Interview: Armin van Buuren about his upcoming Ibiza challenge

The 35 year old Dutch DJ, producer, songwriter, pianist, composer and musician is without any doubt one of the biggest names in recent trance history. He has been awarded as best DJ/Producer several times. His studio album „Imagine“, released in 2008, had entered the Dutch album chart at #1. His radio show „A State of Trance“ is broadcasted on several radio stations and welcomes millions of listeners from over 26 countries every week. This summer, Armin will run his own night at Privilege, named after his radio show.  We took the chance to have a chat with Armin talking about his projects, „his Ibiza“  and his upcoming residency night at Privilege.

Armin van BuurenWhen did you come to Ibiza the first time and what is the strongest feeling that connects you with the island? I first came to Ibiza in summer 2000, when I was invited by Judge Jules to play his Judgement Sunday night in Eden. I already heard a million magical stories of Ibiza. It took me a few years to really understand and appreciate the island because if you just stay in San Antonio and at the airport you don’t really get what Ibiza is about. Ibiza is about the special beaches, the restaurants, the hotels, the hippie markets and most of all, the great relaxed Spanish atmosphere and wonderful food. Don’t forget about the music of course! There’s a certain sound, the Balearic sound, that I really connect with Ibiza!

Was there any Ibiza experience that you might never forget for the rest of your life? There have been several! I often come to Ibiza, not only to play at clubs but sometimes as well to spend my holiday there with friends and family. One of the best times was on a boat for the coast of Formentera. Or in a house with my family listening the whole day to Brian Eno, Café Del Mar, Future Sound of London…

After one successful season being resident for “Be” at Space, this summer 2012 we will see you playing your own exclusive nights at Privilege. What was the reason for you to switch to another club? Is it that you are looking for new challenges? I really wanted to have my own “State of Trance” night. My radio show is most important for me. Everything I do, my new releases, my remixes, tracks from my label, tracks I like, my live sets, my tour stories, I share everything with the listener. Since there isn’t really a full on trance night anymore on the island, I thought it would be good to combine all these ideas and have one night you can’t miss!

How does it feel to move from Space, the “best club in the world” (according to the latest IDMA), to Privilege, the “biggest club in the world” (according to the Guinness book of records)? What counts for me is the experience for my fans. I think Privilege is the perfect place for my sound and my production. I want to bring this sound and I want to bring this in the best possible way for my fans. It’s more than just playing in a club, it’s like a show.

Do you have any memories of Privilege from the 90-ies? I’ve only visited Privilege a number of times. I really loved the days of Manumission!

Since we can be sure about the musical concept of your night, what can we expect in terms of show and visualization? Is there anything that will make the Armin van Buuren experience in Ibiza even more special than anywhere else? Yes! I will bring special equipment from Holland. My normal DJ sets always have a huge production, with a strong focus on the visual experience, like LED and fireworks. Now that we bring “A State of Trance” for the very first time, I also bring the radio experience to Ibiza.

In the 2012 edition of the IDMA Awards you again have been voted “Best Global DJ”. You also have been No. 1 DJ in the DJ Mag’s Top 100 list for several years now. How does it feel to be again voted as the best DJ in the world? Amazing of course. What feels amazing is knowing that so many people go online and take the time to vote. It means they appreciate what you do and this of course is a really great feeling for me.

Is it still exciting for you to receive all these awards? Yes of course! DJ-ing and producing is like doing an exam every time again. You’re only as good as your last track or last DJ set. I think Steven Spielberg would love another Oscar too!

You are hosting your weekly radio show since more than 10 years already. Can you tell us something more about it? A State of Trance is a radio show I started on June 1st 2001 as a two hour weekly radio show. I’m proud to say the formula of the show is still the same as it was back then: showcasing the best and latest in trance and progressive in a two hour nonstop mix. The show grew from being only on Dutch cable radio to more than 70 FM and online stations around the world with 15 million listeners every week. Every round number of shows (like episode 250, 300, 350 etc) I celebrate with a series of big events in which I invite some of the most requested DJ’s. These events are broadcasted live and for free. Interaction during the show is essential. Every week, the listener votes for his favorite track of the show and selects the classic of the show.

You are not only one of the most successful DJs/Producers in the world, which means that you are obviously spending a lot of time with your work, you are also a husband and daddy. How difficult is it to manage all this? It’s juggling with time indeed. But I’m very lucky to have a very big team of people around me that help me out with my radio show and management. I’m also very lucky with a very patient and loving wife. I really try to make time available for my family. Every Thursday I have “daddy day” which means I’m responsible for my daughter and the household.

When you are not playing in a club or working in a studio, do you listen to a lot of music? Which musical styles do you like besides the one that you stand for? I love listening to music. I’m a huge fan of ambient music (like Future Sound of London, The Orb, Brian Eno, System 7, Evan Bartholomew) but my heart will always be with trance music.

In your free time in Ibiza, what is your favourite way to relax? Any recommendations to our readers where they should go? So many choices! Any of the beaches really. Try to have an afternoon paella on the beach! I love place like Sa Capella, Can Domingo, Madrigal for dinner.

What do you think is essential to do in Ibiza to have a fantastic time in the island? Have a great villa with a pool and have a barbecue in your house with friends. Or visit one of the beaches. The clubs are essential too of course!

If you were stranded in Ibiza without any option to leave, what would be the 5 most important things that you really need to have here with you? 1. My family, 2. an iPod with The Orb on it, 3. my swimming shorts, 4. my laptop and microphone to do my radio show, 5. my SD cards to DJ.

Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers? Thank you for the continuing support throughout the years and hope to catch you at the start of my new adventure in Ibiza!

Thank you Armin and see you soon on the White Isle!

Armin van Buuren is performing this summer every Monday at Privilege. The Opening Party takes place on Monday, 25th of June 2012. Check out our FACEBOOK PAGE from time to time to stay updated with all news!

 

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