AVB AVB

Armin van Buuren Talks MSG Surprises, A State of Trance, Tiësto and More

Tonight, Saturday (March 30), Madison Square Garden will transform from an arena to a sold out (tickets flew off the Net in under an hour) 'state of trance' fun-house. The world’s longstanding No. 1 DJ, Armin van Buuren, will stand where the Stones jammed; where Lady Gaga gyrated and shed faux blood, fellow (former trio) DJs Swedish House Mafia spun and countless other sports and music legends have performed before. If you haven't seen our 'Photographic History of Armin van Buuren', check it out here.

A mere few hours before showtime, VIBE sat down with Armin high atop the PH-D Rooftop Lounge at the Dream Downtown—as journalists and shutterbugs flapped about waiting eagerly to speak with the CEO of trance music. Still, this Netherlands born producer maintained an air of calm and friendliness. After all, that’s “what it’s about,” Armin van Buuren told VIBE amidst the fray, “having fun, being in a studio, just being me.”

VIBE: Are you nervous for tonight?
Armin van Buuren: Not really, not at this moment. I know I should be, but probably the most comfortable place for me in the world is on stage. I’m actually sometimes nervous right before a performance, but as soon as I’m on the stage I’m like, “okay, we’re gonna rock this baby.”

What have you done to evolve “A State of Trance” in the last 12 years since it started?

I think you’d have to answer that question.

But I and I'm sure the world wants to hear it from your mouth.
I’m not trying to evolve, per se. I’m not trying to force being something that I’m not. It’s also the theme of my new album. I found my own light, in a way, and that means I’m now more at peace with who I am and what I am. You know, sometimes you’re jealous of other people and their achievements, and you wanna be that person, but I’ve come to realize that each individual on this planet has his own path. I’m more at peace with that now. Not completely yet, it’s not like I’m ‘there’, but I found my light, I found my road. Even though tonight is a very special performance, I know that the message from the fans is like, “Armin, don’t change your sound, just be who you are and do what you want to do.”

Trance music is a quite a cult culture, and you sold out MSG in under an hour. How does that feel?
Amazing, but also scary because I don’t want to alienate my first ever fans. I want to wave to them and say, “hello, I’m still here.” It’s still Armin van Buuren. It’s still the guy who came to New York for the first time in 2002, for my first show for Mike Bindra (of Made Event). It’s just the attention. There’s a lot more attention right now, which is great, but I also want you to know that I’ve never - when I’m in a studio making a track - I’m just vibing away. I’m not like, “oh I have to have a Billboard hit,” or “I have to get more fans,” or “I have to make more money,” or “I wanna be in DJ Mag again.” It’s not about that, man, seriously, it’s just about having fun, being in a studio, just being me.

Who are you? How do you define yourself, your sound? How about in a simple three words?
Emotional, euphoric, uplifting… and intense, maybe I should say intense.

How do you feel about Tiësto? Do you think he’s alienated fans as someone who had deep roots in trance and changed or evolved?
His path is different from my path. I think he’s still an amazing artist and I think he deserves a lot of respect for what he’s done for the EDM scene in the past, and he’s still doing it. I could never badmouth Tiësto. Also, he helped me in the early days of my career a lot.

It’s refreshing to hear you say that, because as a writer or painter or musician is it not an artist’s right to evolve and lead their own path?
Well, it’s an artist’s choice to listen to criticism or not. I’m very sensitive to criticism. On the other hand, I do realize that it’s my mission as well to evolve and to keep the sound alive. Trance for me is not this or that. State of Trance, the radio tour, I think I’ve tried to show people with my warm-up sets that I play 122 [beats per minute], 123, progressive. I’ve never said a State of Trance is just about one sound or one thing. If you listen to the show from 2002 or 2003, you’ll also hear tracks from James Holden, and the deeper stuff from [progressive DJ Petter] Petta. So, a State of Trance for me is everything from the 122 up to, “who’s afraid of 138?”

How did you know when “Expedition”, which you collaborated on with Markus Schulz [also spinning tonight] was finished?
We just felt like it was finished. We felt like it’s different, it’s a theme, it’s energetic. If you listen to the track you can clearly hear both of our signature sounds in it, so I’m really proud of the track.

