Armin Van Buuren Wraps China Tour, Calls New Single 'Time Travel': Interview

DJ Armin van Buuren
Courtesy of Live Nation Electronic Asia / Billboard Radio China

DJ Armin van Buuren performs on his spring China tour at Reborn 755 in Shenzhen, China, on March 17, 2018.

The king of trance was, and is, back in China! After wrapping up his spring China tour, <a href="/music/Armin-van-Buuren">Armin van Buuren</a> sat down with Billboard Radio China at Reborn 755 in Shenzhen, China, to share his tour experience and plans for the future.

"I've been coming to China for many years, but I've never toured in cities like Kunming or Shenzhen," the DJ shared. "It's really great to meet all the fans there. As you know, some of them don't have the opportunity to come to Beijing or Shanghai or other cities, so it's a really warm tour."

He tells another heart-melting story: On the road to the venue for a gig, when he was taking pictures to share with his fans around the world on what China is really like, a taxi driver offered to help him take the shots.

"If you find time to know the Chinese people, you'll quickly discover how super friendly they are," he said. "Language barriers aside, we're all human beings and find other ways to communicate. We really enjoy this beautiful country."

<blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink="" data-instgrm-version="8" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"><div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAABGdBTUEAALGPC/xhBQAAAAFzUkdCAK7OHOkAAAAMUExURczMzPf399fX1+bm5mzY9AMAAADiSURBVDjLvZXbEsMgCES5/P8/t9FuRVCRmU73JWlzosgSIIZURCjo/ad+EQJJB4Hv8BFt+IDpQoCx1wjOSBFhh2XssxEIYn3ulI/6MNReE07UIWJEv8UEOWDS88LY97kqyTliJKKtuYBbruAyVh5wOHiXmpi5we58Ek028czwyuQdLKPG1Bkb4NnM+VeAnfHqn1k4+GPT6uGQcvu2h2OVuIf/gWUFyy8OWEpdyZSa3aVCqpVoVvzZZ2VTnn2wU8qzVjDDetO90GSy9mVLqtgYSy231MxrY6I2gGqjrTY0L8fxCxfCBbhWrsYYAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;"></div></div> <p style=" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;"> <a href="" style=" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;" target="_blank">Exploring China and making new friends ??</a></p> <p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;">A post shared by <a href="" style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px;" target="_blank"> Armin van Buuren</a> (@arminvanbuuren) on <time style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;" datetime="2018-03-15T08:45:15+00:00">Mar 15, 2018 at 1:45am PDT</time></p></div></blockquote> <script async defer src="//"></script>

For his last stop in Shenzhen, van Buuren prepared a three-hour session for his fans, and also brought along a special guest: Australian singer <a href="/music/Conrad-Sewell">Conrad Sewell</a>, who provided the vocals for his new single, "Sex, Love & Water." Some fans have proclaimed the collaboration to be a great deviation from van Buuren's previous work. 

As the anointed king of trance, why this move to a new genre? "I live and breathe trance and melodic music … but this is more funk," he explained. "I wanna stress that I am releasing four new trance tracks in the next month, so I will never go away from trance. I love trance music with all my heart.

"This new single to me is time travel. I was born in 1976, and as a little kid, I used to listen to a lot of funk music with my dad. It's always inspired me, and as a producer for 20 years, it triggers me to try new stuff. My next single won't be a funk single; it's yet another completely different sound. The most important thing when I'm in the studio is just to open up and have fun."

Watch Armin van Buuren's video for "Sex, Love & Water" featuring Conrad Sewell:
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In the past few years, van Buuren has witnessed the swift growth of the EDM scene in China, and he's extremely excited about it. "The first time I was in China was 2004, 14 years ago, and I remembered that I was [performing] at Bananas [club] in Beijing. At that time, the crowd had yet to understand the music. But a year later, I was back in the same club, and I already saw the difference."

He said that Chinese people were much more embracing of the genre -- a fact borne out by the huge uptake in popularity of Ultra Music Festival, EDC, Tomorrowland and other big EDM festivals. "Last year, I played in Ultra China; it was enlightening for me… really cool… and since then, I have a lot of fans here in China."

For those considering a career as a DJ/producer, van Buuren shares the following advice: "I think the most important thing is that you have to find your own sound. If you copy me or any other DJ out there, it's meaningless. Second, making music is essential for a DJ. Your quickest way to the top is probably making a track that everybody else plays. If you have a really good track, other DJs will play it and help promote it."

Van Buuren's contribution to the China tour was a defining and successful one, but the story doesn't end there. We can expect far more from the maestro in the coming months. "I finished my new music," he revealed. "Actually, I mixed it during my tour here in China, and produced most of the tracks at home in my studio… so there's a lot of new music on the CD. I'm really excited about that."

Check out the full interview on <a href="" target="_blank">Billboard Radio China</a>, and watch the interview highlights video here: 
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