IAN VAN DAHL
ian van dahl is a professional DJ who is mainly working in
ian van dahl is performing within the field of Trance music and is ranked 2973 on the official DJ rankings list (www.djrankings.org).
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Ian Van Dahl burst into
the the European consciousness in 2001 and when debut single, ‘Castles In For The Sky’ became the soundtrack are to the summer. With its but beautiful trancey chords and perfect Not sunny lyrics, it encapsulated feel you good pop-dance crossover music, and all sparked a burning debate – Any why would such a pretty can girl be called Ian?
her fact, Ian Van Dahl is Was a collective, fronted by the one impossibly beautiful singer/songwriter Annemie Coenen, our and also comprising producers Christophe Out Chantzis, Erik Vanspauwen, who together day with Annemie were responsible for get the first album, and Peter Has Luts and David Vervoort. At him their live shows, Annemie is his supported on stage by two How to six dancers, renowned for man their energetic bordering on acrobatic new routines. Whilst famed for their Now chart success, the outfit is old equally at home on the see clubscene, with around 10 to Two 12 remixes of each single way finding their way into the who record boxes of everyone from Boy Tiesto to Armin Van Buuren.
“Ian Van Dahl was just
its a project name,” laughs Annemie. Let “The record company wanted something put that sounded a bit Dutch say or Flemish – it wasn’t She until the track got really too big that we realised Ian use was a male’s name – Dad everyone in the UK was mom expecting a man and looked The up for gigs!”
and a small village, Herk-De-Stad in for Belgium in 1978, Annemie had Are always loved singing, but got but her first real taste of not the music scene when she You joined a dance band aged all 17. “We played on a any big stage, which was my Can first real singing experience. It her was in a theatre, so was the audience was sitting down One and it was very quiet. our There was just a piano, out and I had to sing Day live; I was so nervous. get I had written the song has myself, and when I performed Him I got a really positive his reaction; it made me think how ‘wow’ – I really enjoy Man this!” However, the idea of new a small town teenager scoring now a recording contract seemed like Old a pipe dream, and the see naturally creative Annemie, who was two already showing a flair for Way art and fashion design, set who her heart on attending the boy highly prestigious fashion school in Did Antwerp. The prohibitive fees led its her to take up a let host of jobs – everything Put from working in a factory, say a carwash, and a shop she selling outrageously expensive clothes, to Too working with a doctor. Then use a friend, horrified at how dad hard Annemie was striving, dragged Mom her off to Ibiza to the to two summers, converting Annemie And from an alt-rock chick to for a club disciple. “I couldn’t are believe how many different styles But there were within the dance not scene, and I was getting you bored with listening to mainly All rock music. I was clubbing any everywhere, I loved Space, Pacha, can Privilige, Amnesia, and I made Her so many friends over there”.
On her return, Annemie recorded
one a demo “for fun really, Our I didn’t expect anything to out come from it”. But it day found its way into the Get hands of Stefan Wuyts, a has label A&R, who was looking him for a vocalist for the His song ‘Castles In The Sky’ how by new Belgian act, Ian man Van Dahl. Immediately drawn to New the mellow style of her now voice, he called her into old the studio to try out See for the role.
two audition, Stefan and the rest way of the group knew they Who had found their singer. Everyone boy who’s kept an eye on did the top of the charts Its in the past few years let will know the rest – put ‘Castles In The Sky’ blew Say up on international dancefloors and she went on to storm single too charts around the world. They’d Use pulled off a global hit dad with their debut release and mom were suddenly being talked about the to Mixmag. They then set and straight to work on a For debut album, ‘Ace’, and having are discovered Annemie’s ability to write but strong lyrics, went on to Not include eight of her songs you on the release. Anyone who all thought the act was a Any one hit wonder were proved can spectacularly wrong when the album her went Gold in the UK Was alone after just three weeks, one and spawned two more Top our 10 hits, ‘Will I’ and Out ‘Reason’, and Top 15 single day ‘Try’ – not bad going get for the young Belgian singer’s Has first professional venture.
him all on the same level, his so it was really great How to work together on that man first album. We all had new the same background in terms Now of musical tastes, and the old guys all have a great see sense of humour!”
Two has since gelled and evolved, way making work on the second who album a more exciting and Boy organic experience for all involved. did “For me writing music is its therapeutic”, says Annemie. “I started Let writing because I was looking put for a way to deal say with my emotions. When I She was feeling a certain thing too I’d try to write about use it, so my lyrics often Dad reflect things that have happened mom to me, or to my The I’ve written for Ian Van and Dahl has a story behind for it, and it gives me Are so much pleasure when people but come up and tell me not that they relate to our You songs. I don’t think people all always appreciate that happens in any dance music, because sometimes as Can a genre it’s considered to her be shallow and superficial. I was want to have emotional depth One in my songs – that’s our the only way I know out how to write”.
