Childhood & Early Life
Armin van Buuren was born in Leiden, Southern Holland, the Netherlands, on December 25, 1976. Soon after he was born, the family moved to Koudekerk aan den Rijn. His father was a music enthusiast. Thus, Armin listened to all kinds of music during his formative years. Later, he was introduced to the world of dance music by his friends.
For Armin, dance music was a whole new world of intrigue. He soon became addicted to trance and electronic music and started looking for its roots. He eventually began idolizing famed French composer Jean-Michel Jarre and Dutch producer Ben Liebrand and focused on developing his own music. He also bought computers and the software required to make music, and by the time he was 14 years old, he had started making his own music.
After graduating high school, Armin attended ‘Leiden University’ to study law. However, the pursuit of becoming a lawyer took a backseat when he met a few like-minded classmates in college. In 1995, a local student body helped Armin organize his own show as a DJ. The show was a thunderous success.
Some of his tracks found their way into a compilation, and the money he made was put to use for purchasing better equipment and making more music. However, it was only after he met David Lewis, the owner of ‘David Lewis Productions,’ that his career actually picked up pace. He dropped out of college and focused solely on making music, which was his true passion.
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Armin tasted commercial success for the first time in 1997, with the release of his track ‘Blue Fear.’ The track was released by the label ‘Cyber Records.’ By 1999, Armin’s track ‘Communication’ had become a super hit across the country. This was his breakthrough effort in the music industry.
Armin’s popularity caught the attention of ‘AM PM Records,’ a major UK label. He was soon offered a contract by the label. Following this, Armin’s music became recognized internationally. One of his first tracks to be acknowledged by music lovers in the UK was ‘Communication,’ which attained the 18th spot on the ‘UK Singles Chart’ in 2000.
In early 1999, Armin also began his own record label, ‘Armind,’ in partnership with ‘United Recordings.’ In 2000, Armin began releasing compilation albums. His music featured a mix of progressive house and trance music. He also collaborated with DJ Tiësto.
In May 2001, Armin started hosting a radio show titled ‘A State of Trance’ on ‘ID&T Radio’ and played popular tracks by newcomers and established artists. The weekly 2-hour radio show was first broadcast in the Netherlands but was later aired in the UK, the US, and Canada. By the early 2000s, he had started gaining more followers across the US and Europe. Subsequently, ‘DJ Mag’ named him the number 5 DJ in the world in 2002. In 2003, he set out on a global tour named ‘Dance Revolution,’ with DJs such as Seth Alan Fannin.
Over the years, the radio show became extremely popular with listeners. It has been releasing its compilation albums every year since 2004.
In 2003, Armin released his debut studio album, ’76,’ which contained 13 dance numbers. It was a commercial and critical success and earned the 38th spot on the ‘Dutch Albums Top 100’ list.
In 2005, Armin released his second studio album, ‘Shivers,’ and collaborated with singers such as Nadia Ali and Justine Suissa. The title track from the album became immensely successful and was used by the video game ‘Dance Dance Revolution SuperNova’ in 2006. The overall success of the album earned him the second spot on the list of the top 5 DJs compiled by ‘DJ Mag’ in 2006.
The following year, ‘DJ Mag’ featured him on top of their list of the best DJs. In 2008, he was honored with the most prestigious Dutch music award: the ‘Buma Cultuur Pop Award.’
Armin’s third album, ‘Imagine,’ reached the top spot of the ‘Dutch Albums Chart’ immediately after its release in 2008. The second single from the album, ‘In and Out of Love,’ became particularly successful. Its official music video earned more than 190 million “views” on ‘YouTube.’
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This thunderous national and international success caught the attention of an esteemed Dutch music producer named Benno de Goeij, who became his producer for all his following endeavors. ‘DJ Mag’ put Armin on top of their list of the best DJs once again, in 2008. He earned the same honor in 2009, too.
In 2010, Armin was awarded with yet another Dutch honor, the ‘Golden Harp.’ The same year, Armin released his next album, ‘Mirage.’ It was not as successful as his previous albums. The relative failure of this album can also be attributed to some pre-announced collaborations that never quite came through.
In 2011, Armin celebrated the 500th episode of his radio show ‘A State of Trance’ and performed live in countries such as South Africa, the USA, and Argentina. In the Netherlands, the show had 30 DJs from all over the world and registered an attendance of 30,000 people. The large event came to a conclusion with the final show in Australia.
A single from his fifth studio album, ‘Intense,’ titled ‘This is What It Feels Like’ received a ‘Grammy’ nomination for the ‘Best Dance Recording.’
In 2015, Armin released his last album to date, ‘Embrace.’ The album became yet another hit. The same year, he released a remix of the official ‘Game of Thrones’ theme.
In 2017, Armin announced that he would be giving online classes for electronic music production.