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Armin Van Buuren
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Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-09 16:37

What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“You will probably not expect me to say this, but I think it's probably the ability to produce your own tunes.”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“Well firstly, I don't think it's really a relevant term, because I'm not sure what EDM even stands for anymore — no one can strictly define its sound. People forget that music is always a progression — listen to The Beatles' first album and listen to their last album. Of course, things change, sounds change, an artist progresses. EDM is just a stage in dance music’s latest progression, it gets a lot of unnecessary hate.”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“Yes, of course. I think it does on everyone, but I've definitely had times when I felt like I'm going totally crazy. I’ve combated it by going to speak to someone, a counsellor, someone objective. It really helped and he also recommended a few books for me to read: Daniel Kahneman Thinking Fast & Slow and Ian Robertson The Winner Effect.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“Cancer, a lot of my family is really affected by it. I have a lot of history of it in my family and it's a terrible disease. There's lots of things wrong with the world, of course, but this is the one most in my mind at the moment.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“I think Turnmills in London, I remember first going there in 2000 and it was insane! I first played in the UK at Cream in Liverpool in 2000 though, and then went to Turnmills a few months later. It was pretty dark and grimy in there, but iconic! Gatecrasher was amazing too!”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
"I really think there needs be more girls out there. When I did A State Of Trance, I did a room called A State Of Pink where I highlighted some of the women on Armada, the great female DJs out there!”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“I think it's wrong if someone puts a name on a track they had nothing to do with, that they weren't even in the studio for. I've never used a ghost producer.”

“I think it’s a really odd phenomenon,” Armin van Buuren says matter-of-factly down the phone line. We’re talking with the legendary trance producer about ghost production — an issue that Armin feels strongly about.

“For example, everyone remembers the whole Milli Vanilli scandal, how cheated people felt. I think it's wrong if someone puts a name on a track they had nothing to do with, that they weren't even in the studio for. I've never used a ghost producer, I can firmly say that,” he states.

It’ll come as no surprise to any Armin fan that the industry champ crafts his own tracks. He’s been releasing music for nigh-on two decades through his imprint Armada and radio show/label, A State Of Trance. It’s not just with his tunes that Armin has garnered fans worldwide — he’s adored for his spectacular stage shows too. His 2014 Armin Only tour took 35 people on the road, including a theatre director, trapeze artists, dancers, singers and musicians, with this year’s Intense tour going even bigger.

“It was probably the worst decision for me to do this tour financially,” he says, ruefully. “But the best choice for me personally. It was the best time of my life!”

“It's so sad when it’s over because I won't get to see my Intense family anymore, we’re a really close team,” he finishes, passionately.

Armin’s Intense tour crossed the globe from corner to corner, with the DJ visiting the Ukraine, India, Russia, the USA, South Africa and Australia — phew! As if that wasn’t enough to keep him busy, Armin also held down his usual residency in Ibiza this year, spinning every Thursday to his loyal legion of White Isle trancers. “Ibiza is always fun, this year was really excellent. It feels like a home-coming when I play there,” he says of lush Ibiza venue Ushuaia, which he moved to following many seasons at Privilege.

So after another successful year as trance’s leading man, with his sixth studio album ‘Embrace’ set to drop on October 29th, is Armin van Buuren still in love with his day job? Absolutely! 

“To be a great DJ you need to be able to read the crowd, to read the room, and track selection is obviously the most important thing! That's why it's so special to be one. I’m still really excited every time I play a set.”

CHARLOTTE LUCY CIJFFERS

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