Category Archives: MUSIC

Up Close And Personal With Kimberly Hale


Hi everyone!

Today I got a pretty special treat for you: an exclusive interview with one of the most talented songwriters/singers of the trance scene, I am happy to introduce you to the lovely Kimberly Hale from the United Kingdom!

Let me tell you that her angelic voice and magical lyrics will charm you and bring you to another place, she will cast a spell on you…you have been warned!!


With a string of emotionally and stylistically diverse releases and compilations through multiple dance labels including Statement!, Armada, Amsterdam Trance, Raz Nitzan, Sir Adrian, Discover Group, EMI, and more…Kimberly’s tunes and collabs have been supported on worldwide radio shows and DJ sets by the top international superstars Armin van Buuren, Cosmic Gate, Paul Oakenfold, Max Graham, Andy Moor, Lange, Judge Jules, Simon Patterson, Marcus Schossow, Nifra, Ruben de Ronde, Susana, Audrey Gallagher, Jes, Beat Service, Pedro del Mar, Omnia and many more…

So, let’s welcome Kimberly on TheBackstageAccess!!


K: Thank you so much for asking me to be here with you and your readers, Jess!  



J: Could you tell us how and when did it all start in the music industry for you?




K: I do distinctly remember sitting in the bathtub when I was 3 years old and saying to myself that i was going to be female Elvis when I grew up. haha My parents watched a lot of Elvis movies in the Bible belt.  After that it was piano lessons and southern baptist church choir at quite a young age.  I think for a lot of us, music is a lifetime path! 



J: What inspires you when creating a tune ?


K: A few times it has been a choice between having a nervous breakdown or writing a song.  Crises are very fertile moments for songs and some of my best received tunes were written in those moments.  Plus I saved some money that would have been spent on therapy!   haha 


Otherwise, I would say when writing on piano I need a lot more internal and external inspiration — life events and strong feelings, poetry, or listening to so much of the great music we have in this genre for example.   


Writing over tracks, it seems to be a lot more instinctive and things just sort of come to me out of the air.  


J: a couple  of my favorite tunes you wrote are Moment Of Truth and  All In, could you tell us something about them?


K: Thank you Jess!  It’s funny you single those tracks out as they were the first vocals I wrote over tracks in a very long time!  Most of the other releases I have had recently have been me starting with nothing but my piano and having to write the structure/chord progression as well.  


Suddenly, not only did I get the tracks given to me first, but super fun and inspiring tracks that made my job really easy!  They both came out very effortlessly and I freestyled it completely.    


“Moment Of Truth” was such a blast and inspired me rhythmically.  

“All In” was so melodically developed that I felt the only choice I had was to follow and dance around with Ruben’s lead which made it very simple to write!  The lyrics and words i did not think about at all either.  They literally wrote themselves. i edited slightly in the honing stage. 



J: Are there any artist you would love to cooperate with?


K: I don’t know why I always feel coy when someone asks me this question!  It’s not like you’re asking me something naughty!  hahaha 



J: If you were not a singer what else would you like to do?


K: There have been times when I had so many friends coming to me for counselling that I could have been a full-time therapist/ muse!  I’m an enfp so that is definitely in the skill set! I really want to write a novel one day!  


J: For those who are not familiar with the whole creative process, could you explain a bit how it works for you when you are asked to write something ?


K: It’s definitely a different process when I am writing on piano or over a track as I mentioned earlier.  But one thing is that for both, a physical warmup is very important and I always seem to do better when I stretch out completely like I am about to pole vault or something like this. 😉   I think any tension in the body can inhibit flow!   


I can write songs quickly but I generally spend a couple weeks at least perfecting and honing as they always get better when I do that.  I am normally not happy with the lyrics unless they seem to have multiple meanings and I have three points of view which I typically like to incorporate.  I test each song this way to make sure they hold up most of the time.  I’m not sure if anyone else notices it or not, but it’s important to me! haha 



J: The most important tune to you so far and why?


K: It’s really hard to say on that one as many of my tunes have been instrumental in leading me to another place.  Sometimes you only get one opportunity to move a certain direction and each of those markers has been a moment of truth to me 🙂


J: What do you love to do in your spare time ?  

K: socialising with friends, health and fitness,  i’ve been taking ballet classes lately too. 




J: Your relationship with social media and your fans ?


K:I really wish I could figure out a way to better reach the fans on Facebook.  Since they started with the algorithms, i think it’s really made everything feel so stagnant.  I’ve thought about sending smoke signals!   haha I feel pretty sad and dejected in there now!  And most of all, I feel really terrible that it’s so hard to reach the fans.  :'(  At least Armada music and A State of Trance posted some videos of our music lately which did receive a nice response so I was grateful for that.  


On a bright note, my instagram seems to be doing better a tiny bit and I’m finding the nature of the site a lot more calming, fun and positive than Facebook at the moment.  



