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Friday, June 4, 2010

Who is Armin van Buuren?

Who is Armin van Buuren? The music world knows him as a Dutch trance producer and DJ. In 2007, 2008, and 2009 he was voted number one in DJ Magazine's annual top 100 list of the most popular DJ's. Since 2001 van Buuren has hosted a weekly radio show called A State of Trance and claims to have over 30 million weekly listeners in more than 40 countries, which would make it the most listened radio show in the world. His 2008 studio album, Imagine, entered the Dutch album chart at #1, a first for any dance artist in Dutch music history.

On March 3, 2010 van Buuren was awarded with the prestigious Golden Harp, for his musical work and contribution to Dutch music, by the music collecting society BUMA/STEMRA at the 2010 Buma Harpen Gala in Hilversum, the Netherlands.


Personal life

Armin van Buuren was born in Leiden, Netherlands on December 25, 1976 but grew up in Koudekerk aan den Rijn. He finished high school in 1995, and left for college to study law. While studying law, van Buuren's interest for making music blossomed, and he began working as a DJ in a local club called Nexus. As his musical career began to take off, he put his law degree on hold, although he finished law school eventually.

On 18 September 2009 Armin married Erika van Thiel in Wassenaar, Netherlands. They met during a vacation on Crete, and had been together for 9 years prior to the marriage.

As a producer

van Buuren has always had his own studio and worked alone in the beginning of his career. Since the release of his third studio album Imagine from 2008 he has been working with Benno de Goeij of Rank 1 on all solo productions and remixes.

Since 1995, van Buuren has released many tracks on different labels with increasing success. His first big success was "Blue Fear" which was on Cyber Records at the age of 19. This 'Euro Trance blueprint' made it into the UK Chart. "Communication" was released on the same label, and had a huge impact on Ibiza, Spain in the summer of 1999. After being signed to AM PM Records, this track entered the UK Chart at #18 in 2000. As of 29 September 2008, Armin has won the DJ Award for "Best Trance DJ" at Ibiza along with other nominees, that of Tiësto, Ferry Corsten and Paul van Dyk.

In the beginning of 1999, van Buuren started his label Armind together with United Recordings. The first release, Gig - "One", was well received. The second release "Touch Me", under the name Rising Star was signed to Ministry of Sound in the UK, before the record was released.

By the time of his third release, Gimmick - "Free" was signed to R&S Records, van Buuren had managed to make his label popular very quickly. Under the surname Gaia he released "4 Elements" on Captivating Sounds, a sub-label of Warner Brothers. Teaming up with Tiësto, two new projects were born: Major League - "Wonder Where You Are?" was released on Black Hole Recordings and Alibi - "Eternity" was released on Armind. "Eternity" received club and chart success and was signed to Paul van Dyk's imprint Vandit Records. Another major collaboration followed this. Together with Ferry Corsten, van Buuren recorded a riff-classic titled "Exhale" for the System F. album. Released as a single, this track reached gold status in less than a month.

In 2000, van Buuren started his own Armin van Buuren compilation series. He managed to find a balance between progressive, techno and trance music styles. His first compilation album, A State of Trance (not to be confused with his weekly A State of Trance radio shows), sold more than 10,000 copies and contains van Buuren's well known remix of Moogwai, "Viola." His second album, Basic Instinct featured a new track: "Perpetuous Dreamer" - "The Sound of Goodbye". This track entered the Dutch charts in June 2001 at number 26. Later in the year, the track hit #1 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. The third album, In Motion was released 6 August 2001. This album contained the real trance sound and was very popular in the United States. A fourth album, Transparence, followed in 2002. In 2003, he worked with such artists such as DJ Seth Alan Fannin throughout a global tour on Dance Revolution in Europe, selling out to crowds of 20,000 people in Armin's home country of the Netherlands.

