Armin van Buuren
The Story of Armin van Buuren
Armin van Buuren, born 25 December 1976, is a Dutch music producer and DJ. He is known for mostly playing progressive trance and uplifting trance. He has won a number of accolades, including the #1 spot on DJ Magazine’s Top 100 DJs fan poll a record of 5 times, including an unprecedented four consecutive years 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and again in 2012. He is currently the #2 DJ on DJ Magazine’s Top 100 DJs poll for 2013. Since 2001, Armin van Buuren has hosted a weekly radio show called A State of Trance, which has 20 million weekly listeners in 26 countries. This radio show propelled him to superstardom and garnered an intense following of trance fans around the world. His 2008 studio album, Imagine, entered the Dutch album chart at No. 1, a first for a dance music artist in Dutch music history.
Armin van Buuren was born in Leiden, Netherlands, on 25 December 1976, but grew up in Koudekerk aan den Rijn. Van Buuren started making music when he was 14. He was inspired by French electronic music composer Jean Michel Jarre. He graduated from the Stedelijk Gymnasium Leiden in 1995, and studied law at Leiden University. He began working as a DJ in Club Next, playing multiple sets a week, most of which lasted six or more hours. As his musical career began to take off he put his law degree on hold, although he returned to graduate from law school in 2003.
Career of Armin van Buuren
1995–1999: Early career and success
In 1995, Armin van Buuren had his first major success with a track called “Blue Fear”, which was released under the Cyber Records label; he was 19 years old. This track, which was produced in the euro-trance mold, made it onto the UK Chart. Another successful track, “Communication” was released under the same label, and became popular in Ibiza, Spain in the summer of 1999. After being signed to AM PM Records, this track entered the UK Chart at No. 18 in 2000.
Armin 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 countries and can often be found on the main stage at big summer festivals. Armin van Buuren played a record-breaking twelve and a half-hour set for Dancetheater in The Hague, Netherlands. In the United Kingdom he performs regularly at Passion (resident 2002), Godskitchen, Gatecrasher, Slinky, Ministry of Sound, Peach and Golden.
In the beginning of 1999, Armin 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, his label was popular. 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, Armin van Buuren recorded a riff titled “Exhale” for the System F. album. Released as a single, this track reached gold status in less than a month.
2000–2004: A State of Trance and 76
In 2000, Armin van Buuren started his own Armin van Buuren compilation series. He found a balance between progressive house, and vocal 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 10,000 copies and contains Van Buuren’s 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 No. 1 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. The third album, In Motion was released 6 August 2001. 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 the Netherlands.
In March 2001, Armin van Buuren started his own radio show on ID&T Radio (traditionally broadcast in Dutch and later English since ASOT 183). 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. 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 and later SLAM!FM, two Dutch radio stations. It is now a weekly feature on Radio 538, another Dutch radio station, DI.FM, an online radio station, and on XM Satellite Radio, channel 80 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, Armin 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 (eight-hour) anniversary episode was celebrated in Club Asta in The Hague, Netherlands, featuring Armin van Buuren, Jonas Steur, M.I.K.E., John Askew, Rank 1 and Menno de Jong.
In 2002, he had a residency at Glow in Washington D.C., and played in Northern America, in San Francisco, Vancouver, Houston, Toronto, Boston, Calgary, Charlotte, Chicago, Montreal, Detroit, Edmonton, Atlanta, Austin, Denver, New York City, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Seattle and at The Necto (nightclub). He regularly appeared at Amnesia on the island of Ibiza, Balearic Islands, Spain. In October that year, Van Buuren was voted Number 5 in the DJ Magazine top 100 DJs.
In June 2003, Armin van Buuren celebrated the 100th episode of A State of Trance at Bloomingdale, Bloemendaal aan Zee, Netherlands and released his debut studio album, 76, a 76-minute album divided into 13 tracks. In the same year he was voted No. 3 in the DJ Mag top 100 DJs and held 3rd place for the next two years (2004, 2005).
2005–2009: Shivers and Imagine
In 2 June 2005, he celebrated the 200th episode of A State of Trance at Museumplein, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
On 8 August 2005, Armin van Buuren released his second studio album, Shivers. On the album Van Buuren worked with artists such as Pakistani-American singer Nadia Ali, English singer Justine Suissa and American trance duo Gabriel & Dresden.
On 25 May 2006, he celebrated with various artists the 250th episode of A State of Trance at Asta, The Hague, Netherlands.
He was voted No. 2 in the 2006 DJ Mag top 100 DJs poll.
On 17 May 2007, he celebrated with various artists the 300th episode of A State of Trance at Pettelaarse Schans, Den Bosch, Netherlands.
Finally, Armin reached No. 1 in the 2007 DJ Mag top 100 DJs poll.
On 12 January 2008, Van Buuren was given the “Buma Cultuur Pop Award,” the most prestigious Dutch music award.
On 17 April 2008, Van Buuren released his third studio album, Imagine. It features collaboration with singers such as Jacqueline Govaert of Krezip. The album debuted at number one on the Dutch Albums Chart. The second single released from the album, “In and Out of Love”, featuring Sharon den Adel from the band Within Temptation, has spawned a music video that has been viewed over 140 million times on YouTube.
Since the release of Imagine, Van Buuren has been working with Benno de Goeij and DJ-RA of Rank 1 on solo productions and remixes.
On 1 May 2008, he celebrated with various artists the 350th episode of A State of Trance at Noxx, Antwerp, Belgium.
