Having grown up in East Berlin before Germany’s reunification, music did not come easy to Paul van Dyk. With no record shops around that side of the Wall during the late 1980s, radio was his only medium of listening to artistes. Lack of career options during the trying times even compelled him to take up carpentry.
“The economy was struggling. I didn’t really want to become a carpenter, but that was pretty much the only job I could get. I started my apprenticeship but never completed it,” recalls Dyk, who won a shared Grammy for The Dark Knight, which received the title for Best Soundtrack In A Motion Picture in 2008.
He has also ranked No. 1 twice on DJ Mag rankings and been the longest running DJ in the magazine’s Top 10 for 13 years. Quiz him on his eventful journey and the accolades he has earned over the years and he replies, “It has been crazy. I don’t really believe in any lists. Every DJ’s aim is to be the favourite artiste of the audience they play for. My success lies in being able to connect with that audience. Every gig is a different experience and I’m very authentic in the music that I present,” he says.
Having played around the world for diverse audiences, Dyk believes that electronic dance music serves as a unifying force to bring people together. This belief had also inspired the title of his 2001 release, The Politics of Dancing.
“People who enjoy this kind of music tend to be more open-minded. Even though they come from different religious, racial and national backgrounds, they come together on a common platform and take back positivity. In Ibiza, I saw Lebanese and Israelis dancing together, something that would never happen back home,” says the 40-year-old producer who spins for an Indian audience in the city today.
Dyk is looking forward to the March release of his next album titled Evolutions. He says, “It brings together all that I have done over the years. Electronic dance music today has evolved from being a niche sub-culture to a growing youth culture.”
Catch Paul van Dyk live today at Hard Rock Café, 9.30 pm onwards. Regular passes at Rs 2,500 (1000 cover, 1500 entry) VIP passes at Rs 4,000. Call 2438 2888