Paul van Dyk to perform Friday in St. Louis’ Europe Night Club
We caught up with this Berlin-based artist in an email to talk about early influences, children’s charities and New Year’s resolutions.
When: Tonight at 9 p.m.
Where: Europe Night Club in St. Louis
Consistently named as one of the best by DJ Mag, Paul van Dyk has been electrifying audiences and pushing boundaries in the trance genre for 20 years. His most recently debuted album, Evolution, has caught the attention of many with tracks including collaborations with Adam Young from Owl City and Christian singer/songwriter Plumb.
[MOVE]: What inspired you to become a DJ?
[Paul van Dyk]: When I was a young, I used to listen to the radio all the time. I grew up in East Berlin, so I could not listen to West Berlin radio stations. It was a very oppressive time. Listening to those stations was actively discouraged. It was through them, though, that I heard electronic music for the first time. That was where the DJ seeds were first sown.
[M]: Who are your biggest influences?
[PVD]: In the early dance scene, it was producers like Cosmic Baby, 3 Phase & Dr. Motte and Ron Allen. But there were many, many of them. At one stage, new inspirations seemed to come along every week. That really was how quickly electronic dance music developed in its early days.
[M]: How did it feel to receive a Grammy nomination for your 2003 album Reflections?
[PVD]: Wonderful and a bit surreal, all at the same time. Just one of the best possible feelings you could imagine.
[M]: What was a highlight of 2012 for you?
[PVD]: It’s pretty tough to pick one that was really better than the rest. The Evolution Arena at the SW4 Festival in London was amazing though – a really electric atmosphere. I could have played till dawn and beyond!
[M]: How do you juggle your professional life and your personal life?
[PVD]: It’s never the easiest. I know I’m not alone in my profession in finding that. You tend to get very, very wrapped up in what you’re doing. Electronic music has that effect! Come what may, you have to find the balance point though. Essential for a healthy-minded existence!
[M]: What do you do in your free time?
[PVD]: There are two main projects that I’m involved with. One is called Rückenwind, which is a foundation I set up and is based in my home city, Berlin. The other is called Akanksha, which is out in India. They both seek to help children, who are more vulnerable than others and come from less fortunate backgrounds. We try to give them new options for their life and support them throughout the time when they cannot take care of themselves.
[M]: Where do you see your profession going in the next few years?
[PVD]: Electronic music will keep on mutating and giving rise to new sub-genres and interpretations, which is an entirely healthy process. In terms of the DJing, I see it progressively shifting in nature towards more performance-based, live, onstage shows with DJs/producers interacting with keyboards, synths and other instrumentation. That’s certainly where I’ve been heading, anyway.
[M]: Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?
[PVD]: Same one as every year: to keep on being me, and keep on being true to the music.