2012 has been another year of accolades for Dutch electronic music institution Armin van Buuren. His “A State of Trance” mixes and radio show are more popular around the world than ever before (the ASOT radio show claims more than 25 million listeners each week). And with tremendous showings at his own ASOT parties and the biggest dance music festivals around the world, it’s easy to understand just why, for the fifth (non-consecutive) time, fans voted van Buuren to the top of DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJ poll just last month.
To commemorate his big year, MTV News is pleased to reveal that van Buuren will be celebrating New Year’s Stateside. Joonbug.com, the largest producer of NYE events around the world, will be bringing AVB and his yet-unannounced supporting talent to New York’s Pier 36 on December 31.
In an e-mail Q & A with MTV News, van Buuren touched on his history with the Big Apple, what it’s been like to witness dance music surge in popularity in the States, and what fans can expect at his big New Year’s Eve show.
MTV News: Vibrant in the history of dance music in America are subcultures in cities like Detroit, Chicago and New York. How important has the city of New York been to Armin van Buuren over the years?
AVB: Well, it seems silly now but mixing two records together was actually born in New York. DJs used to talk in between every two records. That all changed due to what happened in the NY club scene in the late 70s. Huib Luyten was one of the first DJs to learn this and brought the idea of “mixing” to the Netherlands. Ben Liebrand (who is a big inspiration) saw this and started professionalizing it.
I’ve always had a special connection with the NY crowd. My most memorable gigs were at the McCarren Pool and under the Brooklyn Bridge. I can also remember some epic nights at Electric Zoo and Roxy.
MTV News: You have performed here from the Soundfactory/Limelight/Twilo days through Lavo NY, Electric Zoo and Electric Daisy Carnival today. What specific moments best elaborate what it’s been like to see dance music grow this past year?
AVB: I think it’s the mere scale of things. It’s really growing so fast, it’s incredible. Hearing EDM on the radio in 2012 is another big thing. The fact that more and more celebrities show up at EDM gigs. The numbers have grown. The young generation now grows up listening to dance music. But I think my gigs at EDC in Vegas and Ultra in Miami were the highlights because the crowd was just so immense.
MTV News: No one knows the future, but what predictions can you make about dance music in 2013?
AVB: Trance will make a small come back. Styles will merge more. I think the festivals in the U.S. will grow even more.
MTV News: With the growth of the scene, there have been a lot of great productions this year, appreciated by many new listeners. We’d like to hear about some of the folks that have impressed you this year.
AVB: Andrew Rayel: Moldavian Trance Producer that is doing extremely well with his new trance sound.
Orjan Nilsen: manages to break the boundaries between House and Trance with his perfect uplifting style.
MaRLo: Dutch Australian who knows how to program the best lead sounds!
Matt Davey: this guy knows how to produce proper uplifting! :)
MTV News: New Year’s Eve: Will it be an episode of ASOT? Will there be supporting acts? How long is the night? What details can you reveal about your New Year’s Eve show in NY?
AVB: No, [it] won’t be an ASOT episode, I’m saving that for March 30 :) Yes, we’ll have a support act but I can’t reveal that now. I will play [11:30 p.m. to 3:30 a.m.] so I can share the midnight moment with my fans :)
MTV News: What can fans expect from AVB on NYE? Do you have a message for New York?
AVB: I’ve never played NYE in NY so it will be very special for me as New York is one of the most important markets for me. Fans can expect a full show with full production and some special surprises, of course.
Tickets for Armin van Buuren’s New Year’s Eve show go on sale this Friday 11/9 here.