Written by FHM India
The DJ with the Midas touch – Paul Van Dyk is back with his new album Evolution peppered with electronic beats that will bring the house down. The German is the only DJ who has held a spot in the World’s Top 10 DJs since 1998 jumping to the top spot in 2005-06.
It wasn’t an easy journey though, especially since Grammy Award winning composer Matthias Paul (birth name) was raised single-handedly by his mother. In his early childhood, he smuggled mix tapes and listened to banned western radio stations. “I grew up in East Berlin and due to the Berlin Wall, we didn’t have access to radio stations. But once it was broken down, I visited all the clubs playing electronic and trance music,” he reminisces.
His daily routine, even when he’s not on tour revolves around music. “My free days have something to do with music – Either mixing, being in the studio or just simply making music. I see music everywhere and in everything,” he says.
Paul topped the music charts with his remix of Humate’s Love Stimulation in 1993, which is still considered his best track. “It became the festival anthem and played repeatedly every year,” he laughs. Post that, PVD continued creating mind-boggling trance numbers like Nothing But You and Tell Me Why and his recent single Verano is already prepping to become a hit.
Quiz him about what inspires him to create such unusual tracks and he casually responds, “It’s life in general. I’m not just inspired by music. It’s the people behind it. No bands or singers in particular have enthused me, but the people who create art are the ones who help me.” However, he does mention that he prefers listening to bands producing weird, spunky stuff.
Previously considered more of a hardcore trance DJ who played at raves, today he likes to describe his style as EDM. “Electronic music has changed and evolved. I know a lot more about it now, so I don’t want to restrict my work to trance,” he explains. “In my early days, I was naïve and didn’t have a clear idea of what my music should be about, but today I’m more aware,” he elaborates. “Also, the audience is very important to me. Of course, there’s that 0.0001 percent that won’t appreciate my performance and it’s perfectly fine. It’s good to learn from criticism.”
His keen interest in politics showed in The Politics of Dancing where he proclaimed, “Palestinians are dancing with Israelis. Lebanese people are dancing with Israelis – without war, without anything in their minds other than treating each other respectfully.” However, he shows no interest in entering politics. “Democracy is best for all of us, but it’s not perfect. I was simply showing it through music,” he clarifies.
While he has toured India before, his recent gigs at Shiros (Delhi) and HRC (Mumbai) saw him spinning till the wee hours to an uncontrollable crowd. “I love this country, especially Bollywood. They go from a challenge to solving the challenge and then everyone is happy at the end,” he laughs. “And the music reflects everything – sad in sad moments and fun in happy moments.”
Before ending the tête-à-tête, he also chips in saying Indian curries are his favourite, but he’s a while away from cooking them. Well, we’ll be waiting for the day.
- By Shruti Gattani