In March 2001, van Buuren started his own radio show on ID&T Radio. In this weekly two-hour show, entitled A State of Trance, he plays the latest popular trance music tracks. His show and the artists he features are popularized by publishing the artists and track titles on his website. This radio-show/website combination has proven popular internationally. When ID&T Radio changed genres in 2004, van Buuren left and took A State of Trance with him. The show then moved to Fresh FM, a Dutch radio station. It is now a weekly feature on SLAM!FM, another Dutch radio station, DI.FM, an online radio station, and on XM Satellite Radio, channel 82 in the United States and Canada. A complete list of stations that broadcast A State of Trance can be found at the ASOT section of Armin's website. Also in 2004, van Buuren remixed the 24 theme song into a trance hit. In June 2005, the 200th episode was celebrated in Amsterdam and subsequently aired on radio. The 250th (8 hour) anniversary episode was celebrated in Club Asta in The Hague, Netherlands, featuring van Buuren, Jonas Steur, M.I.K.E., John Askew, Rank 1 and Menno de Jong.

[edit] Year mixes

van Buuren is also well known for his annual "Year Mix" which incorporates clips and custom mashups from the year's most popular trance tracks. Each year-mix consists of about 85 individual releases, edited into a 2 hour mix which is released on double cd as well as aired on his weekly radio show at the end of each year. According to van Buuren, each yearmix takes several months to make, including thousands of digital audio edits and hundreds of audio plugins (VST).

As a performer

van Buuren began his DJ career at club Nexus in Leiden, where he learned to play long DJ sets, which were regularly six to seven hours per set. During school holidays he played more than four times a week. In 1999, he met Dave Lewis who introduced him as a DJ in England and the United States. His career accelerated, entering the DJ magazine Top-100 in November 2001 at Number 27. He has played in more than 25 different countries and can often be found on the main stage at big summer festivals. van Buuren played a record-breaking twelve and a half hour set for Dancetheater in The Hague (the Netherlands). In the United Kingdom he performs regularly at Passion (resident 2002), Godskitchen, Gatecrasher, Slinky, Ministry of Sound, Peach and Golden.

In 2002, he had a residency at Glow in Washington D.C., and he has played in San Francisco, Houston, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Atlanta, Austin, Denver, New York City, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Minneapolis, and Seattle. He has also regularly appeared at Amnesia on the island of Ibiza, Balearic Islands, Spain.

Armin van Buuren at Lizard Lounge, Dallas, Texas, 9 August 2008

According to van Buuren, "The fans and the public are the most important thing for a DJ."

On 11 November 2006, he had a live performance called Armin Only in Ahoy Rotterdam for the second time (after 12 November 2005) with a 9 hour solo set, where he performed to over 11,000 fans.

In the summer of 2007, van Buuren recorded and released a live set at Amnesia, Ibiza. Universal Religion Chapter 3, Live from Amnesia at Ibiza was released on 28 September 2007 as a mix compilation on Armada Records and in the US as "Universal Religion 2008" on Ultra Records on 4 December 2007.

On 12 January 2008, van Buuren was given the “Buma Cultuur Pop Award”, the most prestigious Dutch music award.

19 April 2008 saw the 3rd edition of Armin Only, this time in the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht, Netherlands. The event was attended by 16,000 fans and (partly) broadcast live on Dutch National TV. During the second half of 2008, van Buuren took this show abroad, with visits to Australia, Romania, Poland, Belgium, and a special New Years Eve 2008 show at Together As One in Los Angeles, USA.

In October 2002, van Buuren was voted Number 5 in the DJ Magazine 100 top DJ's. The following year, he jumped up to the #3 spot, and held 3rd place for the next 3 years. His work left him at the #2 spot, just below Paul van Dyk in the 2006 polls, and, in 2007, Armin reached #1, heading the 2007 DJ Mag Top 100. He was voted #1 again in 2008 and 2009.

He hosts a weekly radio show A State of Trance, which mostly consist of trance and other genres. The show completed its 400th episode in April 2009 and he commemorated it with a 72 hour set culminating in a set of his own new music.

He has recently collaborated with his brother, guitarist Buuren, in such venues as Together As One in Los Angeles, USA on New Year's Eve 2009, as well as on Armin's 2008 album Imagine.

In 2009, Foreign Media Games announced the production of In The Mix: Featuring Armin van Buuren, a music game being produced in collaboration with Cloud 9 Music and van Buuren's Armada Music label. The title is scheduled to be released sometime in 2010 exclusively for the Wii console.


Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Erol Alkan
Mixmag Number 1 DJ
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Beatport Music Awards: Best Trance Artist
2008 - 2009
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Paul van Dyk
DJ Magazine Number 1 DJ
2007 – 2009
Succeeded by

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