Interview with Jorn van Deynhoven
You have been apart of A State of Trance since ASOT450 and listening to trance since the early 90’s. What has is it been like to watch trance music grow and evolve as an artist?
I’ve listened to trance since the early 90’s, so it’s about 25 years now and it’s still growing. It’s changed sometimes from the style, right now we have some psy elements in our genre but it’s still growing. I’m really happy with it.
Does it surprise you that trance music is still growing?
Not really because trance is about your heart and feelings. It doesn’t surprise me.
I follow you on Soundcloud and your post monthly DJ mixes, live sets and free downloads. You also do Sundale Sessions, could you tell me more about that concept?
It’s not really a concept, it was just an idea because I also really like progressive trance and I started Sundale sessions on the regular radio show. It’s the private music I like! I really like the style if you are sitting on the beach or in a lounge somewhere, with the 128 (bpm) sound. Right now I do one or two mixes in a year, just for the fans or for the music lovers. Not a concept but it’s the music I really like.
How do you describe your sound/music?
It’s banging uplifting sounds. Since “Spotlight”, I produced a lot of club tracks that is very important for me because I travel a lot as a DJ and I had a problem. I played at “A State of Trance 450” (the very first time), I produced mostly uplifting trance for the radio shows and the DJ mixes and it was not easy playing this kind of sound. That was the reason I changed my sound with “Spotlight” and “Headliner”. I would describe my sound as banging uplifting sound produced for the clubs.
Why do you love trance?
I grew up in Germany, I listened to trance in 1991 in a club “Dorian Gray” in Frankfurt and the resident DJ was DJ Dag & Jam and Spoon. I was with friends there and I was so impressed by the music because I had never heard of this sound before, also from childhood. I was so impressed by the people, the feelings and the music. It was new, it was modern. That’s the reason I listen to trance. It’s all about the feeling and passion.
I think as an artist you can see that connection playing your music to a big crowd, even intimate small crowds.
It depends, I really like playing in-front of 20,000 people but I think the trick to being a really good DJ is to be in a club of 10 people and you bring all 10 people to dance. That’s the skill of a DJ, I think it’s also really important to interact with the people. It’s also nice to play in a club and it’s also nice to play at a festival.
This summer, Armin van Buuren played your remix of Ram “Ramsterdam” at Untold Festival in Romania and it went viral. What was your reaction to that moment?
I saw the video and it was very nice. It’s also good to see it (Ramsterdam) become a classic for the next years. I didn’t expect that but it’s also good for me and for Ram. I was really impressed when I saw the video, with all the people you could see the feeling. Everyone was crying, not only Armin (van Buuren). The funny thing is two week later, the track entered the Beatport (sales) chart in the Top 100, after 8 years.
What’s it like to get your track revived and see it supported so many years later, while still having an emotional impact.
It’s a nice feeling but I think it shows the quality of the music at the end. It’s almost 8 or 9 years old and it says it all.
Do you produce while touring or only in the studio?
No, I only produce in the studio. I have my MacBook with Logic and I am working sometimes on ideas then I work it out in the studio. I’m not travelling every week, I have a deal with my management to pick the good shows for me. It’s also very important to have my family life. To stay home on a Sunday is also very important for me. I was touring a lot and I had some health problems because of this and I made the decision after a big weekly tour to then stay at home to work in the studio. Right now, I am working on my album.
Will the album be released in 2018?
Next year is the deadline. I really hope they will release it at the end of 2018 or maybe early in 2019.
What can fans expect from the album?
Maybe an uplifting album combined with some progressive tracks. I’m working on the vocal track right now and I’m working with songwriters and vocalists. I’m very picky with my sound and I try to bring the best to the fans. I’m not producing an album just for me to go on tour. It’s my first album and it’s a very important album for me. I think it will be a good album at the end, we will see.
With Jorn van Deynhoven music, everyone can expect quality. Every release is a quality track.
For me that is so important because it’s nothing special to produce a big uplifting template. There’s a break, there’s a build-up, mainstream. It’s got to be unique, I have my hand-sign in each track but I try to be unique with my sound. That is the reason I only produce 2-3 tracks in a year to make the people hungry for new music. I see a lot of colleagues of mine who are producing a new track every two weeks and in my opinion it’s not the right way to go. It’s better to make one or two tracks, you have hits at the end. Not to produce a lot of tracks and you forget what they did a few weeks ago.
To release music that is a lasting memory instead of a quick 2 week airplay and it’s over/forgotten?
Exactly, it goes faster and faster. As an example, my last track was “Rising High” which came out in the summer of this year. The people in the venue today also asked me to play “Spacegirl” or “Superfly” or “New Horizons”. The people are reminded of these tracks and for me that’s important instead of people asking for me to play the 3rd track that you released this year.
It’s your first album and you have been producing for a long time now.
Why do an album now?
Why now? I got the first offer 5 years ago but I was touring a lot and I skipped the album. I toured a lot on Main Stages around the world and the second offer came from Armin (van Buuren) himself. He asked me if I was up to do an album and I said okay. The time is good for my profile and now I have two years to release with one year (2017) over now. 50% is done and the other 50% I will do in the next months. It will be a nice album then.
After casually listening to trance, 2017 was the year I really dove into trance and it was my most listened to genre and your track “We Can Fly” was my most played song on Spotify this year. What was your favourite track and album of 2017?
I was really surprised by the Kyau & Albert album (Matching Stories). I really like, it was really special. I have it in my car, I listen to it over and over again. Cosmic Gate from the technical side. It’s great to see the album from Armin van Buuren as an example. I really like the progressive album (Club Embrace), he produced two years ago with special mixes with his world famous hits by Martin Roth and others. That’s what I like so that’s my favourite album.