He's working a new best-of compilation, a fresh remix of his first big hit, an iPhone app, a video game score and an upcoming 17 shows in 17 days North American tour. But Paul van Dyk is most excited about his next album.
"I'm pretty much in the writing phase right now," the German electronic dance music artist tells Billboard.com. "There are about five or six things that will definitely go on the album, and maybe another 10 that could. Then again, the proper writing phase is just about to come."
Van Dyk plans to spend July hunkering down with vocalist and co-writer Johnny McDaid, who sings on the new song "Home" from the van Dyk anthology "Volume," which hits stores Tuesday after a two-week run online. He plans to road test some of the new ideas on his tour, which begins June 11 in Scottsdale, Ariz., but van Dyk says it's too early to predict a direction for his sixth artist album.
"I'm constantly making music or having ideas," van Dyk says. "Sometimes some ideas grow and other times you get bored of them. When I have a hook line or something, I'll throw it into a certain point of my set and prepare everything so it feels natural and see how the crowd reacts, if they actually like it or if it comes across pretty lame. I do that a lot. A lot of the stuff I've produced in the last few years was influenced by things I played live and then recreated in the studio."
"Volume" is a two-disc set, one of which features 13 of van Dyk's own songs -- including a 2009 remix of his 1994 hit "For An Angel" -- while the other sports 11 of his remixes for artists such as U2, Depeche Mode, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears. "There was so much more I would have liked to have put together on something that's called 'the best of,' " van Dyk notes. "I wish I could put, like 10 CDs together...a whole box that includes everything."
Van Dyk's other recent work includes scoring EA's new Grand Slam Tennis video game, which has piqued his interest in doing more in the gaming world. He's also hawking an iPhone application that includes tools for DJs ("So it's more than just a gadget," he notes) as well as fan-friendly "fun stuff" like a virtual glow stick that changes colors when the device is shaken.
"I love what I do," van Dyk says, "so it doesn't really feel like a job and therefore I'm constantly taking on new challenges and new projects. They obviously keep me constantly busy, but I don't complain. I like it like this."