Top 10 Rules of Life – Armin Van Buuren

– Try to have your own sound. Try to invent, you know, dig into yourself. Music only became interesting when people stepped over boundaries. You don’t want to be stuckin just doing one thing. As an artist you’ve got to develop. As I notice, if I don’t enjoy myself, the crowd’s more flat as well. And I want to stress that the word passion is probably the themost important in life. The past is who you are, but you cannot change the past. – Hello Believe Nation. My name is Evan Carmichael. My one word is believe, and I believe thatentrepreneurs will solve all of the worlds major problems. So to help you on your journey, today we’re going to learn from legendary Dutch DJ, Armin van Buuren, and my take on his top10 rules of success.

Rule number one is my personal favorite, and I’d love to know whichone you guys liked the best. And as always, as you’re watching, if you hear something thatreally resonates with you, please leave it in the comments below. Put quotes around it soother people can be inspired; you might win a prize as well. And also, when you write it down, it’s much more likely tostick for yourself as well. Enjoy. (jet engine) (upbeat music) – Look at other DJs, seewhy their sets are good, but try to have your own sound. Try to invent, you know. Dig into yourself, and see who you are. And kind of bringsomething new to the table. Because if you’re just copying other DJs, then you’ll just be a copy. So you’ve got to find your own identity before you go out there. If you do what otherpeople are doing out there, then you’re not going to stand out. I always say deadmau5 is an example. Hate him or love him. But what he’s done, is you can put your finger on it. You know, putting on a weird mouse head, making excellent music, that makes a difference, that makes you stand out. And, I think the most important thing, is if you want to be successful, that you do whatever you love, and you look at other artists. Of course you look at other artists. I do that as well. You get inspired by other people’s music. But try to make it your own. I mean, think of all thesepeople sitting at home, and you’re doing a concert in their city. Ask yourself, why would these people, when they’re at home– You know they’recomfortable, they’re warm, they’re having a pizza,they’re watching TV. Why would they come out to see you? You know, answer thatquestion in two sentences, and that’s your answer right there. I mean why would you go see deadmau5? Because he’s a brilliant producer, a brilliant DJ, and heputs on a weird mouse head, and everybody goes crazy. You know. So, that tells you the whole story.

And I think that’s what you have to do. Look for– Look inside yourself. Who do I want to be? What do I want to represent? And what is my sound? And of course we all look at other DJs, but if you want to add something, don’t copy what’s already out there, but try to make things– Make your sound current,but make it your own. Sometimes an instrumentaltune can get in the charts, but it won’t get as high. Like Foo Focus was obviouslythe first single from Mirage. I consciously made the choiceto make an instrumental track as the first single. That wasn’t a commercial choice, I just wanted to showthe people hey, you know, this is what rocks the dance floor, and I know where I come from. But I think all music grows if you try to step overyour boundaries, you know. If you look at the history of music, whether it’s Bach or Beethoven, or the Beatles and Bob Dylan. Or Pink Floyd. They all looked at each other, and music only became interesting when people stepped over boundaries. You see the same thinghappening now with David Guetta and all kinds of hip-hopartists teaming up. I think it’s only interesting for music. So I made the conscious choice to make half the album of Mirageinstrumental trance tunes; that’s where I comefrom, that’s what I DJ, that’s the sound that people know me for. That’s what I like, tracks like Orbion, Coming Home, Mirage, and all that sort of stuff. And then the other tracksare just a little bit experimentation, you know. I like all kinds of music.

I like the more housy stuff. I like the more techy stuff. I like a good song. So for me Mirage isalso a little bit of a– Ya, a little bit of a tryout to see if people like thisnew direction that I’m taking. I think I’m the first DJthat ever did a tryout show like what they do in theaters. But it was incredibly inspiring to work with such a big group of people, travel around the world, you know. Normally I would just showup with a bag of records, and maybe my tour manager and a light guy. And now we travel the worldwith a group of 35 people. And even though financially it was the worst year I’ve ever had, it was creatively, it wassuch an inspiring thing. Because I learned so much. Actually my current DJ sets westill use a time code system that we designed for the Armin Only show. So, you know, I learned so much that myperformances got better, thanks to that. And it’s just, I think as an artist youshould show to the people that you don’t want to bestuck just doing one thing. As an artist you’ve got to develop, you have to get in touch with new sounds, try different things. You know like on the Another You record with Mr. Probz for example. I hired an entire string orchestra. If you listen to the track, the strings that arein the track are real. So you can actually hear it, because they’re not exactly on time. They’re little bit off, butthat gives it the human feel. So I was actually conducting an orchestra. You know, din, din, din, din. And it’s great because I’mnot a conductor, I’m not. I’m not a musician in that sense. But it’s great to learn. I learned so much from that experience. And I think you should showthat to your fans, you know.

