Whether you know him as System F, Moonman, or Gouryella, it’s safe to say that we can probably agree on one thing – Ferry Corsten is one of the few pioneers of trance. The Dutch DJ/producer is known for his legendary classic trance tracks but has, in the recent years, expanded his portfolio to everything from electro to melodic trance. Since the early 2000s, he has been routinely playing at events all the world as well as hosting his own ongoing tour, “Full On” (previously known as “Full On Ferry”) for his legions of fans. On top of that, he also has his own weekly radio show, “Corsten’s Countdown”.
It’s no wonder that Ferry remains one of the world’s Top 100 DJs.
Just a few days ago, he released the first of his 3-part EPs, “Hello World” and he’s set to take the stage at Future Music Festival Asia (FMFA) 2015 as himself as well as to play alongside a buddy of his, fellow DJ/producer Markus Schulz, as part of their duo project, New World Punx. We caught up with the “trance punk” real quick over the phone yesterday to find out what’s cookin’ in his studio 😉
Here’s what went down:
Hi, Ferry! Thanks for taking time off to speak to us. Where are you and what’s happening?
No problem! I’m at home in Holland, actually. I just came back from a snowboard trip and I’m kinda sad, in a way, that I’m home (laughs). But I’ll be able to get back in the studio which is great.
First of all, it’s been awhile since we last heard from you, so congratulations on your EP, “Hello World”. I must say that the name is pretty interesting because of what it represents. Does this mean that it’s like a Ferry Corsten reboot, almost?
You know, “Hello World” is the first line in computer programming and for me, personally..this is the first time I’ve ever done a project like this. Hence the name, because “Hello World” is sort of like, “the first thing”, almost like a wink. And doing a 3-part EP throughout the year – “Hello World Part 1” has 7 tracks including the 2 remixes, and then doing the similar thing for “Hello World Part 2” and “Hello World Part 3”..and then ending up by the end of the year with a series of up to 25 tracks – it’s quite an undertaking but it’s going to be fun.
I heard about that! But why did you decide on making “Hello World” a 3-part release and not like, say, a full-length double disc album?
A lot of people asked me about that. Like, “Why haven’t you done an album?” or “Why are you not doing an album?”, and the simple reason really is just because when it’s an album, you work one for about a year or a year-and-a-half. So by the time the tracks on the album comes out, the tracks will be a year or a year-and-a-half old, they all come out at once, you get a bit of momentum there, and then it’s gone. It’s done, it’s over, it’s dusted. By the time you come out with singles for your album, the album is old, everything feels tired, so..I wanted to switch things up. I was like, “You know what? I’m gonna come up with a series, with a project that will be spread out over a year. But every EP would have very current tracks including remixes, instead of doing an album and then doing a remix album 6 months later, you know, this is like..you get a bundle of 5 new tracks with 2 extra remixes. And then a Part 2, with the same thing, but all of those tracks would’ve been produced in the last 3 – 5 months at most. It’s a lot more current and fresh.
“Back to Paradise” caught my attention almost immediately! I’m not sure if that’s your personal favourite but it’s mine now because it made me feel like I was traveling back in time, if you know what I mean. I was wondering, what inspired you to make that track?
Yeah, I know what you mean! (laughs) It’s the lyrics. When I received the acapella from Haris (who is featured on the track), he said, “Okay, I have this. What do you think?” and I was like, “Wow!”, and I think I wrote for the track straightaway in my head. Because the lyrics are such..like an unity sort of story, you know? You and me, or me and the crowd, a big us sort of factor. So I really wanted to come up with something very melodic for it and yet at the same time, something that is played at festivals now. It’s just a combination of all those elements. I really feel that music is getting a lot more melodic again, or should be getting more melodic again. We’ve just come out of this harsh, big room, “Put your f…king hands up!” kind of thing, you know? That should be behind us right now, we need to move on and put smiles on people’s faces
Yes, because I think everyone’s tired of “the drop”, you know what I mean?
Exactly! That’s really exactly what it is. If you look at that sound as well, why it’s gone is because it’s slowly evolving into this deep house thing that you see right now, which is very much based on the old..late 90s sounds. And I think that’s where trance will go as well. The next step for trance will be..the sound of the big trance tracks from ’98, ’99, 2000.
You’ve played your “Full On” show in Indonesia before, but out of curiosity, will you ever bring a “Full On” show to anywhere else in the Southeast Asian region i.e. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia?
Absolutely. We’re doing TomorrowWorld again, TomorrowLand again, we’ve got a full Ibiza summer at Space again with “Full On”, and we’ve got a few dates lined up for the US although I’m not sure exactly when. I’m definitely looking to bring it to other parts of Southeast Asia, it’s time for “Full On” to go to other places. I need to come back to Malaysia! It’s been awhile and it’s always an amazing scene over there – very enthusiastic, very energetic. I think a “Full On” in KL would be amazing.
I’m going to throw in a fun question: What is the one thing that you wish more dance music fans of today were aware of?
Wow! What do I wish more dance music fans were aware of..hmm. You know, I think I wish people were more aware of the whole process. When a DJ plays a track that has his name above it, it doesn’t mean that he made the music, like ARGH! You know? It also doesn’t make that person playing up there an incredible artiste because it’s just music. A lot people aren’t aware of that. As soon as they see a name above a record they’re like, “Ah hah! That’s his track!” But if people knew more about the process then the scene would have a very different look and feel.
This is going to be your first time playing at FMFA. Just how excited are you and what exactly have you got in store for your fans?
On a scale of 1 – 10 of how excited I am, I’m definitely 8.5. I’m not at “10 excited” yet because I’m not sure what I can expect myself, in the sense of the festival itself. But, that having said, I know that playing at a festival in Southeast Asia is always really good because of the melting pot of cultures and people from all around the area e.g. the travellers, the expats, the people from Australia, from Europe, from America, as well as from all the Southeast Asian countries. It’s just really cool to play there. What can my fans expect? Of course, a lot of the “Hello World Part 1” stuff and also a lot of the “Hello World Part 2” tracks that I’ll be testing out for the crowd.
Thank you so much for the chat, Ferry. Always a pleasure. See you at the festival!
Thank you! See you soon enough.
Special thanks to our friends from Milk PR and Livescape Asia for making this interview happen!
To everyone else, don’t forget to check out Ferry Corsten’s set in 2 weeks. He’ll be playing at FMFA 2015 as both himself and also as part of New World Punx with Markus Schulz.
The full FMFA 2015 lineup can be found here.