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Armin van Buuren

Armin van Buuren has remained one of trance and progressive house's most successful and influential figures since the late 1990s. Establishing a cinematic sound influenced by synth pioneers like Klaus Schulze and Jean Michel Jarre, he achieved chart success with early singles like 1997's "Blue Fear" before he initiated his extensive run of mix CDs. He launched the highly successful radio show A State of Trance in 2001 -- the program's weekly broadcasts, as well as its annual compilations and mix CDs, have helped maintain trance's popularity long after its commercial peak around the turn of the millennium. He co-founded Armada in 2003, and the label has similarly remained a major presence in the EDM world. Releasing a string of Dutch Top Three albums -- including 2008's Imagine, his first to chart in the U.S. -- he became a fixture on the festival circuit, renowned for his uplifting live shows. He has consistently ranked in the Top Five of DJ Magazine's Top 100 DJs poll every year since 2002, and has won scores of awards from the publication, additionally receiving a Grammy nomination for 2014's "This Is What It Feels Like." Following his 2019 studio album Balance, A State of Trance hit 1,000 episodes in 2021. Van Buuren released the first two parts of Feel Again in 2022, with the full-length, including all three parts and extended mixes, arriving in 2023. Born on December 25, 1976, in Leiden, Holland, van Buuren became interested in music at an early age (his father was an avid record buyer). A close friend introduced him to the world of dance music, and the Dutch DJ and remixer Ben Liebrand quickly became his main inspiration. It led van Buuren to investigate the roots of the electronic music he was becoming fond of, and numerous Jarre and Schulze CDs were acquired. Computers and turntables were also purchased, and creating his own music became a priority. In 1995, van Buuren attended Leiden University, and a local student club provided the venue for his first DJ gigs. The same year he was fortunate enough to have some demos included on compilations, and when the money came in, it was rolled back into producing 12"s. Cyber Records released his first hit, "Blue Fear," in 1997, and his 1999 track "Communication" was released by AM:PM and reached the Top 20 in the U.K. He also formed his own label, Armind, in 1999 and met Dave Lewis, the man responsible for jump-starting the careers of DJ Tiësto and Ferry Corsten. A collaboration with Tiësto yielded a major record for Armind, "Eternity," and marathon five-hour sets brought him more attention. High-profile remixes of Madison Avenue's "Don't Call Me Baby" and Wamdue Project's "King of My Castle" followed, and numerous mix CDs were released on United Recordings. By 2002 he'd placed number five in DJ Magazine's Top 100 (eventually topping the chart for a four-year stretch) and was hosting his own weekly show on the Dutch ID&T radio station, A State of Trance. By the end of 2003 he found time to set the worldwide record for longest DJ set (12-and-a-half hours at a club in The Hague), finish his law degree, and release his first non-mix CD, 76. Shivers followed in 2005, with Imagine arriving in 2008. The latter hit number one in the Netherlands and also marked his first appearance on the Billboard 200, spawning the hits "Going Wrong" and "In and Out of Love." Debuting at number three on the Dutch charts, 2010's Mirage featured singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor along with fellow producers BT and Ferry Corsten. Van Buuren returned in 2013 -- after numerous mix albums, including his annual additions to the A State of Trance series -- with his fifth studio album, Intense, his highest-charting U.S. release to date. Buoyed by a 2014 Grammy nomination for the set's hit single, "This Is What It Feels Like" with Trevor Guthrie, the album was expanded in 2015 as Intense: The Most Intense Edition, a collection that turned the original LP into a four-CD/one-DVD box featuring remixes and recordings of live gigs. His collaboration with Cosmic Gate, "Embargo," landed that same year. The track would appear on van Buuren's sixth studio album, the Dutch chart-topping Embrace, which also featured Gavin DeGraw, Hardwell, and Mr. Probz. Over the course of the following years, he continued his yearly State of Trance series, climbing to his 14th installment, State of Trance 2017, and adding to his Ibiza series with A State of Trance Ibiza 2018. That same year, he released the EP Blah Blah Blah and followed in 2019 with Trilogy (Armin van Buuren vs. Shapov). That same year also saw him release his seventh studio album, Balance. The 28-track set included collaborations with the likes of Rudimental, Above & Beyond, and BT, to name but a few. It landed at number one on the U.K. dance charts and cracked the Top 20 of the Billboard Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart. He then collaborated on a handful of non-album tracks in 2020, including "Leka" with Super8 and Tab, "Punisher" with Fatum, and "I Need You to Know" with Nicky Romero and Ifimay. A double-CD mix celebrated A State of Trance's 1,000th episode in 2021, and A State of Trance Forever, an unmixed set of van Buuren tracks and collaborations, followed later in the year. More singles appeared into 2022, including "We Can Dance Again" (with Reinier Zonneveld and Roland Clark) and "Love We Lost" (with R3hab featuring Simon Ward). Feel Again, Pt. 1 and Pt. 2 appeared during the year. The full-length Feel Again followed in 2023, presenting all three parts and extended mixes. He also released singles such as "Motive" and "Destination (A State of Trance 2024 Anthem)."
© David Jeffries & Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo


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