Armin Van Buuren is one of the forerunners of the modern dance music scene. Consistently voted by fans to the top 5 in DJ Mag's annual DJ Poll, Armin has gained popularity through his relentless touring, top-notch original productions, as well as his weekly syndicated radio show, A State Of Trance. His focus and commitment to trance music, specifically, has lent him continued credibility as one of the leaders of the genre. His latest release, A State Of Trance 2006, continues the series he started to capture some of the best tunes of the year. I caught up with Armin earlier this summer, just after the album release, and had a chance to ask him about music, both his and the industry at large.
It's been a busy 2006 for you so far. There's been a DVD release of your "Armin Only" mega-concert from the fall, your "A State Of Trance" radio show celebrated its 250th episode, and now we have the latest CD release in your popular mix series, A State Of Trance 2006...
Armin Van Buuren: Ha ha, I'm also currently touring the US to promote the A State of Trance release and I've been preparing for a very busy summer season.
Certainly no one can accuse you of taking it easy. What projects are you currently working on?
AVB: I'm working in the studio a lot at the moment. There's one big remix I'm working on and we're planning to release sort of a "loose ends" album in October.
Oh, excellent. So it's more of a rarities collection, as opposed to a best of?
AVB: There are a lot of older tracks and exclusive versions of my tracks that have never been released, so I'm finishing some exclusive new tracks from this new album.
In addition to DJing and being an artist in your own right, you're also at the helm of a record label. How do you shuffle and prioritize all your different responsibilities?
AVB: Fortunately, There's a lot of overlap in what I do. When I prepare a radio show I listen to new music, which is also very useful for my DJ sets and the A&R of Armada. It has happened that someone sent me a track, I played it on my radio show, signed it to Armada, and played it in my set all on the same day. I have a great team of people in the office that help me and actually do most of the work, like handling licensing and so forth.