Armin Van Buuren
BiographyArmin Van Buuren spent many a young year at home in Holland glued to the radio listening to the likes of Jean Michel Jarre and Ben Librand before he was legally allowed to enter a club. Those quiet evenings alone with his mother's computer and a set of decks soon paid off: at the tender age of 19, he released "Blue Fear" and went on to become a global trance sensation. Early fame led to the typically hectic schedule of remixes, productions and performances, but Van Buuren still managed to finish his law degree just to have something in case the music career didn't pan out. This no doubt helped once he decided to set up his own record company, Armada, in 2003.
Love it or hate it, "Blue Fear" is classic Euro trance -- lush layering of chords with a seductive bassline and big euphoric breakdowns. Van Buuren is quick to differentiate his style from the more clichÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ©d end of the trance spectrum: "Trance for me as a genre refers to the old Oakenfold sound, the warm melodic driving music, not the euphoric cheese with vocals, predictable breaks and drum rolls -- I was playing trance before it became diluted and commercialized, before it became a dirty word," he explains at www.arminvanbuuren.com. Keen to promote his version of the genre, Van Buuren plays all over the world and has a weekly radio show, "A State of Trance," on ID&T in Holland. Regularly nominated as one of the most popular DJs in the world, he is usually to be found sharing the top three slots with Paul Van Dyk and Tiesto. His debut album, 76, was nominated for a Dancestar Award in 2004, in the Best New Artist Album category, and he is currently working on a second release for 2005. "It's not love for music, it's a passion, and it goes beyond liking, and beyond a hobby, it's about a way of living. Music is essential for my life," he says.