Paul van Dyk interview

We interviewed Paul van Dyk at Pacha Ibiza Dubai

Time Out Dubai spoke to Paul van Dyk just minutes before he played to the crowd at Pacha Ibiza Dubai, returning to the emirate after more times than he can count, he told us “It’s special. It’s a cool place”.

Here’s what we spoke about with the German DJ between sips of espresso to prepare for his late night set.

GALLERY: Paul van Dyk at Pacha Ibiza Dubai

On how he chooses his DJ set when in Dubai…

“I have a clear idea about what I want to bring across to the audience. It’s really down to my interaction to the audience so I don’t know yet. I have to feel the room, feel the vibe what’s going on and according to that it’s going to go somewhere.

“I have keyboards and computers on stage so I’m not necessarily playing the tracks, I’m playing all these bits and pieces together. I have the ability to play live so I can play your favourite track but in a very different remix, so it fits much better. It’s much more complex than choosing the right track at the right time. It’s choosing the right element of the track at the right time.”

On handling an audience’s response…

“There’s a certain expectation that comes with my name so people that come to see me know what they’re going to get. They don’t expect me to play this cheesy EDM radio stuff, they expect me to be more straightforward and do more of what electronic music is about.”

On his personally branded merchandise…

“Despite all the things I’ve achieved with my team, I still think I’m pretty down to earth. You’ll probably get a coffee cup with my name on rather than a champagne glass.”

On the best night spots…

“I don’t have that. I’ve been doing what I do for such a long time and one thing I’ve learned is there is no such thing as the best club in the world. You can go somewhere on a Friday, love it, and come back on a Saturday and it’s really [bad].

“It’s about the vibe, it’s about the music and it’s about creating a special night every night. I have an idea of what I want to do, with my music and my artistic identity. But how it’s going to turn out is always down to the feel of the night.”

On what makes him hit the dancefloor…

“It’s about that real thing that electronic music has, that energy that drum, that gets me. When it’s done in a special unique way with an artistic twist to it. I’m on the dancefloor.”

On what does in Dubai...

“When we go out with friends we don’t necessarily go to clubs because we have that three or four times a week. I take my girlfriend for a meal or to the cinema or something that’s leisure time for me.

“We always plan to come a few days early or stay a bit longer. Last time I was here exactly a year ago to the day. We jumped out of a plane for Sky Dubai. It’s really crazy, you can look on my YouTube channel, PvD TV. There’s an episode of Dubai and you see me jumping out of a plane and you can see I’m happy.
I would do it again tomorrow possibly. We’re planning on going to one of those camel trips to the desert, I haven’t done that before. And there’s a lot of amazing restaurants too.”

On eating around the world…

“I like to be [experimental] when it’s fresh. I wouldn’t necessarily eat spiders. I’ve had crickets before in Mexico, it was unique. The traditional dish guacamole, but instead of the chips we had crickets. It was really weird but it was good.”

On his future projects…

“My new single Louder is coming out on Tuesday in the US, two weeks later everywhere else in the world. Then my album, Politics of Dancing 3 is out 5 May worldwide. There’s more music like a lot of EPs coming as well, so there’s going to be tons of new music.”

On getting nervous…

“When you’re an artist and I consider myself and artist not just somebody who plays other people’s music - I rarely do that because of how I perform - you express yourself through your music. So you get something that is rather personal to the outside world. Of course, you make yourself vulnerable somehow to be either praised or slashed.

“But this is what I do at the end of the day. I don’t force anyone to listen to my music, I make my music and people aware it exists but I’m not pushing. I’m not a marketing machine, I’m a person.”

On the music making process…

“It depends, some pieces go really fast, some take much longer…everything I’ve done has a development process.

“There’s a song on the new album called Headlights, which went really slowly then very quickly. I wrote it together with Sue McLaren, a talented songwriter, amazing. We wanted to do something that was a twisted element of nightlife, but not make it dark and moody so it took quite a while to get going. But once it was to the point, it took an hour or two get everything else in.”

On his dream collaborator…

“I don’t have a wishlist of people I’d like to work with. When I work on a piece I think, who can interpret my idea and what I want to do? Then we reach out to the people and it could be whichever pop star to somebody no one has heard of, depending on the artistic approach I see there.

“I prefer almost to work with unknown real artists because they have a unique idea about their approach to what they do and so do I. So when that collides something interesting happens. Some of those highly managed pop stars they get an audio file, say ‘la la la’ and that’s really it. No real art in it. It’s kind of like a marketing collaboration.”

On the artists he’s work with so far…

“The people I like as an artist they also seem to be on a clear level as a human being. So on a subconscious level you connect before you meet them somehow. It’s not like ‘you’re a super-duper pop star and I’m the producer’. It’s on a balanced level when you meet. You both have an idea of what you want to do and it comes together.”

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