Do you have a plan for tonight?
Yes. We have some special surprises.

Anything you’d like to share now?
Well, let me give you a hint; let’s just say it has something to do with my new single ["This is What it Feels Like" feat. Trevor Guthrie].

Which dropped on Armada North America. What’s the plan for the label in North America?
Basically, we just want to do it ourselves. After four albums that I’ve dropped here through American labels, it just feels like I haven’t gotten the attention that I wanted. I really want to reach new fans that could possibly be interested in trance, and I feel like we have to do it ourselves now. It’s actually a bit sad.

Well, doesn’t the adage go, “if you want something done you have to do it yourself?”
I’d rather work with an American label, to be honest.

Don’t feel too sad for Armin van Buuren. He’s smiling as his publicist shoots me the, “three minutes left” sign, pointing to her watch... there's another eager member of the press waiting.

Keep it locked for VIBE’s post-MSG follow-up, with more from Armin van Buuren, along with Ferry Corsten and Markus Schulz, who debut their new collab tonight as New World Punx.

See you at the Garden.

Photo Credit: Richard Agudelo

From the Web

More on Vibe

Courtesy of ReeMarkable

Premiere: ReeMarkable Turns The Lights Down Low With Sy Ari Da Kid For "VIBE"

Rapper Henree Wright, also known as ReeMarkable, is slowing things down on the sweetest of days with her new single, "VIBE."

With songwriter Sy Ari Da Kid (Future, Waka Flocka Flame) on the track, the two toy with an idea of a relationship after years apart. In addition to the love that lies beneath the games, the song also serves as a great addition to any playlist dedicated to Mary Jane. Produced by Atlanta's 8 Major, ReeMarkable takes a detour from the gritty raps heard on tracks like "Pardon Me" and "Bonnie And Clyde" and into more experimental sounds.

ReeMarkable's journey in music has been documented through her time on the series Growing Up Hip-Hop as the daughter of the late iconic rapper, Eazy-E. As his youngest child, the rapper-singer opened up about her struggles breaking into the industry and how she plans to honor her father through her music.

Recently, ReeMarkable paid homage to her father by recreating his most iconic images. Originally taken by legendary photographer Ricky Powell, ReeMarkable's take is commendable as she barely a striking resemblance to Eazy.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I was a baby when you left this world , I have no memories, but I also don’t have any pain from your return to heaven. I am honored to be your daughter . I am the Spitting image of you and it warms me to see a legend every-time I look in the mirror. Today is a day for celebration as you would have came upon your 54th birthday . So here’s my gift to you . A shoot dedicated to simply, you . I directed this shoot and worked with a great team to capture your spirit daddy . I Love you & Happy Birthday , I hope you all enjoy . Captured by @lsfotography1 Graphics by @colourfulmula Make up by @tunchyy.marie Styled & directed by @iamreemarkable Special thanks to @vinceamani @exclusivegame , @bfflyer , @lakayb_ @thelazyhustler & All my Family Friends and Fans !! 🧡 #ripeazye EVERYONE SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY FOR ME 🎈🎁

A post shared by ReeMarkable (@iamreemarkable) on Sep 7, 2018 at 7:14am PDT

Enjoy "VIBE" below.

Continue Reading
A Boogie wit da Hoodie attends Rolling Loud Los Angeles 2019 Fueled by West Coast Cure on December 15, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Jerod Harris

New Music Friday: A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Justin Bieber, Tink

This weekend is Valentine's Day, and artists like A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Justin Bieber and Tink are sure to set the mood with two albums full of romantic tunes. Look below for more new music this week.

