Armin Van Buuren: Family Man and World Touring DJ
As we got on the plane to Las Vegas –or as it’s commonly named worldwide: Sin City, there was no way for us to anticipate what we were about to experience. All we knew, is that we would be experiencing a once in a lifetime opportunity, providing Bello readers a look into the world of Armin Van Buuren. A quick take-off and landing overlooking a beautiful scenic view and one swift Uber ride: we were here! While we knew we would be interviewing and meeting Van Buuren, JBL, known for their bluetooth speakers, hosted a city wide event featuring various artists performing their hits in front of fans. Van Buuren got the honor of closing out their first night.
Walking through Aria’s casino, excitement is what we felt we knew we just had a few more hours until an unforgettable encounter. All dressed up and ready to go, we first made our way down to the infamous restaurant CATCH and waited patiently to be seated. CATCH, known for their delicious food and intoxicating environment is known for their array of eclectic guests. Celebrities, industry professionals and various guests hoping to get that perfect instagram shot or view of a celeb are regulars in their locations. Lights were bright, stomachs rumbling, and flashes going off as we captured the beautiful decor. The dinner table may have been long but perfect for an intimate dinner among new encounters. And as we got escorted to our table, there he was! The one and only DJ Armin Van Burren. Among us was his team, a fellow DJ and other media.
The dinner was filled with laughter and storytelling as we got to see a more personal side to Van Buuren. He shared with us how it had all started for him: a simple bartender making drinks and mixing songs on vinyls in a small club. In order to truly feel the audience, he would observe the room and his highlight became entertaining the toughest clubgoers: those infamous guys in the back nodding their heads to the dance floor, too serious to enjoy the music. If that was achieved, he knew he was doing something right. He also shared with us a personal record of being on stage without leaving once – and it was exactly 12 hours and 21 minutes long!.
As Van Buuren shared his stories with a bright smile and honest personality, the food kept coming from popcorn shrimp to the most delicious filet mignon ever served. Paired with the food was a delicious white wine and of course the traditional chocolate cake “hit me” to top it all off. After a few of us hit the cake, we were off to the JEWEL Nightclub to see a live performance!!
The crowd was cheering so loud, hands raised high in the air as the lights turned blue, green, orange. Once we arrived, we were directed to the green room where we sipped on vintage champagne and got ready to step into a new haze: that of the Van Buuren music world. What a performance that was! From beginning to end our feet did not rest and our hearts raced as the music travelled through our bodies. It was a night to remember. After the show, we headed back to our rooms to get some beauty rest before an early interview with the artist.
The sun rose over the restless city as we made our way downstairs to meet up with our fellow party goers. We found ourselves on the other side of the hotel and going up to Van Buuren’s suite where we could finally have the interview we had been waiting for! Throughout that time, he shared with us his successes and downfalls and allowed us to truly see him for who he is as a DJ, a father, and a producer.
Two children and happily married, it may be difficult to understand that life gets tough for the DJ to be on the road all the time but luckily, he found a better rhythm in his life, through more balance. A typical day starts off around 7:15AM where the father cap comes on. “I made a deal with my wife that I take the kids to school every morning,” shares Van Buuren. After sending off the little ones and beating the rainy bike ride back, coffee with his wife alongside few sessions with a personal trainer and it’s off to the studio or radio station. Indeed, every Tuesday (or sometimes Thursday), the radio show is live. On it, there are different segments and one of the favorites is called “Service for Dreamers” where he asks his fans: “What does trance music do to you?” It was obvious this is an important segment for Van Buuren as his eyes lit up, sharing certain examples of responses: the most heartbreaking stories, marriage proposals, people crying over lost loves and more. As he shares, “you see what this music actually does to people.”
Touring the world is fun but as time goes by, decisions become harder. With two tours on the cusp: China in November and US in January, Van Buuren has made sure to set time aside for holiday with his family. His new album BALANCE was just released today and the title reflects what he works every day to achieve: a true balance between family, work, and fun.
Being a father and famous DJ are two full-time jobs but he makes it work. He has been on the adventure of a lifetime and continues to pursue it at his own pace, slowly but surely, day by day. BALANCE reflects that journey, tied with one of his most prideful works: MOONS OF JUPITER. If you were to pull a line between both albums, you would see his evolution and journey as a DJ, a creator. The newly released album is truly unique from other albums as it takes on a different approach.
First of all, its name: BALANCE. It is his 7th studio album. The word itself has 7 letters and A is in the middle. A for Armin. The art work is black and white and it reflects a complete departure from other albums: “it’s a double album, more like a compilation than a journey.” In order to create this work of art, he took 14 brand new tracks in addition to 14 re-released tracks of the past 2 years: it’s like a photograph of everything he has done the last 3 years. With thoughts of winning a Grammy someday, Armin Van Burren is never done growing and evolving as a DJ, a producer, and of course, a father. It was such a pleasure getting to speak with him and we can’t wait for you all to hear his new album BALANCE, inspiring us all to find our own in this crazy ride we call life.
By Alexandra Bonnet & Tanya Nazarian
Photo Credit to Ruud Baan