I can’t do the same thing twice, even though I have a lot ofnostalgic feelings for the past. I want to keep learning. And this is something thatI’ve invested a lot of time in. Musical– I’ve been educating myself a lot. On my iPad, following courses online, and learning a lot of newtechniques, new plug-ins, new sounds. So you have to do that tostay fresh and stay focused. Recently I started touringwith this Armin Only concept, which we brought to MadisonSquare Garden in New York, and the Forum in L.A., anda couple of other venues. It was really exciting to dothe idea behind the shows, that I’m the only DJ, hence Armin Only. But then we had the State of Trance, which is basically my own festival. It’s a radio show, that I do live events. The radio show is weekly, but then once a year Ithrow a massive event with five areas. That’s all broadcasted live and for free. So that’s different. I’m just trying to evolve. You know, doing things that I like, things that make meexciting, keep me excited, and you know, keep focused on the music. (upbeat music) It’s all about, at the end of the day, what do you want to deliver as an artist? What do you want to bring,what do you want to tell? And it’s so– I mean the thrill that you get of an idea. I mean I had the idea forPing Pong for example. (upbeat music) And I mean everythingin dance music right now is so serious. (upbeat music) I wanted to add a littlebit of a fun element. (upbeat music) I mean, it’s a littlebit of an ironic track. (upbeat music) I did it in four hours. (upbeat music) Ping Pong was just, oh you know, silly. I didn’t even want torelease it initially. But it’s so great that with all my tracks, they’re all my babies. And you see a crowd going crazy to an idea that you had in your head, and they go. That gives the biggest kick. Self-education is key. Why not, instead ofwatching another series that everybody is talking about, use that exact time and go online and watch a couple of these tutorials? Because that’s what inspires me. I learned a lot of tricks from producing, making specific sounds. You know, how can I make this pad, and make it sound really wide? How can I make this trance riff? How do you program that? How can I make my kick sound really phat? How can I have that clap withthe big reverb behind it, and reverse it? And how do you do that? How do I arrange my song? Do I have enough elementsto arrange my song? All these questions, and a million more.

You find answers online. I promise you, as soon as you finish acouple of these courses, you’ll be so inspired, and the music will start writing itself. (upbeat music) Well before we start doing this, we had a massive rehearsal time, and we hired the (mumbles)in the Netherlands. We flew all the artiststo the Netherlands. And for three weeks we rehearsed. So every single track wasrehearsed with staging. We had the entire stagethere, and no crowd. And then we did tryout shows. We had two tryouts infront of a live audience. And then you immediatelysee where the problems are. So then we again, we rehearsedand rehearsed, and rehearsed. To get it better and better, and better. And then we did the premier show at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam. We did the show for the very first time. And you see that the show getsbetter every time we do it. Also my freestyles change every time. So it’s exciting for the crew, because they don’t hearthe same music every show. So every Armin Only showthat I do is different. The track list from theshow I did in Oakland, was different than the track list from the show I did in L.A. So it makes it exciting for everybody. And the crew feels really relaxed, because they know exactlywhat’s going to happen. So if I select a trackwith a live element, my stage manager backstagesees it on his iPad, he sees what tracks I select. And then the next artist will be ready. And the artist knows, okay whatever track he has running before, he knows that he or sheneeds to walk on stage at one minute 40. So everybody’s prepared. And preparation is key. And that’s what I learned from working with a theater director. You know, so insteadof the awkward feeling like sort of pushing amicrophone in a mixer and say hey, okay sing. Go, sing. Instead of doing that, we make sure that theartist gets vocal coaching, an artist is relaxed, anartist gets treated well. Gets a good hotel room. Pick-ups, everything isorganized and arranged. But it’s a big operation. I don’t feel God is a DJ. I don’t like that expression. I feel I’m really partof the crowd in a way. I try to enjoy the musicas much as possible. Because I notice thatif I don’t enjoy myself, the crowd is more flat as well, you know.

