Armin Van Buuren leaves his mark at Miami Music Week 2014

Photo: Tomas Loewy

Armin van Buuren, who is undoubtedly one of the biggest DJs in the world, was busier than ever during Miami Music Week as he released new material, launched a line of headphones and performed two days at Ultra Music Festival. We first spoke with him at the Sirius/XM Miami Music Lounge at the W Hotel about his new material, his radio show and his upcoming shows. Then we caught up with him after he did a Q&A with Beats Music’s Arjan Writes at the W South Beach Saturday afternoon.

Let’s talk about your Phillips headphones. What makes them different from other DJ branded headphones?
“Well, it would have been very easy for Phillips for approach me with a finished headphone and just say, ‘Hey, would you like to attach your name to it?’ I was little bit weary because I knew the questions would come. I told Phillips I really wanted to be involved in designing the product and sound being the most important. On Thursday, I launched my line of headphones with Phillips, the A-5 Pro. This week I finally got to share the story with you because I had to keep my mouth shut for a year. I’m truly proud of the product.”
How was the headphone launch event at Baoli Thursday – did you enjoy playing?
“It was a big moment for me, launching my own headphones. And, so many press came out, it was really exciting.”

The big news this week is Avicii. Your set [Saturday] was supposed to lead into his (now deadmau5) – does that change anything you’ll do at Ultra?
“Not particularly. I’ll maybe pay an homage to Avicii a little bit. It’s a very sad thing; he’s such an amazingly talented guy. It makes you wonder, right? These young people have so much pressure on them; your health is the only thing you cannot control. I really do wish him all the best.”

Miami Music Week is a busy week especially for major DJs. How have you spent your week?
“I finished my new complication A State of Trance 2014, a two-disc set which was released this week. I released my new track “Ping Pong” and have been promoting my single “Alone” with Lauren Evans. I arrived here on Wednesday, went to see some friends which I never have time to do but I did this time which was great. “

What can we look forward to from your radio “A State of Trance”?
“The formula of the radio show will always stay the same. The show is a two hour radio show every week that showcases the latest and best of trance and progressive music. That’s it. I like to hold on to that formula. Having said that, music develops. I have items that I add all the time, we’re refreshing the image of the show and we had the A State of Trance New Horizons tour, which will take place at Sunday’s Ultra show.”

What’s it like playing the Ultra Main Stage?
“There’s only a few sets per year that are that big and that you have to prepare. I don’t know exactly what I’m going to play but I only have an hour but it’s going to be short and sweet, pretty banging.”

You’re undoubtedly one of the biggest DJs in the world. How do you think you’ve managed to stay relevant?
“I’m not trying to stay relevant for the sake of staying relevant, if you know what I mean. I’m just doing what I love and that is making trance music, listening to trance music, playing it in my radio show and trying to have fun in the studio. More than just trying to create a track that has to sell.”