There are only a handful of artists who come close to the level of synonymity that Paul van Dyk enjoys with trance music. The veteran German DJ and producer, much like his beloved genre, has ridden the waves of trends and fashions over decades and remained a steadfast figure playing the biggest stages to ever-renewing crowds both young and old.
2021 marks 30 years since the two-time Top 100 DJs poll-topper first played at Berlin’s Tresor, a sign of his ubiquity among the institutions of European dance music, and it seems fitting that the occasion has near-enough coincided with a new EP of van Dyk remixes of Energy 52’s ultimate trance classic, ‘Café del Mar’.
With his weekly Vonyc Sessions nearing number 800 and a triumphant return to shows at the likes of Transmission Festival and Ministry Of Sound’s 30th birthday celebrations, not to mention his upcoming 11th studio album, ‘Off The Record’, he shows no sign of slowing down yet. “This year I spent quality time with my wife and dog, and worked on lots of new music in the studio,” PvD tells us.
How was your first gig back after lockdown?
“Exciting and emotional.”

How have the last 18 months changed how you view your work/life balance?
“My view hasn’t changed. You have to work to make a living.”


What’s the best bit of tech you’ve added to your studio or DJ set-up this year? 
“Pioneer DJ DJM-900nxs2.”


What’s the best album you’ve heard this year?

“My upcoming album ‘Off The Record’, which is still in progress.”

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2021-10-06 10:26

“Electronic music / trance.”
Best known for: 
“Never giving up.”
Tune of the year: 
“Cafe Del Mar ‘Energy 52 (Paul van Dyk’s SHINE Remix)’.”

Poll 2020: Paul van Dyk

Paul van Dyk
Like most top DJs, Paul has been relatively inactive in 2020 compared to previous years. Although, the former two-time Top 100 poll winner (2005-6) had only just got back into playing out regularly again after suffering a serious, life-changing accident a few years ago. PvD fell through a hole in the stage at A State Of Trance in 2016, and at one point it was thought that he might never be able to walk again. Thankfully he recovered, although his movements are still somewhat restricted and have meant that he couldn’t tour the world like he used to — when touring the world was a thing. 
He was able to slip out his latest album though, ‘Guiding Light’, whose ethereal title track was sung by UK vocalist Sue McLaren, who Paul first worked with back in 2015. Stuffed full of other artfully composed trance bangers like ‘You Found Me’, ‘Remedy’, ‘Resource’ and ‘Exhale’, it was a signal that Paul isn’t about to deviate from the trance sound he’s pursued throughout his career. 
What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown? 
“We’re still kind of in the middle of it, but what always helps me is my wife, family and friends.”


What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene?
“People come together to celebrate dance music regardless of where they come from, which passport they hold or what religion they believe in.”


What industry changes are you personally pushing for to make the dance music scene more inclusive?
“Everyone is entitled to enjoy the music they like. Dance music is open to listeners from all walks of life.” 


What’s the greatest dance music track of all time?
“There’s no ‘one’ track to be defined. Electronic music started as a subculture and was defined by many people who followed their passion.”



Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 21:22

Best known for: 
“Not giving up."
Tune of the year: 
“Fuenka ‘Callisto’.”

Poll 2019: Paul van Dyk

Paul van Dyk

Former Top 100 DJs poll winner Paul has moved down quite a few places this year, but this can be partly attributable to him playing less gigs in 2019. Since his bad accident in 2016, when he fell through the stage at an A State Of Trance event, he’s had to curtail playing so many shows, but has still managed to boost his SHINE event in Ibiza by moving it from Heart, near Pacha, to Eden in San Antonio. 

Paul was finally awarded compensation for his accident at the start of this year, allowing him to move on with the rest of his life. He tells DJ Mag that he’s currently recording his next album, ‘Guiding Light’ — the follow-up to ‘Music Rescues Me’, recorded in the aftermath of his accident — and is also working on the launch of VANDIT Next Generation, helping to bring through new talent in his beloved trance scene.


Do you submit your DJ setlists to the relevant royalties collecting society?


What more can we do to combat the mental health crisis in our scene?

“Keep your feet on the ground, know what’s real and live a balanced, mindful life.”

Are you personally doing anything to improve the gender balance of line-ups?

“Line-ups should always be based on the quality of the DJs, not the gender.”

What was your favourite toy when you were a kid?

“My bike.”

What’s your guilty pleasure?

“Vanilla Chocolate Ice Cream by Florida Ice Cream.”

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2019-10-18 11:00

Best known for: 
“My music.”
Tune of the year: 
“Alex M.O.R.P.H. & Marjan ‘Take My Breath’.”

Poll 2018: Paul van Dyk

Paul van Dyk

From: Berlin
DJ style: “Trance.”
Best known for: “Trance.”
Fave tune of 2018: “Paul van Dyk & Plumb ‘Music Rescues Me’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “Jardin.”

Paul van Dyk, the winner of the No.1 DJ crown in 2005 and 2006, has been easing himself back into the game since his terrible accident in February 2016. Falling through the stage at the A State Of Trance’s 15th birthday gig in Utrecht, he was in a coma for weeks and it was feared he may never walk again. Thankfully, he’s back DJing and making music now — although he’ll never be quite the same again.

Let’s hand over to Paul to tell us what he’s been up to this year... “At the beginning of the year I released ‘Breaking Dawn’ with Alex M.O.R.P.H., which was the last single to be taken from my ‘From Then On’ album,” he says. “In the summer I began a new Ibiza residency at SHINE at Privilege’s VISTA club. To be somewhere that wasn’t Amnesia for the first time in so many years — essentially doing our own thing, under our own steam — was wonderful, refreshing and truly liberating. I produced the anthem for the night, which took on more and more meaning over our 11-week run there. Seeing the dawn hit VISTA’s windows on the final morning brought a feeling I don’t think I’ll ever forget.”

Paul has now just released ‘Music Rescues Me’, his ninth studio album — launching it at Printworks in London in the middle of October. It’s great to have the trance pioneer back.


Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-11 09:25