German trance legend Paul van Dyk has been around enough to have an opinion that makes people want to sit up and take notice. And that’s what he’s done recently. In an interview with THUMP, the producer and DJ talked about his opinion on the current state of dance music, and how it can go far beyond dance floors and change the world. Talking about the current boom in dance music moving more towards commercial sounds more suited for radio play, here’s what he had to say.
The responsibility of a DJ should be focused on delivering something substantial. DJs should not be just pressing play with a USB stick, or getting wasted and throwing cake. I don’t think [stunts like throwing cake] have anything to do with connecting with your audience. To me, it has no substantial creative value—it’s just a waste of food.
Well, we certainly know who’s being talked about here! He also asserts the point that dance music can be much more than just another genre meant for the gratification of the senses, but instead as a “political weapon”.
Dance music is a cultural movement. It brings young people together from different backgrounds, they’re tolerant and respectful to each other on the dance floor, and they take that energy home. That is itself a political statement.
He further recalls an incident that happened in 2006.
I remember during the conflict between Israel and Lebanon [in 2006], friends of mine from both sides came together in Ibiza. They had a great time and talked about how they all want the same thing: a future of themselves and their children.
Given the times we are living in, Paul van Dyk‘s words couldn’t have come at a better time. But he says the the music and the good vibes aren’t enough to make the required change. It needs an extra effort.
Music is like a spark. It has to be people to make the change.