Armada Music is a label from Amsterdam, specializing in almost every genre of EDM. They are now considered the most prominent independent label on the dance music scene. Armada Music is best known for its signed artists Fedde Le Grande, Loud Luxury, Marx Sixma, and many more. On June 1st, Armada Music celebrate their 18th birthday.
Armada Music was established in 2003 in Amsterdam. Its name comes from two letters from each of its founders’ first names: ‘Armin van Buuren, Maykel Piron, and David Lewis. Van Buuren was the producing genius of the trio, having released iconic dance hits such as ‘Communication’, Piron was an exciting DJ talent, and Lewis was a talented manager. You would be hard-pressed to find a better label-leading trio.
Armada Music was born in Ibiza from a chat between Piron and van Buuren. Van Buuren felt trapped by his label United Records, who were not interested in producing his trance. Piron was getting increasingly frustrated by the sterile environment at Warner. The pair agreed to leave their labels behind and release van Buuren’s demos under a new independent label.
Armada Music was propelled into financial success when iTunes was launched. Before iTunes, music pirating was widespread, and the music rights were practically worthless. The Armada Music trio decided to purchase the rights to most of the Netherlands’ iconic dance classics at bargain prices. When iTunes was released, they launched some incredible compilation albums. One of these sold 10,000 copies on its first weekend.
Armada Music became more than just a financial success when they were first able to reach the mainstream through original releases. The 2014s deep house banger ‘Are You With Me’ by Lost Frequencies blew up on the European scene. Armada Music gained even more notoriety when Van Buuren’s dance hit ‘This is What it Feels Like’. It rightfully earned a grammy nomination and the acknowledgment from the US audience. ‘This is What it Feels Like’ saw extensive chart success in the States.
Armada Music is all about supporting its artists throughout the creative process. Piron had become frustrated in his previous work for Warner that the offices were for signing deals only. How can anybody produce dance bangers that will light a club up in that environment? Armada Music’s office is designed to be a creative space where their signed artists can collaborate and have fun. They even have a 150-person nightclub on their top floor where they play new music to fans and staff.
It is this kind of fun that only an independent label like Armada Music can have. They do not have to follow the rules like a major label, and they have been able to return dance music to its underground home.
Armada Music has spent almost 18 years releasing the most exciting dance music on the scene. They are constantly bringing more artists on board, including most recently the grammy-nominated progressive house producer Audien. Armada Music is sure to keep giving the world brilliant dance music for years to come.