It's no wonder why Armin van Buuren was the DJ to close out the very first TomorrowWorld. A producer/DJ who has released countless tracks, several albums, and has played at every dance music festival and club you can imagine, he is one of the most well-established artists in the industry, not to mention he was voted #1 DJ in the world five times.
Armin has had a busy 2013 having released his latest artist album Intense, a new mix compilation Universal Religion, Chapter 7, traveled the world on his ASOT 600 tour, is getting ready to launch his ASOT 650 tour, and is also preparing for an Armin Only world tour, all while broadcasting his infamous A State of Trance radio show every week. And that's not all - Armin has a lot more up his sleeve for this year and beyond.
We caught up with Armin right before his set at TomorrowWorld, where he talked about his latest album Intense, his upcoming ASOT 650 and Armin Only world tours, the story behind his "Beautiful Life" video, and more. Find out what he had to say:
The last time we talked to you was right before you released Intense. And now that it's out, how do you feel about it?
Well it's my most successful album so far. I just got a platinum record for it. The first single did extremely well, double platinum in Canada, platinum in Australia, platinum in the Netherlands, gold in Italy. I think it's silver now in the U.K., it's in the Billboard Hot 100. It's doing better than I would have expected in my wildest dreams.
"This Is What It Feels Like" has been getting tons of radio play, and now you've released "Beautiful Life." Do you know what the next one is going to be?
It depends. I usually take those decisions together with the label partner, like Positiva for example in the U.K. They're releasing the album as well, so they have a say in what the next single will be, depending on the reactions or what track sells best individually. Personally, I really like "Alone." I think that's one of my favorite tracks as well, "Sound of the Drums." Or maybe an instrumental track, "Intense" or "Pulsar." Everybody seems to have a different favorite of the album which is so cool. (laughs)
You recently released the "Beautiful Life" video. Do you have any creative say in the video?
Oh absolutely, yeah. The idea behind the video was my own, and I wrote it together with Elliott Sellers, who is an amazing director, and also worked with Emma Hewitt on some of her videos. I think he's an amazingly talented video artist, and the video has a really special vibe that only he can create. It's really about those rare moments that beauty happens. You know, the feeling of happiness usually comes from having a cup of coffee at Starbuck's and the sun coming out. You know, little things like that make life special. So that, for me was what "Beautiful Life" was about. So, you know, everybody walks outside, looks at the sky, and the sky sort of turns into this beautiful, mash of colors and everything. So, yeah, I think he really translated my feeling in his own way very well.
Now, you're getting ready for ASOT 650. Have you chosen all the dates and cities?
Yes. Well, the decision is not entirely up to me. I depend on local promoters, venue availability, you know. I'm also doing an Armin Only tour, so that clashes a little bit with ASOT 650. Because, I have the big show and I want to do a lot of dates. So what I'm going to do is October 3rd, I'm going to announce the ASOT 650 dates, [and] October 17th is another big date. That's when I'm going to announce the Armin Only world tour for next year. And that's going to go after every continent as well. So if people are going to miss me on the ASOT 650 New Horizons, they can come and see me at the Armin Only show. And I think a lot of countries deserve to have the New Horizons tour, because I've never been there, for example, or we chose new cities. I really want to reach new audiences with the New Horizons tour. That's the idea.
*And true to his word, Armin announced the cities for the ASOT 650 tour. Check them out!
Many of your fans have been campaigning for you to come to their city. What's the most interesting campaign you've seen?
Oh, I think Toronto, people were at the airport giving me t-shirts.
I mean it's ridiculous what people do to make sure the event comes to their country. And it's great, but, you know you're going to disappoint more people than you're going to please. So, it's kind of a hard decision. But we're going to make it the best for everybody because all the events will be broadcasted live and for free for everybody to watch it, you know, to listen. So, I think that makes up for everything. If I'm not coming to your city, then you can still experience the whole event.
Have you got started to think about the anthem?
Yes. It sort of became a tradition in that I'm doing the anthem one year and then the other year we're doing sort of a competition. So, since I did it last year, for 650, I asked the listeners to send in their tracks. It's funny you should say that, because I was just in my hotel room listening to a lot of the entries. We got so many tracks submitted as the anthem, and [there's] some really good stuff there. Really, really good stuff. I can't say too much, but this week on the latest A State of Trance I'm gong to announce the candidates for the anthem. And it's going to be a tough choice. Very tough choice.
*And the winner is...
You also launched you're Who's Afraid of 138? label, how's that going?
Really well. Actually, the first two singles hit Beatport top 10. And it's not meant to be a commercial label in the sense of high chart entries or something. It's meant to cater to the people that really like that sound. Including me! (laughs) So, yeah, I mean, I really love the uplifting stuff. And I feel there's a new wave of people coming for it, and that want to hear something different than the stuff that usually gets played on the main stage. So, yeah, that's the sound that I love and that I want to show the people, "hey I'm still here!" (laughs) You know? I still, I'm still true to my roots.
Tonight, you're performing on the main stage, closing it out. Are you excited?
Yeah, very, very. I'm closing out the whole event! That's a pretty big thing, yeah.
How do you think this will compare to Tomorrowland, being that this is the first time TomorrowWorld is in the U.S.?
Well, I did check with my wife, she's not pregnant anymore. So there's no surprises like that tonight! But since they have the same stage as last year at Tomorrowland, that's going to be pretty spectacular. I mean for people that don't know what it is, what we're talking about here, it's not just a festival, it's not just a concert, or having a night out. It's really an experience. It's one of those things that you have to do before you die, I guess. It's like, I mean what do people do before they die? I mean, go to Ibza, or skydiving. It's, it's one of those things that you have to experience. There's so much love out here, so much positive energy, and you'll find there's so many people from your age, and older, and younger. And we're celebrating life here. It's a big celebration.
Are you working on any new music at all?
Yes. Well I'm still working on a lot of special performance tracks for the Armin Only show that will include a few new singles, as well. I'm actually shooting a new video. And, I just released my new mix compilation called Universal Religion, Chapter 7, which was mixed live in one take, in Ibiza at Privilege - which I'm particularly proud of because, these days it's very common to mix the CD on the computer. But I mixed it live in front of an audience. Which gives some sort of an extra magic I think.
Photo Credit Katherine Tyler for iHeartRadio