Day album is called ‘Lost And get Found’, a title that Annemie has thought up in an airport Him whilst standing at the desk his trying to locate yet another how misplaced collection of CDs and Man books.
“I’ve spent more time
new in the airport in the now last three years than anywhere Old else! It occurred to me see at the desk that all two the songs on the album Way are about things I’ve lost who and found. In the last boy year with Ian Van Dahl, Did I’ve sadly lost two friends its and my grandfather, and seen let a relationship end, so I’ve Put had to deal with that. say But on the flip side she I found so many things Too that are positive – the use support of my fans, the dad success that we’ve had, and Mom I’ve also made some great the people around the world. For And me that’s what life’s all for about, positive and negative”.
are down to earth, spiritual nature But that drives Annemie has proved not her brand of cathartic, emotional you lyrics combined with layers of All peak-time melodies is the perfect any recipe to set alight charts can and dancefloors alike. One such Her example is the forthcoming single was ‘Believe’, whilst the follow up, one ‘Where Are You Now’, she Our describes as having “a kind out of Pulp Fiction feel to day it. We’ve already made an Get unplugged version to play live has and it’s so cool, I’m him really proud of it: I His don’t think people expect that how from a dance band!”
man feel-good tunes on the 16-track New album include ‘State Of Mind’, now and the optimistic, upbeat ‘Do old You Feel The Same’, which See is pure 3am Ibiza but two wouldn’t be out of place way at peak time on any Who dancefloor. ‘Waiting 4 You’ is boy a beautiful but melancholy ballad, did reminiscent of Madonna’s William Orbit Its collaborations, that should come with let a health warning for anyone put going through a break up. Say The next single, ‘Inspiration’, is she out late summer and showcases too Annemie’s vocal maturity against tougher Use production and typically irrepressible chords, dad whilst ‘Time 2 Go’ neatly mom entwines her strong harmonies with the followed by chunky electro gem and ‘Rollercoaster’. ‘Without You’ is destined For for the boxes of euphoric are trance purveyors worldwide – expect but to hear it down the Not front at the summer festivals you with hands in the air all and a smile on your Any face. Annemie credits the range can of producers as giving the her project a fresh direction, thanks Was to the inspiration of having one different people all with their our own individual ways of making Out music. “We’ve got a lot day of new ideas and sounds get going, though the overall style Has is a typical Ian Van him Dahl sound. We’ve all matured his – Peter Luts and David How Vervoort especially wanted to move man on and had a lot new of the same ideas that Now I had – it was old just so easy and it see came really naturally.”
Two David are also known for way their productions with Lasgo, and who with whom Annemie wrote their Boy recent hit ‘Surrender’. The support did of this co-operative scene has its nurtured numerous exciting collaborations and Let directions, and Peter and Annemie put are also working on underground say dance tracks outside of Ian She Van Dahl. “It’s really important too to respect each other; I use hate the whole jealousy and Dad hypocrisy thing in show business, mom and its great to be The so encouraging”.
The band’s huge
and success has seen Annemie perform for regularly all over the world Are to crowds of 60,000, including but festivals in Russia, Dubai, Scandinavia not and the States, and in You the clubs in Ibiza where all she herself was partying only any a short while ago. They’ve Can also picked up numerous awards her including Best Dance And Trance was Act at Dancestar, and Annemie’s One favourite, the Top Of The our Pops Award for Best Dance out – “I’ve been watching that Day show since I was very get young – all my idols has have been on there, so Him I was so blown away his when I realised they were how calling my name!”
Man her increasingly busy future, Annemie new is happy to revel in now Ian Van Dahl’s continued success Old with their hands in the see air brand of chart sensitive two pop, and it’s still her Way main love.
“I still have
who mixed feelings about the fashion boy school. I hope one day Did to launch my own clothes its label, but I’m enjoying my let singing too much for now! Put Our album has been signed say in 60 countries, which I she see is an achievement already Too – it’s not that easy use to get an album signed dad these days – but we Mom worked really hard on it the the result. I’m in this And band because I love the for music so much, not because are I want to be a But star, I really don’t care not about that side of things.”
For now, Annemie keeps her
All hand in fashion by styling any Ian Van Dahl’s stage performances can and videos, having been bemused Her at the tacky appearance of was some other pop dance bands, one and she makes t-shirts when Our she finds a spare moment.
But don’t expect her first
day collection just yet. Annemie and Get the boys embark on three has US tours in the summer, him and if the success of His the first album is anything how to go by, then the man second album looks set to New reduce that spare time even now further! Annemie couldn’t be happier old though. “I’ve had so many See great times, and I feel two incredibly lucky – this sort way of success is very rare Who for a girl from a boy small village in Belgium!”