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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Connector of the Day: Paul van Dyk

November 6th, 2009
05:45 PM ET

German DJ legend Paul van Dyk  joins us to talk about the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/08/art.paul.vandyk..jpg caption="Send your questions for Paul Van Dyk."]

He is considered to be one of the leading "trance" DJs in the world, with sold-out tours that cross each continent, headline spots at every major festival, and a hugely successful recording career.

The momentous events of that period had a huge impact on the young van Dyk, as he grew up in East Berlin before escaping to West Germany shortly before the fall of the Wall on November 9, 1989.

His love of dance music started when he listened to smuggled mixtapes as a teenager. By the early 1990s van Dyk was spinning regularly at various clubs in Berlin before he released his first album "45 RPM" in 1994. 

His second album "Seven Ways" catapulted him into the Top 100 and brought him to the attention of a wider audience outside Germany.

Aside from his musical activity, van Dyk  has an active interest in politics and social justice.  He has a children’s charity based in the Indian city of Mumbai, and a partnership scheme with the German Red Cross to help poor children in his native Berlin.

He has now penned a musical tribute called "We Are One," which he'll play at the 20th anniversary Festival of Freedom celebrations  at the German capital's Brandenburg Gate on Monday.

Tell us what we should ask Paul and we'll put the best questions to him during the show.

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Comrade Slava

    Comrade Pavel (van Dyke)!

    A couple of questions and a comment –

    1) I may be one ignorant Russian, but I know of only TWO ex-GDR comrades that made worldwide fame – yourself and Mrs Merkel. Would you say that the unification is complete or might The Wall still invisibly be there?

    2) Were GDR's Young Pioneer's scarves actually blue? Do you even remember?

    3) As much as I love "Let Go" with Rea Garvey and Your "Martyr" remix... your "Out there and back" is by far your best work!

    Your grateful Russian ex-comrade! 🙂

    November 6, 2009 at 7:04 pm | Reply
  2. Ali M.

    – How hard was it to listen in to West Germany's radio stations as you were growing up? And when electronic music was introduced in the 1980s, how did the people around you feel when listening to it?

    – Music was controlled, records were not allowed, so when you had the chance to listen to music you must have really appreciated it! How did people feel towards the communist regime knowing that they were withholding them from the exploring music?

    Ali M. - From Kuwait!

    November 9, 2009 at 9:11 am | Reply
  3. nikka

    Dear mr. Van Dyke, Is it true that your dad personnally invested huge amount of money in marketing/promotion in order to get your carreer started ? Is this an urban myth or is this really the truth ??? If it is the truth, then art shall speak by itself......

    November 9, 2009 at 9:23 am | Reply
  4. Christopher Watson

    I notice that you tour extensively in eastern europe. I live in Romania and have seen you perform.

    After 20 years is it better for most of the people who listen to your music in eastern europe or not? Do you think its still transition or simply reality? As an artist has culture prospered or is it all just a remix?

    Regards...Christopher Watson

    November 9, 2009 at 9:47 am | Reply
  5. Ahmed From EGYPT

    THE NO. 1 DJ and will always be NO.1 "PVD"

    November 9, 2009 at 11:38 am | Reply
  6. Gordon Graham

    Hi Paul van Dyk!

    Always been a fan and admire your role in giving dance music the respectability it deserves.

    Anyway, you've experienced a collectivist society (communist), do you think that all this "super-connectivity" as a result of all this social-media (that name sounds suspiciously benign!!) will result in a revisiting of collectivism - this time, fascism??

    By the way, I'm loving some of the new sounds from the likes of Gusieppe, Activa etc. in 2009!

    November 9, 2009 at 1:40 pm | Reply
  7. Arcelle Tadena

    why and how did you got your interest in Trance music?

    -arcelle from philippines-

    November 9, 2009 at 1:45 pm | Reply
  8. Tyler

    Mr. Paul van Dyk,

    You are my favorite DJ. Please continue to make uplifting beats for us.

    1. If you had grown up in West Germany or West Berlin, do you think you would be where you are now?

    2. How did your experience in East Berlin, specifically, influence your career?

    Thank you.

    Tyler – United States

    November 9, 2009 at 2:49 pm | Reply
  9. Marvin Sanchez

    How has the fall of the Berlin Wall affected you over the past years as a professional DJ?

    -Palmetto, Georgia-

    November 9, 2009 at 4:32 pm | Reply
  10. Jonathan

    I waited and waited diligently here in the US to see you perform "We Are One" but they never showed it. Anywhere I can catch a video of this? Keep up the great work. No one can thank you enough for the amazing music you have and continue to put out.

    November 9, 2009 at 9:19 pm | Reply
  11. Jecho

    Paul, when do you visit the Philippines? We want to party LIFE with your great Trance music while you are doing the mixing for us in Manila ...

    Cheers !
    From the Philippines

    November 15, 2009 at 3:39 pm | Reply

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