Paul Van Dyk is lighting up the DJ world. The Grammy award-winning producer is making a comeback after suffering a near-fatal accident on stage last year. Van Dyk not only was the first trance/dance producer to be nominated for a Grammy but was also voted the No. 1 DJ in the world by DJ Mag thrice. He brought his energetic show to Dallas April 28 at the South Side Music Hall. The Daily Campus was lucky enough to get a few questions answered by Van Dyk.
Daily Campus: I saw you’ve worked on a number of film soundtracks as well as albums. What is the difference in that creative process? Do you prefer one or the other?
Paul Van Dyk: Working on an album allows me to do completely what I like to do with no boundaries or anyone but me having a say in the music I make. On a soundtrack, it’s also down to the director and the producers and the studio executives who determine what the outcome will be. Both are a lot of fun but it’s a very different approach from an artistic point.
DC: What is the creative process like for a DJ to put together an album?
PVD: I can only speak for myself, but first of all I am an artist and my art is music. I am inspired by life itself. Everything I see or experience somehow ends up in my music. I have an idea; I record it and continue working on it until it becomes a piece of music that I feel confident about.
DC: Do you prefer to work in the studio or perform live? Why?
PVD: I like both because the way I work, they influence each other.
DC: If somebody were getting to know your music, what would you recommend they listen to first?
PVD: I don’t have a favorite track that I’ve made. I guess in order to find out what I am all about musically, you’d have to listen to all of it!
DC: If you could collaborate with any other artist working right now, who would that be? Why?
PVD: I’m more concerned about sharing a connection and an artistic vision with an artist rather than working with someone purely because of their fame. There are so many amazing artists out there that I could imagine making great music with.
DC: I saw you’re currently touring; how has that been so far? Any standout places? Anywhere you’re looking forward to?
PVD: I just came back from an extensive tour through Asia, with shows in China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan. But now I am fully dedicated and excited about the current Dreamstate tour in the US.
DC: What can we expect from a typical Paul Van Dyk concert?
PVD: I have a range of setups I play around with, but normally it consists of my laptop, a MIDI controller, a sequencer and a few other bits of equipment that allow me to be completely interactive and creative while I play. It’s not just about playing the right song at the right time; it’s about how to play it and that’s different for every set.
DC: If you had any tips for aspiring artists out there, what would they be?
PVD: Make the music you really like to listen to. And be sure to make it entirely on your own instead of trying to mimic or copy the sound of somebody else. Originality is essential.