PAUL VAN DYK
Ground-breaking electronic musician, composer, and performer Paul van Dyk has earned a reputation as not only one of the most prolific artists in electronic music but as an icon of dance culture. Growing up in Communist East Germany before the fall of the Berlin wall, van Dyk first discovered electronic music on the radio in his mother’s kitchen. His grandmother would smuggle records from the West, which led him to create mixtapes for his mates. For van Dyk, who lived under the iron fist of communism for 18 years, music was not just a sound that excited van Dyk but also the gateway to a free society. A spirit he continues to embody within his music. By an almost storybook form of fate, a friend handed a tape to a promoter, who invited Paul to make his first appearance as a DJ in 1991 at the then-newly opened club and future landmark Tresor. This entry into the electronic scene would catapult his DJ career to headline clubs and festivals worldwide. As a DJ, his performances are legendary. His sets at Berlin’s iconic Love Parade routinely attracted crowds of up to a million, which still pales to the 1.3 million people that witnessed his New Year’s Eve show in Rio de Janeiro in 2008, a record-setting crowd at the time. Whilst his connection to Ibiza has seen him hold a residency in the world party capital of Ibiza since 1999, the longest running residency in the history of the White Isle. He has headlined every major event from EDC Las Vegas to Creamfields and EXIT Festival to Tomorrowland on the festival circuit. With eight studio albums and countless singles and remixes to his name, van Dyk shines as brightly as a producer. His 1994 release ‘For An Angel’ is regarded by Mixmag as “one of the greatest dance tracks of all time”. His third LP, ‘Reflections,’ was nominated for a Grammy – making him the first DJ to receive a Grammy Award nomination in the newly added category of Best Dance/Electronic album. He has remixed some of electronic music’s biggest names—Deep Dish, Faithless, and Underworld, to name a few—in addition to pop and rock music icons including Madonna, Britney Spears, Depeche Mode and U2. Van Dyk’s music can be heard in films such as The Dark Knight, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Zurdo (earning him a Mexican Oscar for the best soundtrack) and The Beach starring Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as for commercials and video games. Van Dyk launched VANDIT Records in 2000, its first release being his third album, ‘Out There and Back’. His radio show – VONYC Sessions – broadcasts to over 100 stations across the globe, amassing 21 million listeners and 3.5 million podcast downloads per month. Over 800 sessions later, VONYC Sessions has become one of the most listened to radio shows in dance music. Throughout his decades-long career, van Dyk has garnered numerous awards and accolades, including Top100DJ Poll World No.1 DJ Award twice (in 2005 and 2006), Mixmag’s Man of The Year award (1999), multiple IDMAs, Mexico’s Lunas del Auditorio award for Best Electronic Music Live Artist, and 2 Trance Master Awards at the DJ Awards (2006 and 2018). He has also been recognized for his charitable work to help the disadvantaged at home and abroad, receiving Berlin’s Medal of Honor and MTV’s Chiuku award and supporting public interest initiatives such as Rock the Vote. Van Dyk released two chart-topping studio albums in 2017 and 2018 – ‘From Then On’ and ‘Music Rescues Me’ which were met with universal critical acclaim. They were made in the months following a horrific accident in which van Dyk fell through a poorly designed stage during a headlining festival appearance in Europe in early 2016. After several months in the hospital, he was unsure if he’d ever be able to walk again, let alone perform as a DJ or make music. van Dyk returned to the studio and began piecing together early ideas that would eventually evolve into the albums. Having gone through one of the most unfortunate experiences any performing artist could imagine, van Dyk emerged from the ordeal with a new sense of purpose and a rejuvenated passion for making music and sharing it with the world. He returned musically “stronger than ever” with ‘From Then On’. His 9th studio album – ‘Music Rescues Me’ – was released just a year after. A dedication to the power of music, the album went onto top iTunes dance charts worldwide. The album tribology reached its peak with the release of ‘Guiding Light’ in 2020, a musical statement of hope in times of the pandemic. Not only did PvD release two albums in 2020, but he also united people from all over the world in times of social distancing and uncertainty with his weekly Sunday Sessions live streams. At times, over 5 million people watched him DJ from his home office and later from clubs and unique one-off destinations like the legendary Zeiss observatory and the BVB soccer stadium in Dortmund. In summer 2021, PvD remixed the dance music classic ‘Café Del Mar’ by Energy 52, which went straight to #1 on Beatport’s trance charts and, to this day, is still part of the Top 100 Charts. Paul is now back in the studio, working on new material for his 11th artist album ‘Off The Record’ to be released in Autumn 2022. The first single, ‘Wishful Thinking’ ft. Kolonie was released at the tail end of 2021 and was greatly acclaimed throughout the dance scene.