Interview with Ferry Corsten about his album WKND, out now on Flashover recordings. For any clubber worldwide ‘WKND’ are the best two days in the week, as it means going out with friends to your favorite club, to check out your favorite DJ, playing the latest tunes. The world-class EDM (electronic dance music) DJ/producer Ferry Corsten, who celebrates his 20th year in the EDM scene, presents his vision of the perfect ‘WKND’, as a result of his many years of experience as a hardworking DJ, who travels non-stop all over the world. His fourth full-length studio album, dedicated to the WKND, is already out and is big success in the various download portals, including the top 10 charts of iTunes USA and the Netherlands. Tight, punchy and radio-ready, the carefully crafted 15 tracks on ‘WKND’ are as well-suited to a packed dance floor, as they are for an afternoon drive show on pop radio. What Ferry Corsten creates in music is the sound of now - not following any trends in pop/dance radio, but rather setting them!
"After 20 years, Ferry's still got it... And got it with a vengeance!" according to USA Trance Movement. “'Live Forever' sets a new speed record for catchiness, with career-best vocals from Aruna, proving the first of many highs" is one of the lines from the Mixmag review of their Trance Album for the month April. "Corsten's WKND spaces things out perfectly to keep you entertained from beginning to end" as the New York Times owned company About.com wrote in their review on their website. High-quality, full-length artist albums by EDM producers are few and far between. With WKND, Ferry Corsten again raises the bar.
What is more, the special edition of his radio show ‘Corsten’s Countdown 250’ was a massive success. With almost 10,000 requests from Corsten's Countdown fans all over the world, the success of Corsten's Countdown 250 ‘#cc250’ has become a trend topic in Los Angeles and Russia, Armin van Buuren's track "Suddenly Summer” became a worldwide trending topic, and Ferry Corsten's "Made of Love" featuring Betsie Larkin, became a world trending topic during the show, not only once, but twice!!! This very special event had guest appearances from Paul van Dyk, Nicky Romero, Aruna, Markus Schulz, Armin van Buuren and Betsie Larkin - with a stunning performance. During the event, Ferry presented many exclusive tracks from the finest record labels. The listeners voted for the top 3 for #CC250.
The top 3 winners of #CC250 are:
1. Markus Schulz vs. Ferry Corsten - Loops and Things (Original Mix)
2. Ferry Corsten ft Betsie Larkin - Made Of Love
3. BT - Force Of Gravity (Ferry Corsten Bootleg)
Despite being very busy with his radio show and ‘Full on Ferry WKND’ tour, I’m very pleased that once again Ferry Corsten accepted my request to reply to my questions, and rather than doing a review of his fantastic album, I decided that it was better to give the pioneer of EDM music, an opportunity to tell things as it is, in his own words. The WKND has landed - and Ferry Corsten talks about it with us. Dimitri: First of all, I would love to say many congratulations on completing this great album. Definitely the hard work paid off for sure. It’s so varied, with so many influences and fresh ideas, it’s definitely not just a trance album. So let’s start by asking how do you define yourself and WKND at the moment? Do you think of yourself and this album as trance, House, Progressive, Electro, or somewhere in between of all these genres?
Ferry Corsten: Thanks! I must say I am very happy with the outcome of the album. The tracks are indeed very varied, with uplifting tracks for clubs as well as tracks for relaxation. The main genre stays trance. There are also many influences of electro and house in the tracks. Nowadays all these can blend well together in one track. At the end It is up to the listener to decide what kind of category the music fits most in. Dimitri: Now that the album is released - when you look back will you remember the recording process of ‘WKND’ as an easy ride or a challenge? Can you point out from the background of recording, any occasions (funny or serious stories) which happened and will stay with you forever?
Ferry Corsten: The collaborations with all these great artists for WKND brought a certain adventure into my life. By mixing up thoughts and ideas we came up with surprising results. It was NOT an easy ride; a lot of work was involved! But at the end, it was all worth it. Moreover, there are too many things I can mention that were funny or awkward. We’re talking about a period of over a year here ?
Dimitri: At the moment you have a brand new studio, so WKND was 100% produced in it. Would you like to become a bit more technical maybe, and tell us the software and hardware you mainly use to record this album. Can you tell us if there are any big and crucial differences between the software and hardware you used in contrast with your previous albums?
