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"I Want to Follow My Heart": Armin van Buuren On Sound Experimentation and the Future of Trance –

Armin van Buuren/YouTube
We sat down with the trance music icon for an intimate interview in Miami ahead of his epic Ultra Music Festival 2022 performance.
When you've bulldozed as many musical borders as Armin van Buuren has, it's only a matter of time before the innate need to explore new sonic frontiers bubbles to the surface. 
But for an aesthete like van Buuren, it comes easy.
We recently sat down with van Buuren in Miami, where the pioneering electronic music artist and "A State of Trance" creator opened up in an intimate interview before his dazzling Ultra Music Festival 2022 headlining set. And after all was said and done, it's clear at this juncture in his storied career that he's laser-focused on artistic experimentation. 
He's particularly excited about the future of Gaia, a beloved side project and collaborative nom de plume with Benno de Goeij of Rank 1.
"I really want to focus on the Gaia project for the future," van Buuren told "It's a little bit more underground and not so commercially successful. But I want to follow my heart in that sense."
Armin van Buuren chats with live at Ultra Music Festival 2022 in Miami.
Danny Drew/
Part of HARD's annual mix series, the tape includes unreleased tracks by the Class of 2021 star as well as a handful of selections off their debut album, "UNIVERSE."
We caught up with the trance music icon for an intimate interview in Miami ahead of his epic Ultra Music Festival 2022 performance.
Dave Dresden will continue to tour while Gabriel takes time to recover.
"I've been flirting recently with techno, with Reinier Zonneveld, because I feel techno and trance once were very closely married and now sort of separated," he added. "And it's exciting to see the two worlds flirting together again."
While his Ultra set was a microcosm of his appetite for subversion, van Buuren's arc is still very much rooted in trance music. He painted a rosy picture of its future, which he believes is promising thanks to its potential to emulsify other genres.
"Within trance, you now have all these sub-genres," he explained. "Genres like progressive trance, orchestrance, tech-trance—there's at least 20 or 30 different styles."
"I find that very interesting," he continued. "And musically it's still very inspiring to me, and I want 'A State of Trance' to be home to all those genres."
You can watch van Buuren's full interview live from Ultra below.
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