Paul Van Dyk talks drugs and drama ahead of Dubai set
It’s safe to say Paul Van Dyk is one of the most famous DJs in the universe.
A Grammy nomination under his belt and the incredible sixth studio album, Evolution, continuing to sweep the global DJ scene, just 11 months ago, he was awarded title of Longest Running DJ in DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs, having been there for an impressive 13 years.
As a pioneer of electronic music, he breaks down genre and technological boundaries to entertain and unite the people of the world. This is exactly what he plans to do on December 31 when he plays at Sandance NYE on the sand in Dubai.
“Dubai is an amazing melting pot of people and it’s one of my favourite places to play,” he told tabloid! “The essence of it all is just magical. The race. The religion. The country stands for a lot and I think that is very honourable.”
Having grown up in Berlin, the East German never set foot into a rave during his youth but instead sought inspiration from the radio. In time, he began to assemble mix tapes of songs for friends and before he knew it, he was being asked to spin and ultimately compose.
“The opportunity for music has skyrocketed,” said Dyk on potential tracks we could hear on the beach. “I really enjoy the possibility of direct communication with my audience which means you need more options. Twenty years ago, less was available. Now, you have more 10,000 tracks released a week which means a lot more work sorting the good from the bad. You may only discover 2-3 which are any good but when you find a gem, it’s the best feeling,” he said with a laugh.
Outspoken about the use of illegal substances in clubs all over the world, Dyk says his ethic has never changed. “It needs to be wiped out,” he said. “People, especially young people, should understand it doesn’t make them cool. As a DJ, I have always been vocal about illegal substances and I’ll continue my campaign. It would affect my ability to connect with my audience. I’ve never taken drugs, it really is all about the music. I believe we have to educate people still. It is unfair it is tagged to DJ and clubbing culture — it’s a bigger problem in society than that. We need to look at why people want to escape reality first.”
Evolution was made in collaboration with Adam Young, known for Owl City, and also features producers Arty, Austin Leeds with vocals from Johnny McDaid of Fieldwork, Sarah Howells and more.
Dyk has emerged as one of the most influential DJs and producers on both sides of the Atlantic. Just off the back off a US tour, Dyk says more people are beginning to appreciate what he describes as “the artistry of a DJ”.
“I’ve done Brazil, Argentina, New York and on to North America,” he said. “My first time in the US was in ’93 and I just love it. People everywhere are starting to understand what we do,” he laughed. “It’s always been an art form but it hasn’t been respected. When I first started out, a DJ was the freak in the corner who played records while everyone had fun. Now DJs are superstars and I think people appreciate there’s a little more to it than that.”