J: Describe yourself in 3 words 🙂


K: Perceptive







J: Please leave a message for TheBackstageAccess readers 🙂


K:  Thank you for loving and caring so much about the music!  Your energy is what makes this all complete!  Thanks for giving us the space on this earth and the constant support to create heavenly meaningful things!  Lots of Love!   Kimberly Xox  



Photo courtesy: Asia Werbel




 In an attempt to both raise awareness and actively protect the hearing of music lovers around the world, Armada Music and Alpine Hearing Protection have joined forces. Their collaboration kicks off with a brand-new earplug. The Alpine PartyPlug Armada Edition is not only available for purchase online in the Armada Music Shop, but will also be sold at A State Of Trance 800 Utrecht, the biggest Trance event in the world.


The decision to join forces was a definite no-brainer. Recent numbers show that in the Netherlands alone, over 20,000 young adults damage their hearing every year. The main cause of this problem is that those very same people neglect to protect their hearing even though the volume at an average concert or festival could cause irreparable hearing damage within 15 minutes of exposure.


Alpine Hearing Protection: “We’re glad that people have become more aware of the dangers and risks of loud music, but we still have a long way to go. People often think earplugs take away from the experience, even though this has been a thing of the past for a long time now. In fact, the Alpine PartyPlug Armada Edition comes with a special acoustic filter, which not only upholds the quality of the music, but also makes it so much easier to indulge in normal conversation without having to guess what the other person is saying. There are simply no cons to wearing hearing protection.”


With their earplugs, Armada Music and Alpine Hearing Protection hope to decrease the amount of people suffering from hearing loss due to insufficient protection. Now it’s up to the people themselves to take matters into their own hands.


For more information about Alpine or hearing protection in general, please visit


 Ever the man to come up with new ways to improve and perfect his craft, Armin van Buuren has once again gone all out. Tonight, the world-renowned Dutchman is to open his new radio studio in Amsterdam, built specifically to enhance the A State Of Trance experience for his fans with a full video stream system. 
“Now that 2017 has started, I can finally share something really exciting with you”, says Armin van Buuren in the official announcement. “I feel that the time has come to take the next step, to go next level with A State of Trance. To accommodate this, I’m opening my very own radio studio in the HQ of Armada Music on February 2nd.”


“From that moment onward, the episodes of A State Of Trance will be so much more than just a listening experience. Thanks to a full video stream system, you will be able to watch me and A State of Trance live on my Facebook page and YouTube channel, every Thursday from 8 PM till 10 PM CET. In addition, we can offer you a behind-the-scenes look from time to time and will occasionally invite fans and artists to drop by during the live show as well. We will be able to connect like never before and I hope you’ll love this new development every bit as much as I do.”


Tonight, after the official opening of the radio studio, the 800th episode of A State of Trance will be streamed live on Armin van Buuren’s Facebook page and YouTube channel from 8 PM to 10 PM (CET). A little over two weeks from now, on February 18th, the milestone will be celebrated in the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht, the Netherlands, with a brand-new edition of the biggest Trance event in the world: A State Of Trance 800 Utrecht. More info and tickets:


The wait is over and it was soooooo worth it!! My Story has been released finally, I promise you can’t help but fall in love with this album.

During the last months Mr. de Ronde has had his fair share of fun teasing us with some gems from the album (and their stunning artworks as well) and now, we can scroll down the entire tracklist for a taste of this masterpiece!

1 Time has come (Ruben de Ronde & SIR NOTCH)

This is a massive fix of positivity and good vibes, a tune that spreads an optimistic message to the crowd and surely puts a smile on your face
2 All About you Ruben de Ronde & Victoria Ray)

Some stunning vocals and a huge amount of catchy beats, highly energetic and smoothly built up!
3 Open Wide (Ruben de Ronde & Donata) 

Such a sweet melody and blissful vocals on this charming tune and  great lyrics…but can you believe Ruben played it during ASOT last year? Most certainly you danced to it already and weren’t aware… 🙂
4 All In (Ruben de Ronde & Kimberly Hale) 

Dope! Those beats and Kimberly’s engaging vocals are a match made in heaven! It instantly hits you!
5 Bliss (Ruben de Ronde & Muvi) 

Happy and summerish vibes we got here, I can picture myself on the beach already listening to this…. Ibiza anyone?
6 Eska

Deeper, darker, contagious and infectious … this will drag you down the rabbit hole, hypnotic as it is, it will leave you begging for more
7 Run Away (Ruben de Ronde & Victoria Ray)

One for the dreamers… The melody and Victoria’s charming voice are totally gonna cast a spell on you, you are warned!
8 Leave a Light On (Ruben de Ronde & Rodg feat. Louise Rademaker)

When Ruben and Rodg team up you can’t expect anything less than a masterpiece and it’s safe to say that Louise vocals are the icing on the cake, one of my all time favorites!! The synth line is to die for!!

