Ferry Corsten: Bending the rules

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It’s a trance lover’s dream line-up at this year’s Stereosonic, led by two Dutch titans: Armin van Buuren and Ferry Corsten. While Armin is closing out the mainstage, his compatriot and long-time collaborator is sure to pull ecstatic crowds earlier on. We got on the phone to Corsten a few weeks ago to hear his game-plan, and why he won’t let fans dictate his direction.

So, you’re heading over to the US this week. Everyone we speak to is buzzing about the scene there.
It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting and hoping for. It’s always been a decent scene, but now it’s muscling R&B and hip hop out of the charts. That’s great to see. A lot of the artists on the pop side of R&B have teamed up with some of the more commercial DJs, and it is working. It invites people to explore this type of music more, which is great.

You responded to your fans who reacted badly to your recent single Check It Out – what’s the message you wanted to get across?
That the boundaries are disappearing in dance music. There are still a lot of people left with a very narrow-minded view, and I was getting frustrated with all the idiots out there with so much to say about something that’s a bit out of the box. If we all start listening to people like that, then dance music will die.

I’ve always been very diverse, and if people know me as a trance DJ that’s fair enough, but before that I’ve done everything from hardcore to drum & bass to ambient to techno. So I was letting out my frustrations, saying, ‘Guys, let me do what I do’.

I think some people thought it was a move towards ‘trouse’ or a Swedish House Mafia sound…
Fair enough that they compare it. Some of the big trance guys have stepped away from the trance sound, and I sense a bit of fear that I would do the same. I’ve always been in and around trance, my sound has always been melodic, and I’ve stepped away, then come back again. There’s so much more interesting music than just trance.

I mean, house is combining a lot of trance elements. What the Swedish House Mafia did with One is nothing new. They just took a big trance riff and put it into a house track. So now if I do the same I’m copying the House Mafia? And yes, everyone is looking at each other right now, but that’s what keeps dance music interesting.

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