DJ Armin Van Buuren Wraps Up China Tour, Talks China EDM Scene: Interview
The king of trance was, and is, back in China! Armin van Buuren wrapped up his spring China tour and finally sat down with Billboard Radio China at Shenzhen’s Reborn 755 Club to share his tour experience and plans for the future.
“I’ve been coming to China for many years but I’ve never toured in cities like Kunming or Shenzhen. It’s really great to meet all the fans there - as you know some of them don’t have the opportunity to come to Beijing or Shanghai or other cities, so it’s a really warm tour.”
He tells us another heart-melting story. On the road to the venue for a gig, when he was taking pictures to share with his fans around the world on what China was really like, a taxi driver offered to help him take the shots. “If you find time to know the Chinese people, you’ll quickly discover how super friendly they are. Language barriers aside, we’re all human beings and find other ways to communicate. Yeah, we really enjoy this beautiful country.”
For his last stop in Shenzhen, Armin prepared a 3-hour session for his fans, and also brought along a special guest - Australian singer Conrad Sewell who provided the vocals for his new single: Sex, Love & Water. Talking of the song, many fans agree that Armin’s collaboration with Conrad was a great deviation from his previous work.
As the anointed king of trance, what drives his transgress to a new genre? “I live and breathe trance and melodic music… but this is more funk. I wanna stress that I am releasing 4 new trance tracks in the next month, so I will never go away from trance. I love trance music with all my heart. This new single to me is time travel. I was born in 1976 and as a little kid I used to listen to a lot of funk music with my dad. It’s always inspired me, and as a producer for 20 years, it triggers me to try new stuff. My next single won’t be a funk single; it’s yet another completely different sound. The most important thing when I’m in the studio is just to open up and have fun.”
In the past few years, Armin has witnessed the swift growth of the EDM scene in China, and he’s extremely excited about it. “The first time I was in China was 2004, 14 years ago, and I remembered that i was [performing] at Bananas [club] in Beijing. At that time the crowd had yet to understand the music. But a year later I was back in the same club and I already saw the difference.” He said that Chinese people were much more embracing of the genre – a fact borne out by the huge uptake in popularity of Ultra Music Festival, EDC, Tomorrowland and other big EDM festivals. “Last year I played in Ultra China, it was enlightening for me… really cool… and since then I’ve a lot of fans here in China.”
For those who were considering a career as a DJ/producer, Armin also gave the following advice: “I think the most important thing is that you have to find your own sound. If you copy me or any other DJ out there, it’s meaningless. Second, making music is essential for a DJ. Your quickest way to the top is probably making a track that everybody else plays. If you have a really good track, other DJs will play it and help promote it.”
Armin’s contribution to the China tour was a defining and successful one, but the story doesn’t end there. We can expect far more from the maestro in the coming months. “I finished my new music. Actually I mixed it during my tour here in China, and produced most of the tracks at home in my studio… so there’s a lot of new music on the CD. I’m really excited about that.
Check out the full interview and find out more about Armin at Billboard Radio China. Watch the interview highlights video here: