Apr 09, 2019
Armin van Buuren's Massive Ultra Performances
Photo credit: aLive Coverage
It was one of the biggest Ultra years ever for Armin van Buuren at this year’s edition at the brand new Historic Virginia Key location. We caught up with Armin ahead of his Mainstage performance on Saturday (full tracklist here) which featured Van Halen’s David Lee Roth for a special intro track – a remix of “Jump.” On Sunday, ASOT returned to Ultra, this year in the brand new Live Arena. Sadly Eric Prydz was not able to make his performance, so Armin played a special 3.5 hour set to the delight of ASOT fans around the world (full tracklist here).
Excited for tonight? New location!
Yes, really excited! The new location is a big, big step.
You have a special guest tonight?
Yes, it’s Ultra. You bring your A-game. I have some surprises coming, lots of new IDs.
ASOT 950 is coming up, any big plans for ASOT 1000?
Not allowed to tell you yet. The only thing I am allowed to tell you is that I am working with charity. Charity will be a big part of all, you know, it’s all about giving back to the community. I wouldn’t be sitting here if it wasn’t for support from you guys and all the fans that follow your website. That’s what gives me the energy to do it every week and it’s a lot of work every week to do it especially now with the YouTube stream and clearing all of the rights. I see it as a big responsibility to promote trance as a whole, not necessarily myself as Armin van Buuren or Armada the label. I’ve been doing that for 18 years and it’s still been going on so yeah, there are plans for episode 1000 and that is coming up but at the moment we are signing contracts and confirming venues and all that. I think 950 will be the start of the countdown towards episode 1000.
I never thought I would ever reach that moment. You know, thanks to you guys and everyone responding on the internet and the whole debate that is going on. It’s exciting to do the radio show every week. I really hope to promote and support the artists. Like Driftmoon, the other week, he’s not signed to Armada and is signed to a different label, but I want to promote him and I want to make it a big thing to promote the trance sound. For a lot of time people have been saying that it’s been going down, but if you see the listener numbers and the amount of clicks on your website, and you see that it’s going up. I use the radio show as the center of everything that I do. Whether it’s premiering new tracks or talking about my gig experiences or premiering my new videos…
And also hearing from the fans, that’s a big component of ASOT as well.
I think right now, you are allowed within the trance music world to be a little bit more broad as long as you bring the goods for the uplifting fans. And you know, you always want to hear a few good tunes, right? But I think it’s exciting times now with all kinds of progressive trance coming up and all of the genres mixing and merging.
Other than selling out the A State Of Trance event in Utrecht with 35,000 people, the best news was that the demographic was interesting. The largest demographic was 18-24, so it shows you that there is growth. And especially in the progressive area and the psy area, there was a huge attendance by young fans. It’s moving on, the next generation is coming.
That’s generally the sentiment, a lot of people think with trance that the audience is older, but it’s awesome that you’re seeing that data with the age groups.
That’s why I was so surprised! It’s not true. The majority was young people.
Are there any inspiring producers to look out for right now?
Oh so many! I love Aveo. I also love the W&W guys, especially their NWYR project. It’s amazing.
We heard you had a new collaboration with Lucas & Steve.
Yup! That’s coming out. The trance mix is coming next week.
And there’s a club mix as well?
Yup, we’re actually going to premiere that here on the stage tonight.
How did that come about?
I was back in the studio with Josh Cumbee and with Afsheen. “Sunny Days” was a big hit, but you know I’m a bit skeptical about making follow-ups. You know, cause “Turn It Up” is a follow-up to “Blah Blah Blah,” but I was hesitant to release it because it’s always difficult. And I wrote this song, I actually wrote the lyrics as well together with Josh and Afsheen and I had the song on the shelf for a while and I was like, for me, it misses something. It doesn’t have the energy that “Sunny Days” has so I said why not send it to somebody really young, somebody that is out of the trance world, new and inspiring, and see what happens. They came back with a rough demo and I was like, “Wow! You guys have such a different view with the vocals and everything. This could really work!” And I feed off of that energy. This year obviously, big amount of collaborations with trance artists, more classical. The Above & Beyond collaboration, the Shapov collaboration, and there are many more trance tracks coming this year. But I want to look outside my comfort zone a little bit sometimes. And these two guys, Lucas & Steve, are hard-working, great DJs, and have a lot of fans and they could be headlining the mainstage here at Ultra in a couple of years. It’s great to feed off of that energy that they have. I just admire them, they’re great producers.
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