People expect me to enjoy myself. And I’m enjoying the music just as much, or even more than the crowd, because I’m really, really into it. I feel that’s my assignment. And I want to stress that the word passion is probably the most important in that you have to really, really, really want something. And I think in life, it’s so much more easy if you are devoted and dedicated to something. If you like your job, no notlike your job, love your job, you’ll be 200% good at it. Because you’re passionate about it. So ask yourself on a daily basis, is what I’m doing rightnow, is it something I love. Because if you don’tlove what you’re doing, you’re actually wasting your time. You should stop doing what you do. You should try and searchfor something else. Because I’m convinced that ifyou don’t love what you do, you’re only doing at maybe at 50 or 70% of what you could do. And if you love what you do, you’re really passionateabout what you do, you love you job or you love your work, or you love whatever you’re doing, then you’ll go for it 200%. And then you’ll see thatyou can really excel. You can reach stuff beyondwhat you expected you would. I mean, people always ask me like, why do you do eight hour DJ sets? It’s because I love it man. I want to play all this music. And then, it physically, it’s not healthy to not go to the bathroom for six, seven hours. And I do it because I just don’t think aboutgoing to the bathroom. I just feel the need to perform. Like, I’m in the zone. I’m in the moment. I want to rock that crowd. And that’s what I mean, you excel You go beyond your– A human being can really achieve– It’s like what Obi-Wan Kenobi said. You know, “If you can put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.” But you have to understand forme, when I’m in the studio, I’m not thinking aboutcreating a hit record, or creating a pop recordlike you were saying. – You’re creating what you want to create. – I’m just doing somethingthat comes from my heart. – Okay. – And sometimes it will please you, and sometimes it won’t. – That’s okay. – So one day I’ll producea track for the Gaya guys, one day I’ll make 1-3-8,a Game of Thrones re-mix. And then the next day I’llbe making a down tempo track. It’s good to have a plan. It’s good to have a clearidea of where you want to go. But along that– If you take that path, andalong that road can be– It can be bumpy. And sometimes the road’s blocked, and you have to go somewhere else, you have to take a detour. I think it’s really importantto look after your health. Really, don’t smoke. Don’t drink too much.

Take care of you own body, you know. Your body is your temple. It’s the only thing that’swith you all the time. So the past is who you are, but you cannot change the past. You know, in my job I’m alwayslooking for the next gig, and the next album, and the next tour. So I’m always living liketwo, three months ahead. But I want to be more in the now. You know, when I’m withmy family on a holiday, when we’re having dinner, when we’re going tothe beach or something. I wish I could just stop this head, you know, stop the train, and be in the now. For me, I can say that tranceis emotional, uplifting, mostly instrumental music that just touches your soul a little bit. It’s very close toclassical music, you know. It’s about the melody more than the beat. It’s about the, yeah, the flow that you getinto listening to it. You just know. You know when you’re in love. It’s just very simple. It’s one of those strangethings in life, you know. I mean, anybody that’smarried can tell you this. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of being roommates witheach other, you know. So me and my wife, we go on dates. We totally brought back date night. (laughing) Doing a big show, especially when I did the Armin Only shows from my last album Intense, and now for the upcoming album when I want to do a newtour called Embrace. It’s so much energy that you see when you see these people in front of you. You get so much love from that crowd. But you always have topay a price somewhere. So the day after forsuch a big performance, I’m empty man. When I get up in themorning, the first thing, that knock that goes through my head, is not like oh how canI make a million bucks. Or how can I be numberone DJ in the world. That’s now what goes through my mind. I get up thinking hey,Mr. Probz is coming over, and we’re doing a track together. How exciting. And that’s really what moves me. The motivation is tohave fun in the studio. And I understand that now. It’s so important to go intothe studio and have fun. – I find it hard to believe that you have the time to you know, start working on an album,start doing collaborations, but also at the same time how do you pick your collaborators? It’s sort of; it just happens really. You meet somebody, you sayhey let’s do a track together. You send each other atext message, or an email. And you’re trying to find a date, you sit in the studio together. I mean, honestly, half of the collaborationsthat I tried to set up didn’t work out.

