As the 17th edition of the Sunburn Arena sets the stage for top Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren’s return to India, fans are already counting down the days. India’s love affair with the trance king has been nothing short of electrifying. He is set to play in Bengaluru (October 5), Mumbai (October 6), Kolkata (October 7) and NCR-Gurugram (October 8).
We asked Armin what keeps bringing him back to Indian shores, and he says, “For me, the passion of the crowd matters a great deal, and that’s where India really excels at.” With renowned global festivals like Lollapalooza, Palm Tree and DGTL coming to India, has India reached the gold standard for live music? “India is definitely up there with the best. It’s hard to say what the gold standard exactly is though. There are so many sides to hosting festivals that can all add or detract from the experience,” says the DJ who has filled out stadiums and played at the world’s biggest festivals, from Tomorrowland, The Flying Dutch and Ultra to AMF, Creamfields and Electric Daisy Carnival.
“I love Indian food and I always try to see something of the local culture (whenever I play),” he says.
His unparalleled mixing skills and the way he seamlessly connects with his audience through his music make every performance watchable. Armin’s career has been an ongoing crescendo. His hit singles like This Is What It Feels Like, Blah Blah Blah, and Great Spirit have become anthems at music festivals and clubs worldwide. In 2020, he celebrated the 1000th episode of his radio show, A State of Trance (which is also the title of his most successful series of studio albums). His latest hit On & On featuring singer Alika has been burning up dance floors. “The collaboration was the result of a writing session with the guys from Punctual, who I met at a writing camp in Sweden. We decided to work on the song together and I’m happy with how it turned out. I had already been playing it in my sets for some time and I noticed my fans couldn’t wait for On & On to finally be released. I’m thrilled it’s doing so well,” he told us.
What music does the world’s top DJ himself unwind to? “It depends on my mood. Naturally, I’m a great fan of trance music and electronic music as a whole, but I also love pressing play on some of Brian Eno’s ambient masterpieces, for example.” Eno is a pioneering British composer who practically reinvented the sounds of acts like David Bowie and U2. Beyond the DJ booth, Armin is passionate about flying. He holds a private pilot’s license and often shares his love for flying on social media. A dedicated family man with two kids, he manages to travel around the world for concerts and support causes close to his heart.