Armin van Buuren


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About Armin van Buuren

Advocate, archivist, kingpin: Armin van Buuren isn’t just one of trance music’s most respected figures, he’s practically the embodiment of its spirit. Born in Leiden, the Netherlands, in 1976, van Buuren came into the scene in the mid ’90s, as harder, ravier strains of Northern European dance music were crystalizing into euphoric new forms. A law student who moonlighted as a DJ, van Buuren never set out to be a superstar. He released his debut EP in 1996 and soon became a respected tastemaker, launching his A State of Trance compilation series in 2000 and his weekly radio show of the same name the following year. In 2003, van Buuren co-founded the dance-music powerhouse Armada Music. That same year, he released his own debut album, pairing driving anthems with pure melodic uplift and kicking off a period of steady stylistic growth. With an innate understanding of what stadium-sized dance floors crave—he was the first person to be named DJ Mag’s No. 1 DJ in the world four years in a row—he masterminded the dance anthem as a Trojan horse for pop melodies. That knack for bridging worlds primed him as one of dance music’s most visible figures as the EDM boom of the early ’10s brought club beats into the spotlight, guiding his path as a songwriter toward styles—bluesy ballads, electro-punk romps—far removed from those laser-strafed club nights of his youth. Van Buuren has never turned his back on trance, however: Between his DJ sets and his ASOT franchise, he remains the scene’s ultimate torchbearer.

Leiden, The Netherlands
December 25, 1976
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