Simply because the artist didn’t want to, there was no time, orhad other priorities. One of the collaborations I’m really proud is actually not on Embrace. It’s with Jean-Michel Jarre,the synthesizer legend. For his album, he approached me, and he said I want to do a trackwith you for my next album. (upbeat music) I remember I was a little kid going through my dad’s record collection, and seeing these humongouscovers of Jean-Michel Jarre. So, you know the daythat I could tell my dad that I was actually workingwith the legend himself, was unbelievable So we created a track togetherthat I’m really proud of, called Stardust. Has more of my older trancingmelodies, my older sound. And it was so much fun to do as well. So this is what I wantto show you, you know. In one year, workingwith Jean-Michel Jarre, working with Hardwell, working with Mr. Probz, working with a jazz trumpet. I mean, that’s fun. I mean, you go into thestudio, and you’re like wow. It’s not just anothersinger, or another you know, another celebrity whowants to work with you. No, it’s about you go into the studio, you try and do different things. And you try different sounds, and you go out of yourcomfort zone a little bit, and that challenges me. I mean, I’m so inspired right now. I could easily, if you putme in a studio right now, in a year from now I’llhave another album. I have so many ideas, and that’s because I’m having so much fun in the studio right now. Last time I was here, Itold Ferry I had an idea to use this drum kit, because it sounds like a march, you know. Like, you hear the army coming. The big break is coming. The war is about to start. So you hear the army further away. (intense music) – This track is goingto be on the next album. But like Armin said, this is an addition to the actual track. It’s just a little break,like a little teaser. So it’s not that you’relistening to a song that’s only doing this in the album. (intense music) – Loud. (laughing) (intense music) – Thank you guys so much for watching. I made this video becauseDJ Valence asked me to. So if there’s a famous entrepreneur that you want me to profile next, check out the link in the description, and you can go and cast your vote. I’d also love to know which clip resonated the most with you. What lesson are you goingto take from this video and immediately apply to your life or to your business somehow? Leave it down in the comments below. I’m really curious to findout what you have to say. I also want to give a quickshout-out to Lucas Alexander. Lucas, thank you so much forpicking up a copy of my book, Your One Word, and postingthat picture to Instagram. I really appreciate the support man. And I’m so glad that you enjoyed my book. Thank you guys so much for watching. I believe in you. I hope you continue tobelieve in yourself, and whatever your one word is. Much love. I’ll see you soon. (jet engine) – We had 10,000 plus peoplein, so you saw it yourself. – Yes.- It was crazy. – And then also we had a vinyl set. – A vinyl set, yeah. – What’s the idea behind the vinyl set? – Well, I always see Armin Only as Christmas dinner withArmin van Buuren, so you know. I also want to show my fans that I’ll never forget where I come from. – Right. – And instead of playingre-works of the classics, I was just like you know, why not just play the original vinyl. Which brings back the originalsound of the classics. And I always felt that vinyladded something special. The sound of vinyl added something special to the trance music. Because actually, you’re getting lessinformation than from the CD, or from USB key. Because the sound characteristics of vinyl they cut away the partsof the frequency spectrum. But it just adds somethingto the sound, you know. And yeah, it’s a littlegift to my fans I guess. (upbeat music) Love it. I mean, you know,

I’ve been DJ’ing for sucha long time in my career, that you know, to keep it interesting and exciting for myself, I love doing various things. So, what keeps me excitedfor all these years, is of course the music, the fans. But also, you know doingall these different shows, and trying different things. And I mean, a show like Armin Only is not just the way topromote the music or whatever, but it’s really also formyself to keep it exciting. And you know, I want to wake up in the morning thinking that wow, I’m goingto go to L.A. and do the show. I’m going to bring thisperson, and that person. The secret to success. There’s a couple of elementsthat are important in success. First of all is your ownlevel of expectation. You also have to learn to be happy with what you achieve sometimes. It’s impossible in life to always achieve exactly what you have inthe back of your head. So you need to learn also to be happy with what you achieved. Even if it’s only half of whatyou had in mind, at first. I like a quote of John Lennon, “Life’s what’s happening to you when you’re busy making other plans.” And that is what I keeptelling my wife as well. And a whole lot of people around me. You always expect something, and then something along the way comes, and then you have toalter your path again. And if you can learn to live with that, if you can be practical like that, then success is more easy, maybe. It’s good to have a plan, but it’s also good ifyou’re working really hard and you’re walking up against a door and you can’t go through that door, then you just find a backdoor. It’s find your way around it. And that’s just the way that life is. Sometimes you cannot getexactly what you want, or what you had in the back of your mind. Yes, it’s very important that you have to have a good work ethic. Nobody gets anywhere without hard work. And you’ll have good and bad days. Even myself as a producer, I run into disappointmentsalmost on a daily basis. Because I try to work with artists that on the last momentpull back their song. You don’t see that; youdon’t read that in the news. But it’s a fact of the matter. And I think all artists haveto deal with stuff like that. You don’t get the set times you want. You don’t get the billing you want.

You don’t get the hotelroom that you requested. It’s something that you have to deal with. And it, you know, defines your character, how easy you are to dealwith stuff like that. You know, life is a rollercoaster ride for everybody. It has its ups and its downs. But if everything goes well, you’ll have more ups than downs, and you’ll remember the ups more than you’ll remember the downs. But it’s a fact of thematter that everybody, no matter if you’re a bigartist, a successful artist, or a successful businessman, everybody works hard to get somewhere. It’s not about, you know, how many Grammy nominations you have, or how many time youwon DJ Mag, or whatever. It’s not about that. At that point you’re justtrying to rock the crowd. You’re trying to interact with people, and it’s so beautiful. I mean, to feel thatconnection with a crowd, seeing all those people havingthe best time of their lives. They’re in an office duringthe week, and they dress up, and they go out, and you get to be the guythat gets to entertain them. That is so beautiful. I mean, from all the thingsthat I’m doing in my career. Jet lag, airports, waiting, taxes, everything. From all the thingsthat I do in my career, that is the only thing thatI’m still not bored with. It’s a thrill. Why are the Rolling Stones still playing when they’re 70 years old? It’s because you can neverget enough of that kick, of the love of the crowd. It’s an addiction, for sure.

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