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Interview: Paul Van Dyk

22nd June 2012

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Grammy-nominated Paul van Dyk has spent more than half his life as a composer and DJ, dominating the electronic music charts, selling over 3 million records, and touring everywhere from New York to London to India to Singapore. We caught up with him to discuss his sixth album ‘Evolution’, his views on Rihanna, and falling down the stairs at Creamfields...

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 our 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.

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. 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 eight 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 fallen down the stairs once at Cream too!

Paul van Dyk headlines the Cream Arena in association with Mixmag on Saturday 25th August at Creamfields.Tickets on sale / Info:

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.   Advance tickets on sale / Info: 


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