Thanks to a string of high-profile collaborations, house music has been welcomed with open arms into the mainstream. And judging by his latest album, Mirage, it seems like trance icon [artist id="1244174"]Armin van Buuren[/artist] doesn't want to be left out of the inter-genre group hug.
Nestled among tracks featuring the likes of Guy Chambers (a veteran writer who's worked with Kylie Minogue, Tokio Hotel and Robbie Williams) and Nadia Ali is a warm, stripped-down, feel-good electro tune called "Youtopia," featuring Owl City's Adam Young.
Young sings, "I can feel you/ In the rising tide/ Can you feel me/ By the fireside?/ For the moonlight/ Through the cherry trees/ Open the roof and take in the view/ 'Cause you're my sweetest dream come true."
Van Buuren adds an edge that makes the track like an Owl City song on steroids. Young's songs have been frequently remixed in the dance-music world, but Van Buuren told MTV News that he was flattered to learn that the singer/songwriter had named him as an inspiration.
" 'Fireflies' was such a huge hit here in Holland," Van Buuren said. "And I thought his sound was very fresh. Very simple. Very sweet. And some of the staff at Armada [Van Buuren's record label] looked at his Wikipedia and they said, 'Did you know that Owl City was inspired by you?' And I was like, 'By me?' He's selling millions of albums in the U.S., and he was inspired by me? That's crazy!
"So I just sent him an e-mail saying, 'Hey man I'm a big fan of your work, and I'm so proud that you mentioned me on your Wikipedia,' " Van Buuren continued. "And he got back to us and we started talking and we made a track together."
"Youtopia" was made through exchanges over the Internet, and the two artists still haven't had the chance to meet in person. Still, Van Buuren is pleased with what they have built together.
"It's very simple yet effective, because it's such a beautiful, sweet little song at the end of the album," Van Buuren said. "It's the sweet dessert at the end of a beautiful meal. That's how I see it."