Armada Music’s documentary series takes you back to the release of Armin van Buuren’s worldwide hit, “This Is What It Feels Like.”
The year is 2012, and electronic dance music’s golden age is in full swing. Legendary tracks like “Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia, “Spaceman” by Hardwell, and “Clarity” by Zedd featuring Foxes were born, and their impact would rewrite the history of dance music forever. That same year was the initial stage of production for Armin van Buuren’s Grammy-nominated record, “This Is What It Feels Like,” which features Canadian singer-songwriter Trevor Guthrie.
Armin van Buuren was further solidifying his place at the top of the scene, having over a decade of his career and his iconic A State Of Trance radio show under his belt. But while globally recognized for his authentic brand of trance music, he was beginning to feel stuck in the trance world. He had the urge to move on and branch out into other styles, specifically pop music. So he took a leap of faith which catapulted him into releasing the most successful song of his career.
The latest installment of Armada Music 20 Years Classics is a 16-minute long video that brings you on a journey through the year-long production process, starting with the birth of the melody written by established songwriter John Ewbank. The next layer was adding the vocals provided by Trevor Guthrie, whose lyrics are about his friend that was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. More than a year later, the track was ready to see the light of day.
As the release date approached, Armin’s nerves grew more intense. He knew this track was unlike anything he’s ever released before, so he felt it would “alienate some of my fans,” he said. “I thought my career would be over after ‘This Is What It Feels Like.’” The track officially premiered on Pete Tong’s BBC Radio 1 show, and according to Armin, “all hell broke loose. All my fans hated it, exactly what I was afraid of. They hated it.” The internet was flooded with hurtful comments like “You sold out” or “This is trash, this is not trance.” Yet “This Is What It Feels Like” went on to become his biggest track ever.
For someone who considered quitting only to become a Grammy-nominated artist proves you should always take that leap of faith. At the end of the video, Armin affirms, “I guess this is what it feels like.” Check out the full video on YouTube and let us know your thoughts on this iconic track on Twitter.