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie – Artist 2.0 A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie's new album has been a long time in the making by today's standards, with his last project dropping in 2018. Artist 2.0 is appropriate with a Valentine's Day drop, as the album showcases the Bronx artist's versatile R&B melodies. "I've got everything. I've got heartbreak, babymaking, streets..." the 24-year-old told Ebro while visiting Hot 97. "...When y'all hear this album, it's going to be a lot of questions. 'What is he trying to get to?' You're going to hear a switchover on the album, and it's going to be a whole different mood." Guests on the album include Young Thug, Roddy Ricch, Gunna, Summer Walker, Khalid, and Lil Uzi Vert. Apple Music | TIDAL

Justin Bieber – Changes Changes marks a return to music for the hitmaker Justin Bieber, whose last album was released in 2015. And the title is appropriate: he's turned from a teenage superstar into a married man, and much of the album shows love to his wife, Hailey. Bieber calls on Post Malone, Clever, Lil Dicky, Travis Scott, Kehlani, and Summer Walker for features. Apple Music | TIDAL

Pop Smoke – Meet The Woo 2 (Deluxe) Pop Smoke is one of the hottest new artists of 2020, with his hit "Welcome To The Party" taking over NYC last year and his album Meet The Woo 2 dropping at the top of the year. The album's new deluxe edition includes three new songs: “Wolves” with NAV, and a remix of “Dior” with Gunna, and “Like Me” featuring PnB Rock. Apple Music | TIDAL

Tink – Hopeless Romantic Chicago singer and rapper Tink has shown immense talent through singles like "Treat Me Like Somebody" and "Don't Tell Me Somebody," but a promising record deal with Timbaland appeared to go down the drain after 2017.  Now, after Voicemails (April 2019), she's trending on Valentine's Day with the release of her sensual new project, Hopeless Romantic. Apple Music | TIDAL

YG ft. Kehlani – "Konclusions" In another Valentine's Day drop, the couple of YG and Kehlani release a new love song, "Konclusions." Apple Music | TIDAL

Snoh Aalegra ft. Pharrell – "Whoa (Remix)" Snoh Aalegra's album Ugh, Those Feels Again was one of VIBE's favorites of 2019, and this weekend, the singer teams up with Pharrell for a mellow remix of the album's highlight "Whoa." Apple Music | TIDAL

Migos ft. Travis Scott, Young Thug – GNF (Give No Fxk) Migos has enlisted Travis Scott and Young Thug for "GNF (Give No Fxk)," a song that should satisfy fans waiting for the trio's upcoming Culture III album.

Continue Reading
Getty Images

OneUnited Bank Debuts Limited-Edition Harriet Tubman Debit Card

One of the nation’s oldest Black-owned banks is celebrating Black History Month with a special Harriet Tubman debit card. The OneUnited Bank limited-edition VISA debit card symbolizes “Black empowerment,” the company announced on Thursday (Feb. 13).

“We have the power to place Harriet Tubman on a global payment device in celebration of Black History Month,” said One United Bank's President & COO Teri Williams. “This symbol of Black empowerment in 2020 will pave the way for the Harriet Tubman design on the $20 bill.”

But Twitter users immediately noticed that the card features Tubman with her hands crossed over her chest like the “Wakanda Forever” salute from Black Panther. The image of Tubman came from the panting “The Conqueror” by world renowned Miami artist Addonis Parker.

The debit card, which is only be available in 2020, is the first-limited-edition card offered by OneUnited Bank. Besides paying tribute to Tubman, OneUnited pledges to promote the “Right to Vote” theme during Black History Month and to “elevate the #BankBlack and #BuyBlack Movements to the next level and beyond.”

Read some of the reactions to the Tubman debit card below.

When I pull my Harriet Tubman VISA out my wallet at a racist location pic.twitter.com/14m8NhnPi3

— Al-Shabazz (@shabazz_jab) February 13, 2020

FAM NOT THE WAKANDA SALUTE TOO pic.twitter.com/jeQOM1YfjO

— THE KID MERO 🇩🇴 (@THEKIDMERO) February 13, 2020

DO YOU THINK HARRIET TUBMAN WAS WALKING AROUND SALUTING WAKANDA WHILE SHE WAS TAKING SLAVES???? TO FREEDOM? https://t.co/1yhWavQy0m

— marv (@ofstarvinmarrv) February 13, 2020

Harriet Tubman is the ultimate symbol of fearless organizing and rebellion against a sadistic capitalist enterprise (slavery). Put Oprah on yall visa card and go 😒 https://t.co/QVQShNnEic

— Noname (@noname) February 14, 2020

Make it make sense, y’all https://t.co/og8eJObUvv

— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) February 13, 2020

Continue Reading

Top Stories