He survived one of Dance music’s largest transitions within its modestly potted history. He then went on to champion the airwaves with a podcast similarly tailored to extending his genres wildest dreams. Now two-decades deep and still serving his studio output with the masses, enigmatic Dutch producer Ferry Corsten has managed to bottle the hysteria into his fourth artist album, ‘WKND’, in a bid to bring to port the incredible journey Electronic Dance Music’s ever-conveying contender is still trying to map. As Dan Carter found out in an exclusive chat with the longstanding European master of heartrending anthems, living for the weekend is no 9-to-5 job!
Once firmly associated with Europe’s prime export of euphorically tinted Trance, Corsten has not been hesitant to move with the times. Infact, with back-to-back dates across the globe keeping him well and truly tuned in to the universal explosion Dance music has heralded, it wouldn’t be ridiculous to suggest that the times and trends have kept their eye on Ferry Corsten.To the ardent Dutch globetrotter, ‘WKND’ collects the twists, turns and aural manipulations to which he and his peers across the board have reigned supreme over. Corsten explained: ‘For me it is important to push boundaries and expand your talent as a music producer. I think this album, with my history as a trance and electro dance music producer, was really the next step… I’m really proud of this album as well. I have grown as an artist and at the same time combined all my strengths as producer of various genres into work that I can uniquely call my own.’
As far as elements go, the weekend is one that Corsten has provided the apt soundtrack for over the course of two incredible decades. Paying homage to his duties as dutiful mix master and super-producer to the more euphoric energy of Dance music, WKND is aptly titled as it is up to the challenge of collecting Corsten’s modern musical manoeuvres. ‘WKND is an album that you want to play when you’re getting ready for the weekend,’ he explained. ‘It’s the album that you play while your enjoying the weekend. Whether you are relaxing or pumping it at a club, I felt like this record hit every imaginable notch it could and my hope is that people will love it as a result.’
‘ Collecting the likes of Amrada master and dignified Dutch Trance legend Armin Van Buuren alongside such familiar vocal assets as Duane Harden, Jes and Aruna, there is an air of variety to Ferry’s modern movements that few could have comprehended. But already renowned for leaping between epic instrumentals and the more radio-proof vocal cuts boasted by his fourth full-length instalment, his varied studio stylings make for one of his most ambitious projects to date. Whatever the trends, Corsten remains adamant that if it doesn’t hit the right notes, it doesn’t leave the studio. Reflecting on the process four-records down the line, Corsten explained: ‘To my opinion, variety is always good. I never wanted too much of the same on my album. At the end of the day I want a perfect result; everything needs to fit. I never plan what the outcome of a track or record will be. If vocals make the track sound better, they should be added. Those tracks turned out to be radio-friendly in the end, and resulted in a mix of relaxing and uplifting tracks we have in WKND.’
In two decades, however, the means to which music is accessed has too often overshadowed the crucial content of an artists laborious studio efforts. Amid his globetrotting endeavours, Corsten has not let this issue of piracy slip over his head. Yet with faith intact in his loyal fans and an album to which he cannot help but voice considerable pride towards, the Dutch heavyweight remains intrinsically positive towards the industry to which his services have made all the difference.
‘It is indeed harder for an artist to earn money by selling an album, but the rise of the digital market has created some promising possibilities. These outlets make it easy for a fan to buy my album digitally and that is definitely a good thing. Piracy is a serious threat, but loyal fans will always buy the artist album instead of illegally downloading it and I am very appreciative of that.’
But in the same vain as the industry must plough through this period of mixed blessings and uncharted demand, Corsten will continue to drive his work to universal levels. As his Corsten’s Countdown Radio Show has continued to stir the airwaves and Internet alike with definitive injections of Electronic stead, its 250th episode is a certain point of celebration for the Dutch producer. Broadcasting live from New York City for a jam-packed 8-hour set, Corsten is calling upon his devout followers to dictate the agenda for this landmark outing. Using his Facebook and Twitter pages to take requests from listeners across the globe, his interactive approach suggests that as the years have passed, his appreciation for the input and enthusiasm of his devout fans is yet to subside.
‘I am relying on the fans to tell me what they want to hear, whether it is a classic track of something brand new we haven’t played before,’ he explained. ‘It is exciting to be able to do these interactive radio show and what better way to celebrate this special 250th episode than by inviting the people that listen to it the chance to get involved.’
Set to be one of the infinite moments that Ferry has conjured within his incredible career, further American and European exploits throughout April are set to give WKND an affirmative introduction to a world which has never been in a better mindset to receive this courageous album with wider arms. To Ferry’s mind, the road ahead can only beckon more landmark moments and unforgettable experiences as he prepares to continue his ascent of the global Dance bug with consistently stern musical steps. ‘There definitely has been a lot to remember to share and a lot of moments not to,’ lauhs Corsten. ‘I am always touched when people come to me and let me know how much my music has changed their lives. It’s nice to know that your music has touched people in one way or another and I hope I can continue to do this for years to come.’
Having aided the globes passing adoration for European Trance, Ferry Corsten’s lot in life has proven far greater than that of the transporter of of a distant musical legacy. With a definitive fourth album behind him and a road ahead rife with anticipation and musical adoration, he may represent a dying breed of modest Dance icons, but this is one Dutch artists still boasting an infernal pulse of industrious pride that the world cannot help but turn its attention to.