As the head of Armada Music, a leading dance label with over 25 sublabels that was founded in 2003, Armin van Buuren, 37, is the ﬁrst name in Trance, a genre under-appreciated in America but dominant in Northern Europe, Southeast Asia, India and Israel. Indeed, van Buuren’s own global dominance in the Trance sphere — he once played ﬁve shows on two continents in three days — can be traced alongside that of the genres. Now ﬁve albums into a decade-plus career, the Dutch D] is a perennial top name of DJ Mag’s inﬂuential Top 100 DJs poll (he was ranked No. 1 in the world ﬁve years in a row and has consistently placed in the top 3 during the past decade). In 2014, van Buuren scored a Grammy nomination for best dance recording, only the fourth Trance artist in the history of the category to do so.
With EDM’s crossover appeal only growing, it’s tough to see how van Buuren could get any bigger. Enter Armada, home to such acts as Dash Berlin and W&W, which was named best global dance label by the Intemational Dance Music Awards in Miami from 2009 to 2013, rivaling The Netherlands’ other big dance imprint, Spinnin’ Records, for a different subset of dance fans.