Ferry Corsten: The pieces of software I use are Cubase and Ableton, for production of my music. My hardware contains all sorts of instruments including a Mac, mixer, compressor and many other machines and plug-ins. I am not going to bore you with the details! Dimitri: You had the chance to road test the tracks of your album every weekend before its actual release. I wonder; do you believe that the reactions of the crowds in the clubs are more important than their reactions in the social media. For instance; is it more important to have crowds cheering while you play a particular track, or is it more important for the track to get more likes on Facebook, and become subject of discussion on twitter?
Ferry Corsten: Initially it’s all about the crowd you play for, since almost everyone is connected in the world of Twitter and FB nowadays. So you’re always playing for a worldwide audience. It is both important to be popular in real life as well as you are online. You’ll need a combination of offline and online fans to be successful. It’s crucial for an international DJ, that people discuss your tracks online. However, the cheering crowd you mention gives me goose bumps every time! If I had to say what’s more important, I’d chose the people that support you in real life. Dimitri: WKND includes great instrumentals, but also some fantastic collaboration with great artists. I'm going to mention their names and it would be great to add a small comment about these names. Your feelings about them and your collaboration with them.
a) Ellie Lawson: When I first heard the vocals of Ellie Lawson, I knew they would match perfectly with the track that I was working on. Her voice sounds like velvet, and adds a fantastic dimension to the track.
b) Adrian & Raz (writers): I’ve worked with Adrian & Raz for a couple of years now. They are amazing producers and fun to work with.
c) Ben Hague: Ben Hague is a singer that I discovered on Youtube. What a voice!
d) Betsie Larkin: Betsie and I have already produced a number of tracks together. ‘Not Coming Down’ is our fourth production together, and I am really happy with the result.
e) Aruna: ‘Live Forever’ is a track that I’ve been playing quite often on my sets. I noticed that it really hyped up the sound, and set the tone for a fantastic evening. Aruna is a good girl.
f) Sarah Bettens: Love the vocals of Sarah from K’s Choice. Glad that I had the opportunity to release a track with her.
g) Duane Harden: I’m a fan of Duane Harden. His vocals are on Armand van Helden’s You Don’t Know Me. Amazing! I approached him to sing on a record that I was working on. ‘Love Will’ is the result.
h) JES: When I first heard her vocals, I knew this was a track I wanted to work on. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it.
i) Pierre In The Air & Amba Shepherd: This was one of the last tracks that I finished for the album and a favorite of some of the people at the office. Dimitri: You worked on this album with the 4 times no.1 DJ in the world; Armin van Buuren, after working with him on a track for his album. First of all, please tell us if on ‘Brute’ you or Armin had the biggest influence on how the track would sound in the end? Secondly; I wonder if you are just typically and formally friends, or if you like to hang out together as good mates, sharing personal moments like now that Armin is a father maybe, or to have your children playing together?
Ferry Corsten: Armin and I have known each other for quite some time now. However, we both live a very busy life with a lot of travelling and gigs. There really is not enough time to just chill out and have fun. The only moments we have a good talk is backstage at an event where we both have to play. The subject of being a father is indeed one that we share, and one we talk about with pleasure! Dimitri: For WKND, you have as many artists do, an exclusive track only available for iTunes customers. Do you believe that it is important to have exclusive content for the various download shops and why?
Ferry Corsten: By adding an exclusive track on the iTunes version of the album, we tried to stimulate the fans to buy it there instead of illegally downloading it elsewhere. It is in fact your reward as a buyer for purchasing the album online. I hope the people that bought the album on iTunes will love ‘Sunday’. Dimitri: WKND is heavily supported by a huge world tour, kicking off in Holland, and with many shows already organised in various cities worldwide. Is possible to tell us what your aspirations are for this tour, and if you can, please unveil any special surprises that this tour will include to excite your fans?
