Armin van Buuren reflects on 20 year career ahead of groundbreaking arena show [Interview]
Armin van Buuren is celebrating an impressive 20 years as a DJ and producer — a monumental achievement to say the least. To commemorate the milestone, the Dutch legend has announced his biggest solo show to date, ‘The Best of Armin Only.’
The one-off show will take place in 2017 at the Amsterdam Arena: a massive stadium with a capacity of 25,000. Armin will play one of his world famous extended sets: a feature which has been paramount to the success of his ‘Armin Only’ performances.
In honor of Armin’s momentous two decade career, we spoke to the dance music legend on his accomplishments, as well as his groundbreaking solo show at the Amsterdam Arena. ‘The Best of Armin Only’ in Amsterdam will take place on May 13, 2017.
DA: Firstly, congratulations on a successful 20 years! What are you most proud of accomplishing in the last two decades?
Thank you! First of all, of course my 2 beautiful children Fenna & Remy.
As a DJ I think my highlights were playing for our newly crownded King & Queen, my Grammy nomination, the final show of the Armin Only Intense tour in the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam and of course being crowned as DJ Mag’s #1 five times.
What are some of the most notable changes in electronic music you’ve witnessed over the course of the last 20 years?
The tools we use to make electronic music have changed a lot! There’s simply so much more possible and you don’t need an expensive studio anymore to make a good sounding track.
All these new techniques also changed the sound. Like for example: the invention of Ableton Live and the Pioneer CDJ’s were a revolution. Also, I’ve really noticed the fact that almost every track on the radio nowadays has an electronic production behind it. That’s definitely a new thing.
If you could give some advice to your past self just entering the music business, what would it be?
Invest a lot of time in getting to know your equipment! There’s so much possible. Oh and take a course about “how to deal with jetlags” They still bug me (laughs).
You’ve done so much in twenty years. What are some things you still want to accomplish?
I still have so much unreleased music and musical idea’. I don’t think I’ll ever stop releasing music and DJ.
Also, I really want to work more on my Gaia project and I want to make ASOT even bigger with a new studio…
How do you see dance music changing over the course of the next twenty years?
The scale has changed a lot! It used to be a club thing and nowadays it’s more about festivals.
Also, what i love is that there’s a style for everyone. It used to be one thing: House. Now it’s so many, like techno, trance, electro, dubstep etc And every style has their own hero’s.
Next year’s ‘Best of Armin Only’ show will be your biggest show to date. How will you prepare for this show? What can fans expect?
It will be a one time only unique show as a thank you to my fans out there for 20 years of support. It’s definitley going to be my biggest and most impressive 4 hour solo show so far! I will look back at highlights of the 5 previous Armin Only tours (Imagine, Mirage, Shivers, Intense & Embrace) but also look forward to the new projects I’m working on.
I will bring back the artists I worked with for one time only. I will prepare the next couple of months with try outs and rehearsals, so excited!
Why did you pick the Amsterdam Arena? Can you tell us the significance of this venue for your show?
It feels like “coming home”. I started Armin Only shows in Holland in 2001 because I want to control the music the entire night and give something extra to my fans. Also, it was a perfect way to show more diverse sides of my sound.
I’ve toured the entire world with the show and this is a one time only celebration of the entire tour with a one time only “BEST OF” show. I don’t really want to tour with a “BEST OF” concept but I do want to celebrate this special moment with my fans.
So, I need a little bigger location. It was always a dream to do a solo show in a stadium and the Amsterdam Arena is the biggest in the Netherlands, the country I was born in and still live in today.