Exclusive interview Armand van Helden: 'No goals, just refinement, being in the moment'

Aug 23, 2016

The mighty Armand van Helden is back! For his latest release he used one of the world’s most famous vocals and turned it into a big banger! Another fantastic tune to add to his huge résumé filled with hits. ‘Wings’ is already going sky high! 

Being one of the most iconic names in dance music, responsible for hits like 'My, My, My', 'You Don't Know Me', 'Barbra Streisand' (as part of the duo Duck Sauce), 'Bonkers' (together with Dizzee Rascal) and many more, we thought it would be an honor to ask him some questions about his passion.

Let’s see what Armand van Helden has to say about it all in this exclusive interview.

First question! What have you been up to lately? 
"All is love! Presently, on vacation in China with friends and family, so somewhat off the grid. Not much going on studio wise, I have been semi retired for the last 16 years so work is always pretty minimal."

'Wings' is already getting huge responses. What can you tell us about this track?
"I am a collector of music videos and I randomly watched the video of Phd 'I Won’t Let You Down' from a tv channel called Radio Capital based out of Italy, which this sample is from. Fell in love with it and my girlfriend egged me on to make a track out of it but I sat on that idea for a couple of years until winter of last year. As I was making it, I thought of old Daft Punk/Crydamoure and DJ Falcon type tracks of the 90’s, where its very loopy and repetitive but cleverly stays interesting and warm. As I was finishing the song, it moved more into a Eric Prydz 'Call On Me' feel, which is in a way sort of a 'My My My' vibe."

What does this record say about your musical evolution as an artist?
"'Wings' seems to channel in a little more spirituality than most of my earlier material. I do strive to be a better human being everyday so its possible this song reflects that synchronicity.    "

If music wasn't your priority, what would you be working on instead?
"Honestly, music isn’t my priority lol, unless your talking about listening and enjoying music. I love having friends over and watching a wide variety old music videos. Outside of music entirely, I enjoy reading, archeology, conversations about ideas, inventions, theories, hidden truths, controversies and mysteries. So I guess my work these days is making sure I’m not working much lol."

What has been the coolest thing in your musical career up till now?

"I have experienced so much! Wow, the stories I could tell, too many to mention just one. Currently though, I have been sporadically writing a memoir so hopefully I’ll have some juicy stories to share soon." 

What artists/movies/books/art inspires you the most when creating music? 
"Anything esoteric. Ancient Alien Theory, Theoretical Physics, Cryptology, Science Fiction, Spirituality and Intergalactic Councils. Since I was young I have always felt like there's a big universe out there yet to be discovered and anything is possible."   

What do you think is the most interesting development in dance music these days?
"The development has been acceptance. If you would have told me in, lets say the year 1998 that in the future, Dance Music would be at the forefront of all pop music I wouldn’t have believed you. Back then we had some much going against us: “its not radio friendly, its gay music, where are the vocals?, there is no real song here, if its not rap, R&B or rock we don’t support it, disco sucks, this isn’t “real music”, where are the musicians?” and on and on. Its astounding how all of that has gone by the wayside and the youth doesn’t care about any of that at all. There will always be your critics but personally I love it, the youth are supposed to aggravate the elders, thats evolution baby! In life, were all here to dance. I think its wonderful that genre smashing has become the future and everybody just wants to dance together."

What are your goals for the future?
`'No goals, just refinement, being in the moment but I do still enjoy getting in the studio on occasion and channeling the universe to see what happens. Oh and maybe finish that memoir lol."

And finally, what would you advise the upcoming stars on our Talent Pool?
"When making a track, keep it simple, all classics are simple, almost childlike and it should only take a few hours to complete, unmixed of course. Lastly, don’t fight it, if its not hitting you in the first hour or so, move on! drag it to a “folder of possibilities” and start fresh."

Stay tuned for more Armand van Helden!