A state of trance

Even as his fame began to explode on the international dance scene, Armin Van Buuren still managed to obtain a law degree from Oxford University. For the number one DJ in the world, that comes as no surprise.

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Thu 14 Oct 2010, 9:15 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 1:08 PM

With millions of fans following his every move, Van Buuren is all about hard work, good vibes and revolutionising the music world. We caught up with the talented artist before his weekend gig in Dubai

Mohamad Kadry


You’ve been voted the number one DJ in the world three years running. Does it ever get lonely at the top?

Being on top of the DJ Mag poll is fantastic, but I do not think I feel the need to maintain that certain position. I love what I’m doing, and as long as people have the same feeling, I’m happy whether I’m winning that award or not. After all, it is about enjoying the music!

What is going through your mind when getting ready to play a long set?

The first three tunes are always running through my head. I like to interact with the crowd, so I choose which tracks to play based on the reaction I get. If a certain track creates a good vibe on the dance floor, I know the direction I need to take. Right now my sets are mostly based off tracks from my new album Mirage, so I try to fit in the right songs of the album while playing. It’s funny to see a lot of people already recognising my new music and lyrics even though it was just released a few weeks ago.

Your radio show A State of Trance is followed by millions of people across the globe. What is it like to be able to reach so many people?

Trance is still growing in popularity, and it’s great that my radio show gets broadcasted in so many countries. Every week I hear about another radio station picking up the show, so I feel very proud about what I’m doing. But more importantly, I’m also very aware that I should stick to the original plan for the show. Back in 2001, I wanted to make a radio show that showcased the best and latest in trance and progressive music during a two-hour broadcast, and that’s exactly what it still is almost a decade later.

As your one-year wedding anniversary approaches, what advice would you give to men juggling relationships and career? What are some pieces of advice you would rather forget?

My point of view is that behind every strong man there is a strong woman. Sometimes it might be hard to combine a time-consuming career and a healthy relationship, but there is no better feeling than coming home to my wife after a tour. It’s very important to have a constant level of communication going on; that’s what it’s all about. We have a few rules in place as well. When we are having dinner we turn off the television and our phones so we can just talk to each other. You need to keep investing time in the person you want to share your life with and it’s easy to forget that sometimes.

How do you think trance will evolve in the future?

What we’re seeing right now is that house producers are using a lot of trance elements in their songs. On the other side you see that trance is getting a bit slower in tempo and has house-like grooves. So in a way both styles are evolving and getting closer to each other. It’s great to see that four-to-the-floor tracks are reaching the charts in America, which opens a lot of doors for dance music in general.

You managed to complete your law degree just as your career was beginning to take off. How important is academia in your life?

Academia is very important to me. You would think that I’m not really using the things I have studied in school since my focus is on music, but this entire industry revolves around law so I’m happy that I can carry knowledge of the legal side of the business. Now that I’m not studying anymore I do invest a lot of time in reading books about subjects I enjoy, like politics

You’ve performed in Dubai before. What do you love about the city?

I love the shopping malls and the weather! The residents are from all parts of the world which makes it a very exciting place to visit and perform.

Do you have any sort of mantra that you follow in life?

Don’t be a prisoner of your own style!

event details

What: Armin Van Buuren

When: Friday, October 15

Where: Dubai World Trade Center Arena

Entry: Dhs150 Regular, Dhs120 Students, Dhs250 VIP, Dhs400 VVIP

Tickets can be purchased online from www.timeoutdubai.com and www.boxofficeme.com

More news from