It’s certainly been an emotional year for dance culture mainstay Paul van Dyk. The world was shocked with the news back in February that the DJ/producer veteran had sustained life-threatening injuries after falling from the stage at Armin van Buuren’s A State of Trance party in the Netherlands, after which he was hospitalized and spent three months in rehabilitation.
“It’s been 3 months since my life changed in a way I never thought possible; it’s been the most difficult challenge I have ever been through,” PvD said via a Facebook post in May, shortly before announcing he would be returning to DJing with an appearance at EDC Las Vegas.
He’s been back on the international DJ circuit in the months since and is scheduled set for a performance at Dreamstate in Los Angeles this weekend. However, he’s also taken time out at various points to share some very truthful and raw insights about his experiences this year.
“My focus has somewhat changed,” PvD told Dubai’s What’s On blog prior to a show in October.
“Being alive is the greatest gift I was given, and being able to make music is amazing, too. But it is not about success or fame, it is about making music as a fun process, and if that is with friends or as a collaboration, then even better.”
Speaking of his reinvigorated passion for DJing and creativity, PvD also spoke openly about the accident, as well as his experiences in the aftermath.
“I remember everything up to the fall. There was no way for me to know that the stage was not built as a solid structure. The hole I fell through was covered with black fabric, and there were no markings advising to not step on the surface,” he says. “My first memory [after waking up from the coma] was a stream of warmth through my body when my fiancée arrived in Utrecht at the hospital and held my hand. The first more complex memory is from about six days later when I was moved from the emergency room to an intensive care room.”
His rehabilitation saw him remain in hospital for three months, and although the speed and positivity of his recovery exceeded everyone’s expectations, recovery will be ongoing.
“These injuries are not something that make you feel uncomfortable, it’s much worse, and at this point it’s not clear what the long-lasting effects will be. So, while I was fighting for my life I was not missing music. I was fighting for my life.”
Fans who are heading to Dreamstate on the weekend will be excited to hear of his enthusiasm for trance, which he says is now stronger and more energized than ever.
“To me, trance music is the most real and direct form of electronic music. It is the freshest genre of all and still, I have a very clear idea what I want to play [at each gig], but it is also down to the interaction with the audience where the show will take us.”
Read the interview with Paul van Dyk in full over at What’s On.