We caught up with Trance legend Ferry Corsten to discuss the state of trance, a potential new album, how he stays creative having done 600 of his radio shows, how to keep a long-running label successful and some exciting upcoming collaborations.
You released blueprint last year, it included 17 tracks. How long did it take to produce them all?
I worked on Blueprint for a year and a half, there’s also touring so I bring all my studio stuff with me on the road. Touring slows things down a bit but yeah about a year and a half. I think a lot of the time besides actually producing the tracks was spent on the complexity of matching the songs with the story and the narration that accompanied the album.
Any potential of another album soon?
Not sure yet, I’m playing around with the idea in my head. Nothing complete yet!
You have a handful of alias, what made you create a new one?
Well a lot of the alias were a while back but really it was all a product of the time. I wasn’t touring so I was producing a lot faster and a lot more records then. My output was really high. Due to the touring and the development of my career, I haven’t touched them in a while. The only one that I would still be involved in is Gouryella. The alias’ give me a freedom to do something else. I just brought System F back for a one off show also. Other than that, the focus is really on Ferry Corsten – that’s the guy behind everything anyway!
You’ve done almost 600 of your countdown radio shows. How do you handle that and how do you make each radio show unique?
There is great new music out each week! Sometimes it’s hard, finding the time to record it all, especially whilst travelling – I have my mic with me and end up in an echochamber of a hotel room. Sometimes I build myself an igloo with pillows! I record the show every Monday, so it can be organised to be published by Wednesday.
You were born in Rotterdam, how has living in The Netherlands influenced your music and your musical career?
The diversity over here is really good, it’s a small country – therefore a tight knit community. When I started producing and getting into the scene in Rotterdam, hardstyle was massive. But really the key is the diversity, if you look at the countries around us, you’ve got Scandinavian Pop, the UK sound, German minimalistic sounds as well as like the Belgian/French ‘suave’. I think in a way, it all comes together here and that influences the Dutch sound in general.
Your label Flashover has been going for 13 years. How do you manage to be successful over a long time? Do you find yourself adapting to musical trends?
I guess it’s about trying to stay true to what we think is right in a sense. It’s easy to just go with the hype and go completely away from where the fans want you.
Tell us about your ‘UNITY’ collaborative project
It’s that one thing that always happens at festivals, I’m done playing and hanging out with the DJs that played before me. We always say “We should do a collab, I’ll call you next week” – it doesn’t happen. It’s always like “too busy” or “I forgot about it”, this and that. So this year I thought I would chase everyone for the collabs and make a project out of it.
Also, if you look at trance as a genre, although its big and although its got a massive following – it doesn’t have that core. I don’t mean that in a bad way but if you compare the core to what’s happening in EDM or the bass world, all those DJs are playing each other’s stuff. In the trance scene, the 140 [BPM] guys aren’t playing the 128 [BPM] guys – the gap is too big. So that’s what I’m trying to break with Unity. I’m doing collaborations with artist I wouldn’t usually to see what will happen and to merge these different types of trance.
Any projects happening at the moment and anything you can tease for 2019?
I actually just released my collab with Ilan Bluestone called ‘We’re Not Going Home’. I also have upcoming tracks together with Alpha 9, BT and a few more almost finished. So there’s a good lineup coming up. I also just finished my first film score, that’s worth mentioning – it’s called ‘Don’t Go’, it’s out already in the states, so that’s just a whole new world for me that I want to continue exploring.
Listen to Ferry Corsten’s latest collaboration together with ilan Bluestone ‘We’re Not Going Home‘ Stream/Download