Grammy nominated artist Paul van Dyk has spent more than half his life as a composer and DJ, dominating the electronic music charts and appearing at the pinnacle of every Top DJ list around the globe.
He has sold over three million records so far, and has a touring diary that takes him all over the world from New York, London and Ibiza to India, China and Singapore.
This year he celebrates the release of his sixth studio album ‘Evolution’, his first major offering since 2007’s ‘In Between’ featuring collaborations with Austin Leeds, Adam Young (Owl City) and Giuseppe Ottaviani to name just a few.
We caught up with Paul to discuss the album and his views on the ‘EDM’ craze that has swept America.
Last year you hosted the ‘Cream presents Evolution Arena’ at Creamfields in preparation of your brand new album released this year. Can you tell us a bit about it?
Well the album is released in August in the UK and it took around 8 – 10 months to make although it’s been five years since my last album but I had to restructure the office, strategically, administratively and you don’t feel like going into the office when that’s going on.
What’s important about the album is there’s no marketing driven collaborations on there, it’s about people actually working together, every single person I’ve worked with on there is either a really good friend or someone I highly respect or someone I’ve known for a long time and each individual collaboration has a story to it and that’s an essential element of the album and what makes it awesome.
And who was the most fun to work with?
Everyone is different I couldn’t really choose, if you look at a track like ‘Eternity’ a collaboration with Adam Young from Alt City, he reached out to me about four years ago and sent me some music and I was like ‘wow that’s pretty cool stuff’ and always said we would work on something when I came to make my next album and when it was time to make ‘Evolution’ we put together a truly international track that I composed while touring in Greece and then Adam actually wrote the lyrics whilst he was touring in Australia. We then recorded the track in New York and then when it came to doing all the final production for it we did that in my studio in Berlin so it really is international. Eternity will also be the first single from the album so look out for it.
Is the title of your new album ‘Evolution’ about yourself, your music or the world evolving?
My biggest inspiration for my music is life in general and life has changed drastically in the last ten, fifteen years, electronic music has gone from being a small subculture to the biggest music culture in the world. I mean we didn’t even have facebook or twitter ten years ago and this has drastically changed things and these changes obviously have an effect on how are lives are and the music. As dance music is my biggest inspiration I thought calling it ‘Evolution’ leaned to bring that all together so it doesn’t really have much to do with myself personally more the world around.
Talking about the evolution of dance music do you worry at all about the course it is going in following the recent explosion in America?
Well the thing is I believe if people stay true to themselves and they keep the music true to them then they don’t have to worry because they are the core audience for real electronic music.
Of course it is rather strange to see that suddenly you have artists like Usher and Rihanna wanting to be ‘electronic dance music’ which is bullshit because they will always be cheesy pop artists. They just see the popularity in dance music and they jump on it and it would be the same if a really cool RnB record came out, then they will be making RnB again.
It is obviously something I greatly oppose because if you’re making music it needs to come from the heart and not be dictated by your bank account. I look at the scene over there with an open but not a very cheerful eye to be honest because at the end of the day I believe in the strength and quality of the music and that is what is going to last.
Cream are using your track ‘Verano’ from the album for their Cream Ibiza video this year, what steps did you go through to create that particular track?
The process that went into creating this track is actually quite interesting, it is a collaboration between myself and Austin Leeds who comes from the sunny side of Florida and I come from the dark, industrial side of Berlin so the combination brought a dark techy drive to it from Berlin and then these uplifting hands in the air moments of Miami.
Another good thing about this track is how it came about. Most people are aware of my set up that I have on stage with the keyboard and being able to play live things and while I was working on the track I had some drums programmed and some keys and some bass notes and I ended up composing and recording the whole process live on stage so the track that your hear on the album I actually played live for the first time to an audience. It was a really interesting way of writing the music live.
How do you feel when you step onto the decks at Amnesia?
I usually just feel like ‘YES, I’ve been a resident for a long time now and it’s always a lot of fun and exciting plus the Cream crew on the island are fantastic and they’ve become really good friends as well so it’s like a big gathering and that feeling goes straight into the crowd and this is why it’s always so special.
Have you ever set the ice cannons off?
I can’t because they’re always on the other side so I can’t get to them!
What are your Top 5 tunes to lead up to an Ibiza dawn?
They always change so I don’t really have ‘a five’. You will always have the classic Ibiza anthems but some of my favourite chillout music is coming from the guys from Overflow, that stuff I find really inspiring especially when the sun comes up.
Do you enjoy leaving a club when the sun is coming up?
I like leaving the club when it’s dark then you can to go to bed and still feel normal!
You’re playing in the Cream Arena at Creamfields this year dedicated to its spiritual home in Liverpool, what did you love about Cream in the 90s?
Playing Cream was always felt fantastic and I always really enjoyed it. I’m also one of the few people who can say they’ve played all three rooms. I think there was one special occasion where I played 8 hours in the Annexe and then I’ve played normal club nights in the Main Room and the Courtyard.
I remember one time I was playing in one room and then in another there was Sasha and the next Paul Oakenfold and I was like ‘holy crap this is all happening at once’. I always remember those crazy times and it was always fun. I also remember one time when I’d been playing the Annexe when Oaky had his residency there and I heard he was playing a track from my ‘Seven Ways’ album and then the second track was from the ‘Seven Ways’ album and then the third and the fourth and he basically played the whole album! I was just stood there shaking, I just couldn’t believe it. It’s always great! Oh and I’ve also fell down the stairs once at Cream too!
Paul van Dyk headlines the Cream Arena in association with Mixmag on Saturday 25th August at Creamfields. Buy Creamfields tickets.
Paul van Dyk also returns as exclusive resident for Cream at Amnesia in Ibiza this summer. Cream takes place every Thursday from 14th June – 20th September.
See all Cream Ibiza listings and buy tickets before you fly.
- Date: Friday 24th August 2012
- Event: Creamfields 2012 at Daresbury Estate
- Venue: Daresbury Estate
- Artists: Annie Mac, Eddie Halliwell, Andy C, Erol Alkan, Fake Blood, Sub Focus, Maya Jane Coles, Riva Starr, Deadmau5, James Zabiela, Gareth Emery, Shy FX, Calvin Harris, Skrillex, Skream, Above and Beyond, Seth Troxler, Jaguar Skills, Loco Dice, Caspa
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