Upon the release of his latest studio album, WKND, Clubplanet.com recently caught up with world-renown DJ-producer, Ferry Corsten on the theme of his new album, his thoughts on the state of dance music, and his work with some of the biggest names in music today.
Clubplanet: Your WKND (Ultra Music/Flashover) studio album is an amalgamation of soaring builds, calculated breakdowns, and the kind of energy that can only be described as epic. Going into the studio, did you have a theme in mind?
The theme or thought behind the album is actually the album title which is short for weekend. The album has to create that weekend feeling where people relax and enjoy themselves. In general we just want positive vibes when it’s our WKND and not too much to worry about. That’s why I wanted I really wanted to give the album an uplifting and positive vibe.
Where did you draw a majority of your inspiration from for this particular studio album?
My inspiration comes from loads of things that happen around me. Particular things like my family, my surroundings or things that I hear on the radio or see on the television can inspire me a lot.
When it comes to the vocal element in your tracks, how do you go about teaming up with a singer? Do you already have a particular pitch or tone in mind, or do you have a different approach?
It is different every track. I normally have an artist in my mind who I want to work together with. When they agree we just go from there. They sometimes have an idea of their own or we combine both our ideas. Ben Hague, the singer on Ain’t No Stoppin’ my current single was introduced to me by someone via Youtube. He did a lot a lot of covers of pop songs. I instantly liked this voice. He’s only 21 years old but his voice is really great. I met Duane Harden, who does the vocals on Love Will, during the Amsterdam Dance Event in 2010. We decided to do a track together after we had more contact on Twitter and by mail. It just has to be something special and I think all vocalists did a great job. I am really happy with the result.
How would you compare WKND to your other work?
WKND is an album which I am really proud of. The last album I released was back in 2008 and I just really felt like creating a new artist album again. Comparing it to my other work is pretty hard. I always try to experiment and create new sounds. I don’t stick to a particular genre when I am producing and that’s why it is hard to compare to the other albums. However, I did want to make my next album more vocal and accessible to a wider audience. You will also notice, that although it’s very trancey, the tempo of the whole album is a lot slower. Therefore it also flows better with other styles of dance music.
Your previous studio album was in 2008, a point in time where dance music was on an upswing stateside. Considering that the genre has now reached a high point in popularity in the U.S., did that have an effect on your approach in the studio?
I always try to do my own thing as much as I can. To create tracks which I think sound best. That’s why I don’t really think about what is the current trend in music. But I must admit though that I did look around for the freshest sounds out there, but I always do that.
Where do you think dance music is heading in the next decade?
Too hard to tell really. There is a lot going on in the dance music. A lot of the genres are blending and you can hear trance elements in house tracks and the other way around for example. Also new genre like dubstep have surfaced in the last year and are taking the dance scene by storm. So it can go anywhere from here.
You're celebrating 20 years of a strong presence in dance music. What would you say is the closest thing to a formula for longevity in a music genre that's known to easily spit out one-hit wonders?
Being creative and staying original. What I hear a lot, is producers that create that 1 track but their productions after aren’t nearly as good.
Your talents have been requested by the likes of U2, Moby, Duran Duran, and The Killers. What does it mean to be a dance music producer, yet get so much attention from world renown artists looking for your services?
It feels really good to be recognized as an artist and especially if you get this recognized by the likes you just mentioned. It just gives me a feeling that I am doing a good thing and it inspires me to continue what I am doing.
What can fans look forward to from Ferry Corsten for the remainder of the year?
A lot actually. First is the release of WKND of course at the end of February. I will also be touring the world with my Full on Ferry show and Corsten’s Countdown is almost hitting its 250th episode. I can’t say too much about that just yet other then it is going to be special!