On a side note… don’t miss these 2 masterminds playing back2back next month in Utrecht during ASOT800!!
9 Moment of Truth (Ruben de Ronde & LTN feat. Kimberly Hale)

A one of a kind awe-inspiring and sweet tune that builds up to a massive breakdown
10 My Story (Ruben de Ronde & Natalie Gioia) 

The title track of this album is just something else!! Natalie’s voice is pure bliss and blends perfectly with the melody and an indelible synthline that feels nervous and fluid at the same time. A super sexy tune, pretty sure it will be on repeat for a long time!! It just gets stuck in your head!
11 By Your Side (Ruben de Ronde & Aelyn)

Will have you so intrigued by the gorgeous beats and beautiful vocals aiming to seduce you one beat at a time
12 Compound

Let’s wear your scuba wear and indulge in these deep and sweet beats … #TSOHfamily knows what I mean… 🙂
Go grab it here :

If you buy the whole album and send your receipt to with your address, you will receive one of these awesome wristbands for free, but  hurry up, the offer will expire on Jan 27th


Sultan + Shepard are gearing up to make 2017 their best year yet. Today, the Grammy-nominated duo released their new single, ‘Cashmere Sweater’, on Armada Music, and announced a brand-new residency in Las Vegas with Wynn Nightlife.


Cashmere Sweater
A superb addition to their long list of hit songs, ‘Cashmere Sweater’ could very well be Sultan + Shepard’s biggest record yet. The insanely infectious vocal hooks from singer-songwriter Brezy seem tailor-made for the imposing build-up and mighty drop, proving that ‘Cashmere Sweater’ is the epitome of production skill and a sure-fire way to get the crowd to go crazy.


Once a month, Sultan + Shepard will add their signature sound and masterfully crafted edits to the Wynn Nightlife line-up. The boys are in good company, as the Wynn is host to some of the biggest names in dance music, including Alesso, David Guetta, Dillon Francis, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Major Lazer, Nicky Romero, Robin Schulz and now Sultan + Shepard.


To support today’s release of ‘Cashmere Sweater’, Sultan + Shepard gave rise to a special contest a few weeks ago, offering their fans a chance to win a trip for two to Las Vegas to attend one of their shows at Wynn Nightlife. The winner of the contest will be announced within the next 24 hours.

Huge news from Digitally Imported : 2 upcoming ASOT celebrations 

Two Upcoming ASOT Celebrations!
800th Episode Live Stream: February 2
Fans of Armin Van Buuren and his A State Of Trance broadcast: we’ve got some very exciting news for you! The legendary DJ and producer is bringing us his 800th episode in a LIVE broadcast, direct from Armin’s brand new studio. Streaming totally live, the 2-hour radio special will be a celebration of Armin’s superb DJ talents, all the great music he discovers and supports, and of course some very special surprises that he will reveal only when the show is happening. There’s not much we need to really say about this exciting show, as of course Armin and his ASOT broadcast has been a long lasting favorite of Digitally Imported and you for many years.
Tune in to ASOT 800 on Thursday, February 2nd from 2 PM US Eastern // 7 PM UK // 8 PM CET.
ASOT Live from Jaarbeurs (Utrecht, NL): February 18
Mark your calendars for what is sure to be the biggest ASOT live broadcast we’ve ever witnessed. On Saturday, February 18th, Armin Van Buuren joins Aly & Fila, Astrix, John O’Callaghan, Liquid Soul, Marlo, Vini Vici, and many more for an absolutely live radio broadcast direct from his I Live For That Energy event in the Netherlands.
For those unable to be be at the party itself, we’re bringing you the next best thing – with all sets broadcast live, as well as backstage interviews, and special bonuses from the party itself. You can join us for a rave-up from the comfort of wherever your speakers are placed. It’s going to be an awesome show, we’re 100% certain of it.
Tune in on ASOT Live from Jaarbeurs on Saturday, February 18th for the 8 hour show starting at 4 PM US Eastern // 9 PM UK // 10 PM CET.

RENEGADES is OUT NOW! By Ørjan Nilsen & Jochen Miller

When the Norvegian Viking Ørjan Nilsen meets up with the Dutch Titan Jochen Miller, here’s what you get: a massive banger!

Premiered last night by Armin van Buuren during #ASOT798, here is a fix of sturdy beats for you, out now on Armind! 

A tune that will definitely knock you out and charm you with the power of its majestic synthline and a massive drop! Something hard and fast to make you jump during all your upcoming trance parties! 

Are you ready for it? Go Grab it –> Renegades 


Poised to revolutionize the world of Dance music, American act Joyzu has given rise to ‘Running’. The song saw its release today and marks the duo’s second offering to The Bearded Man.
Listen or download Running

An astounding blend of flashy rhythms and killer vocals, ‘Running’ puts shame to most of today’s records by way of its infectious vibes and strong arrangement. Sealing the deal with the hulking synths and powerful lyrics that fill out the drop, this track sets the new standard by which all quality music is measured.


Hailing from respectively Sacramento, California and Denver, Colorado, Joyzu consist of Quinton Pope and Carson Willms. They shared the stage with a full range of leading DJs and producers (including AC Slater, Zeds Dead and Krewella) and their label debut on The Bearded Man, ‘Hear You Say’ (feat. Olivia Reid), charted in the Global and USA Viral Top 50. As the song racked up well over half a million streams on Spotify, Joyzu went on to sign an exclusive deal with Amsterdam-based record label Armada Music, a big step sure to boost their already meteoric rise to stardom.