Ferry Corsten: With my Full On Ferry shows I will promote my new album tracks among all my fans worldwide. The events will be spectacular with a lot of satisfaction for the crowd. Of course I will not unveil any special surprises, as they wouldn’t be surprises anymore! I can tell you however that it’s going to be big, and you’ll surely have to visit one of the editions. Looking forward seeing you all there! Dimitri: WKND is a wonderful album that describes the feelings we all get before, at the weekend, and after the weekend. Can you please choose from the album the track or tracks, and tell us what you believe they represent and mean?
a) During the week the anticipation you feel for the weekend that is coming?
Live forever. You can feel the urge to spare time in it.
b) The preparation for the Friday or Saturday night out when you dress up to look beautiful and attractive in a club?
c) Driving with the car or travelling with public transport and listening to your iPod on your way to your favorite club.
Check It Out.
d) The crazy times at the club dancing and having endless fun
Ain’t No Stoppin’, definitely.
e) The moment that the lights are switched on the dance floor and you come back home with your mates and you laugh by recalling the funniest moments that happened during your night at the club
A Day Without Rain.
f) Monday morning at work in front of your PC and your boss asking you why you look so down after a WKND overloaded with clubbing.
Not Coming Down. And I’d sing the lyrics out loud for my boss Dimitri: Is it possible to share with us the WKND that you will remember the most and for all your life?
Ferry Corsten: The birth of my daughter, on the 17th of August, 2008. It was one day after the DanceTour Festival, and it came very sudden. From that moment I felt like the happiest man alive. I won’t forget that WKND.
Dimitri: Corsten’s Countdown is your very successful radio show which is going really well. You have released some great digital compilations with only with the most successful tracks from the show. It would be great to tell us after so many radio shows, if you feel the same anticipation when recording the next episode as you did at the very start, and if you believe that a radio show is vital for you as a way of communicating with your fans?
Ferry Corsten: The show is indeed vital for my communication with my fans, I think. It grants them the opportunity to vote for their favorite tracks, and I am always happy to mix the best ones into a new radio show. Of course, when I just started with the show, I felt differently towards it than nowadays. But it’s still very exciting and I intend to satisfy the fans with lots and lots of episodes to come. Dimitri: If you had to choose between a beautiful WKND with your family in an exotic Island or a massive WKND in the most famous and luxurious clubs in the world, having fun with your fans, which one you will choose and why?
Ferry Corsten: I’d love both! But because I see my fans more often than my family, I’d prefer the exotic island. Dimitri: Your label ‘Flashover Recordings’, now has a brand new member added to the family called ‘Flashover Progressive’. Is it possible to tell us some of the artists that you have signed to release on your labels, and that you feel very proud to have on board?
Ferry Corsten: We recently signed Festen and Lucien Foort. I feel indeed very proud to have them on board, since they are both talented and amazing producers / DJ’s!
Dimitri: Lastly, would you like to suggest your recipe for the most unforgettable WKND to our readers. What are the elements that they should add to their lives in order to have their best WKND ever?
Ferry Corsten: Spend your valuable spare time with people you care about the most. Do things that you feel you should do from the inside. It is your life, and you alone decide what to do with it!
Many thanks to Ferry Corsten for his fantastic answers
Many thanks to Jordy Prinsen & Jeffrey van Sluijs at Flashover recordings offices for their support to organise this great interview.
Interview was written and conducted by Dimitri Kechagias, Radio/Club Dj & Music Journalist
Ferry Corsten - WKND tracklisting:
01. Ferry Corsten ft Ellie Lawson - A Day Without Rain
02. Ferry Corsten - Feel It
03. Ferry Corsten ft Ben Hague - Ain’t No Stoppin’
04. Ferry Corsten - Don’t Be Afraid
05. Ferry Corsten ft Betsie Larkin - Not Coming Down
06. Ferry Corsten vs Armin van Buuren - Brute
07. Ferry Corsten ft Aruna - Live Forever
08. Ferry Corsten ft Sarah Bettens - Let You Go
09. Ferry Corsten - Check It Out
10. Ferry Corsten ft Duane Harden - Love Will
11. Ferry Corsten ft Jes - In Your Eyes
12. Ferry Corsten ft Pierre In The Air & Amba Shepherd - Walk On Air
13. Ferry Corsten - Take Me
14. Ferry Corsten - WKND
15. Ferry Corsten - Sunday (iTunes bonus track)