He was voted No. 1 in the 2008 DJ Mag top 100 DJs poll again.
He collaborated with his brother, guitarist Eller van Buuren, at Together As One in Los Angeles, U.S., on New Year’s Eve 2009, as well as on Armin’s 2008 album Imagine. His performance with his brother at Together As One was also the very last event of his Armin Only: Imagine world tour.
To celebrate the 400th episode of A State of Trance, he performed at three shows with various artists. The locations were: Club Butan, Wuppertal, Germany on 16 April 2009, AIR, Birmingham, UK on 17 April and Maassilo, Rotterdam, Netherlands on 18 April.
Also 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.
He was voted No. 1 in the 2009 DJ Mag top 100 DJs poll for the third consecutive year.
2010–present: Mirage and Intense
On 3 March 2010, Armin van Buuren was awarded with the Golden Harp, for his musical work and contribution to Dutch music, by BUMA/STEMRA at the 2010 Buma Harpen Gala in Hilversum, Netherlands.
To celebrate the 450th episode of A State of Trance, he performed with various artists at five shows across two continents. The locations were: The Guvernment, Toronto, Canada on 1 April 2010, Roseland Ballroom, New York City, USA on 2 April and on 3 April again, Expo Arena, Bratislava, Slovakia on 9 April and Centennial Hall, Wroclaw, Poland on 24 April.
On 23 June 2010, it was announced that Van Buuren’s fourth studio album, Mirage was due to be released on 10 September. The first single “Full Focus”, was released through iTunes Store on 24 June at midnight. The song peaked at number sixty in the Netherlands. One of the confirmed tracks from the album is a collaboration with English singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor called Not Giving Up On Love, which was released as a single from Bextor’s fourth studio album, Make a Scene. Armin also wrote a song for English singer Seal, but due to the release of his greatest hits album, Hits, the collaboration never came together.
On 12 September 2010, Van Buuren launched “A State of Sundays”, a new weekly 24-hour radio show aired on Sirius XM Radio.
On 20 October 2010, Armin van Buuren won the award for Most Popular International DJ presented by The Golden Gnomes.
On 27 October 2010, Armin van Buuren was announced, for the 4th year running, as the number 1 DJ.
The 2010 edition of Armin Only: Mirage kicked off on 13 November 2010, in Utrecht, Netherlands, with more shows coming in Saint-Petersburg, Kiev, Buenos Aires, Melbourne, Beirut, Poznań, Moscow and Bratislava.
To mark the 10-year anniversary and 500th episode of his weekly radio show A State of Trance, Van Buuren performed at five shows across five continents over five consecutive weeks along with various artists. The first show was held on 19 March 2011 in Johannesburg, South Africa at MTN Expo Centre. Miami’s show was performed at the Ultra Music Festival on 27 March. Argentina held the third celebration of ASOT 500 at G.E.B.A. in Buenos Aires. The most important edition was celebrated at Brabanthallen in Den Bosch, Netherlands. Accompanied by more than 30 DJs from countries all over the world, the event was attended by over 30,000 people. The event was radio broadcast live to over 30 countries. The final show was held in Sydney, Australia on 16 April at Acer Arena.
On 30 April 2011, Armin van Buuren was appointed Officer in the Order of Oranje-Nassau for services to Dutch dance music and the Dutch music economy. He received the insignia (badge and ribbon) from the hands of the mayor of the city of Leiden.
That same year, he was voted No. 2 in the 2011 DJ Mag top 100 DJs poll.
To celebrate the 550th episode of A State of Trance, he performed with various artists on 2 different continents during 4 weeks. The show was called A State Of Trance 550: Invasion. The first event was celebrated at Ministry Of Sound in London on 1 March 2012. On 7 March, Moscow held the second event at Expocentre. Kiev’s show was performed at International Exhibition Centre on 10 March. On 17 March, as part of the Beyond Wonderland festival in Los Angeles and on 25 March at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami. On 31 March, the biggest and final edition of ASOT 550 took place in the Brabanthallen of Den Bosch, Netherlands.
On 19 October 2012, Armin van Buuren was announced for a 5th non-consecutive year as the world’s number one DJ according to DJ Mag.
To celebrate the 600th episode of A State of Trance, Van Buuren announced that he will perform with various artists all around the world. The show was called A State of Trance 600: The Expedition. It was the biggest event and has been announced for the following locations and dates: Madrid on 14 February 2013, Mexico City on 16 February, Sao Paulo on 1 March, Minsk on 7 March, Sofia on 8 March, Beirut on 9 March, Kuala Lumpur on 15 March, Mumbai on 16 March, Miami on 24 March, Guatemala City on 27 March, New York City on 30 March and Den Bosch on 6 April 2013.
On 2 March 2013, Armin van Buuren announced that his fifth studio album, Intense, was due to be released on 3 May 2013. The first single of the album, “This Is What It Feels Like”, featuring Canadian singer-songwriter Trevor Guthrie, released on 5 April. The tour for the album, Armin Only: Intense, was announced on October 17, 2013.
30 April 2013 saw the abdication of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in favour of her son, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, who was crowned that day. Van Buuren was the headline act in a performance to a live audience celebrating the King’s crowning in Amsterdam. While he was performing live together with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima and their three daughters made an unplanned visit on stage.
On 19 October 2013, Armin van Buuren ranked No. 2 on DJ Mag’s top 100 DJs poll.
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