TuneAttic: find music, know music
TuneAttic: find music, know music
TuneAttic: find music, know music
TuneAttic: find music, know music
TuneAttic: find music, know music
TuneAttic: find music, know music
Armin van BuurenArmin van Buuren is a Dutch trance DJ and producer, championing the more melodic and commercial end of trance.  Though he had been producing and DJ-ing since the mid nineties his career took off towards the end of the decade.  His popularity and commercial success accelerated throughout the noughties gaining huge popularity in his native Holland and global success.  Van Buuren headlines clubs and festivals around the world and won the prestigious DJ Magazine Top 100 DJs competition from 2007 to 2009.  He also hosts his long running State of Trance radio show and podcast that reaches up to 40 million listeners weekly.
Armin van Buuren scales of success
Armin van Buuren timeline

Amin van Buuren early years

Early Years: 1996 to 2001

From a musical family, Armin van Buuren traces his electronic music-making back to seeing his uncle programming music sequences on his computer.  Whilst studying for a law degree van Buuren started a residency DJing at local club Nexus and set up his first studio. It was in this period he produced the seminal ‘Blue Fear’ which when released in 1997 stood out from the pack.  Subtler than his later sound ‘Blue Fear’s warbling analogue lead line set against a hypnotic running bass line and incessant kick hinted at the Dutch trance sound that would soon consume the trance genre.  Two years later came ‘Communication’, a tour-de-force Euro trance anthem that was licensed to AM: PM and charted at #18 in the UK national charts. Though ‘Blue Fear’ had been an underground success it was ‘Communication’ that propelled van Buuren towards mainstream success both as a producer and as a DJ. 

This momentum was harnessed by a new manager David Lewis – who would later become a co-founder of Armada music .  Soon van Buuren was regularly headlining major UK clubs such as Passion, Gatecrasher, the Gallery, Slinky and Passion. In 2000 he started his long running compilation series ‘A State of Trance’  and in 2001 he was voted the 27th most important DJ in the DJ Magazine top 100. Van Buuren’s transformation from Dutch underground obscurity to international mainstream was now complete.

Armin van Buuren peak yearsPeak Years: 2002 to Present

Van Buuren’s early rise to success had been firmly tied to the late 90’s trance scene boom and the central role Dutch producers and DJs played in defining the new big Euro trance sound. By the turn of the century the progressive backlash had firmly kicked in and DJs such as Nick Warren, John ‘00’ Flemming and Sasha abandoned big lead lines in favour of a more tribal and percussive sound. Armin van Buuren though, stuck to his guns and to this day continues to champion a melodic, anthemic trance sound. But whilst trance as a genre lost much of its strength in the noughties van Buuren went from strength to strength. Demonstrating a strong sense of business and technology savvy he used the Internet and other digital channels to grow his global following. Whereas in the late nineties he was arguably in the shadow of fellow Dutch trance giants Ferry Corsten and Tiesto by the late noughties van Buuren had established himself as one of the dominant global forces in trance music.

In 2001 van Buuren started his weekly ‘A State of Trance’ radio show on Dutch station ID&T Radio. The show continues today, having passed over 400 episodes and syndicated to both analogue and digital radio stations across the globe and available online and via iTunes in podcast format. In 2003 van Buuren started the label Armada Music with David Lewis and Maykel Piron. With nearly 20 sub labels Armada has seen releases from many major trance artists and is crucially where van Buuren releases most of his material.

Throughout this period van Buuren has released three studio albums and his productions have increasingly pursued a more commercial path, often featuring female vocals. Since Key tracks include ‘The Sound of Goodbye’( 2001), ‘Love you More’ featuring Racoon (2006) and ‘In and Out of Love’ featuring Sharon den Adel (2008), the latter of which has been viewed over 50 million times on YouTube, making it one of the all time most viewed music videos. Since 2008 – and his third studio album Imagine – van Buuren has worked with Rank 1’s Bennon de Goeji on all productions and remixes. He currently also collaborates and performs with his guitarist brother Eller van Buuren.

In 2005, 2006 and 2008 van Buuren hosted 9 hour set shows entitle ‘Armin Only’, with the latter selling out 16,000 tickets and being part broadcast live on national Dutch TV. In 2008 and 2009 he took ‘Armin Only’ on the road including a 35,000 person new years eve event in Los Angeles. Van Buuren’s ascent to fully fledged mainstream pop star in his native Holland was underlined with his receipt of the prestigious ‘Buma Cultuur Pop Award’.

Armin van Buuren is clearly one of the most successful figures the trance scene has ever seen and the longevity of his global success reflects not only his musical talent, but also his business know how and his understanding of how to use digital platforms to build his audiences. But for all his success and ardent following there will always be dissenting voices complaining that he has taken trance too far from its routes in order to reach the mainstream.

Born in Leiden on Christmas day 1976 Armin van Buuren has been married to Erika van Thiel since September 2009 whom he met in 2000 on vacation in Crete.  Van Buuren holds a law degree which he initially put on hold as his DJ-ing began to take off, but he returned to his studies, viewing it as a ‘back up’ should his dance music career not pan out.