On Thursday March 26, a panel of four of Armada’s elite A&R together with Armin van Buuren, and W&W came together to present Miami Music Week with one of its most insightful events — The Armada Music Talent Experience.
Up on the podium were four of Armada’s right hand men including Onno Van Kemenade, Joël De Vriend, Sander Bouma, and Rogier De Kreuk. Each of them play an intricate part in the selection of music and the constant forward progression of Armada Music as a whole.
The Armada Music Talent Experience hand selected a small group of producers aspiring to, one day, hear their sound released with Armada Music. Kicking off at 2 p.m., Armin van Buuren gave a quick synopsis on some key factors and importance in production. He then opened the floor to a few questions before things got a little more intricate.
The passion in the room was evident as each of the artists seemed to truly embrace everything the Armada team had to say — notes were taken and all eyes were feasted on the trance legend that was presented just in front of us. Some key moments were made and memorable statements stuck: “It’s about the cook, it’s not about the kitchen,” van Buuren said in discussing the importance of passion and dedication of the artist and not necessarily his resources.
A bit later on, W&W took to the microphone and shared some of their key tips in production with many of the scene’s aspiring producers. By pulling up their newly released track, “Rave After Rave,” they gave the crowd a deeper understanding and a more meaningful outlook on everything being thrown at them.
William Van Hanegem and Wardt van Der Harst of W&W taught the room that a good introduction to a track sometimes just has a few sounds and that a big compression at the end helps to push the reverb. These helpful hints seemed to go a long way.
Each of the speakers urged the room to play tracks repeatedly on various sets of speakers: “Try it in your girlfriends car, on your house speakers, in the club,” van Buuren said. “Just try it out everywhere until the sound is perfect.”
The Armada Music sound is definitely a well established brand and van Buuren also spoke on the importance of filling the drive with a strong bassline and kick, which is evident in a handful of Armada’s top-notch releases.
He went on to tell everyone that of course, it’s a tough industry, but if you’re passionate enough to chase your dreams and work hard, anything is possible: “If you want to be a successful producer, 99% of the time it’s hard work that you need to put in,” said van Buuren.
Towards the end of the truly insightful session, the Armada team gave two ambitious producers in the room an opportunity to flaunt their stuff. Two tracks were pulled up, presented to the room, and were given critique by Armin himself. It really put a personal spin on things and made everyone realize that Armada is not just a bunch of trance producing robots, but they’re passionate people who take complete pride in everything they do and the scene around them.
To close off the session, each of the Armada A&R sat down and gave the producers a chance. One by one, each producer was able to present a track of their own for feedback and even the possibility of further communication in signing the track. After the track was reviewed, a pair of Armin’s signature Phillips A5-Pro headphones (co-created by Armin van Buuren) were given as a token of appreciation.
Some walked out with the possibility of a shot on Armada Music and others, a whole new plethora of knowledge to take their future production to the next level — whatever the case, it was a successful day all in all and a nice step back from the typical WMC madness.