Lending a Hand While Climbing the Charts

Artist: Paul van Dyk
Published: 2005-12-07

Almost 125,00 people voted and moved Paul Van Dyk into the number one position as the world's best DJ in DJmag's (http://www.djmag.com/) 2005 Top 100 DJs poll. Being in the top ten for almost 8 years running is a feat in it's own. Although the conversation was brief I came to the knowledge that this DJ, Producer and Humanitarian is definitely deserved of this position.

Originally the interview with PVD was to be completed via email. However, I was given the opportunity to conduct it voice to voice. Last Tuesday afternoon after having the day off work arrangements were made and I was to ring one of PVD's North American staff. As I began to dial the number I received an incoming call. The lady on the other line informed me that PVD was running a little behind schedule and asked if I could call Germany directly in another 20 minutes. After waiting 20 minutes I called his German office and again was asked for some extra time. I had absolutely no problem waiting for the conversation. I had guessed he was extremely busy considering the announcement of Djmags top ten. Another 20 minutes passed I rang back and was transferred through.

"Hey Paul - how are you?" Small talk ensues and the connection is not exactly the clearest. On the other hand I hear his clean and proper German accent. Once the static has cleared the conversation begins. Now that your number #1 - where do you go from here? "There is still a lot to do - makes me proud and thankful to be on top of that list at same time it is not time to lay back." He talks about his passion for electronic music. "It's certainly not going to change things, I have so much more work to do." Paul goes into his local charity that he started and that the Minister of Family Issues in Germany is involved (DRK: R¸ckenwind (Berlin) Children Education Project). After listening I find out he is not only associated with one charity but several. He has organized nights/parties though his own organization for SOS Kinderdˆrfer, Amnesty International and Greenpeace. It doesn't stop there. He is going to be in Houston this week for a benefit for Red Cross for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Being a major contributor to those projects he has full time commitments with: Akansha (India) Children Education Project: They provide food and education to children, Berlin Aids Help: He is a member of the board of trustees, Dance 4 Life (Holland), International Aids Project (South Africa), Ground Hero Kids (NYC USA), New York and Tsunami Victims Foundation (USA). It is no surprise that "Ignorance" is his biggest concern in the world today.

If you had to pick an occupation besides the music biz what would it be? "Journalist was what I always wanted to be when I was young." He also mentioned being a chef. It sounded as if food and cooking were another passion. With that he went on about his favorite restaurants. Italian in Miami, Fish in NYC and Indian in Berlin. Before getting his start in the music industry he was a carpenter and a one time technical apprentice.

What was the last book you read? "The Constant Gardner which most recently was turned into movie." It turns out that Ralph Fiennes is his favorite actor. With that, who is your favorite artist or favorite piece of art? "Art has to be part of the room - there is an environment that goes with it." He mentioned that he has a "Flower painting by Blanke."

What sound do you love? "The barking of my dogs."
What kind of dogs do you have? "Beagles."

When some of the locals found out I was interviewing PVD immediate interest of his return to Toronto was apparent. Unfortunately, he had no idea but alluded to the fact that he wanted to return soon. He added that his favorite place to play being the Koolhaus at the Guvernment complex.

I realized that I had to wrap up the conversation and let him get on with the rest of his day. This honor of number #1 is so deserved to such a well-rounded individual. I think all artists should learn a little something about giving back when getting so much.

For more information visit: www.paulvandyk.com

Writer: Penny Hayward

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