Full On Ferry lighting up your ‘WKND’
Next week sees Ferry Corsten release his fourth artist album ‘WKND’, a monstrous 14 tracker plus an iTunes bonus track that sees the Dutch superstar collaborate with legends such as Armin van Buuren, Sarah Bettens, Duane Harden and Betsie Larkin. His exhilirating and major successful ‘Full on Ferry’ concept has had its first annual residency in Ibiza and celebrated the New Year in London with a huge sold out show. Now it is time for a world tour, starting in the Matrixx, Nijmegen. Shows are already planned in cities such as Stockholm, Glasgow, Leeds, Bangkok and Jakarta for Ferry’s very own night where he invites his favourite DJs for a wonderful night filled with back to back sets with him – regardless of their style and genre to celebrate quite simply, dance music. What a year ahead for one DMC’s favourite electronic producers. We investigate the album with Ferry…
Words Dan Prince
Welcome back to DMC Ferry. A massive new album swinging our way next week, ‘WKND’ with some big collaborations and huge tunes. Please talk us through the album track by track…
“Glad to be back at DMC and thanks for the interview. Here’s a little about each track…
‘A DAY WITHOUT RAIN’ ft. Ellie Lawson
This is actually the first song and demo I had produced for the album. I was in Asia during that time on vacation and was up for creating something with a laidback feel and dreamy vocals. Vocalist Ellie Lawson worked together with song writers duo Raz and Adrian. They came up with this lovely result which fits perfectly on top of this song. To be honest, the first demo setup is not that much different from the final version. The tweaking of the mix, vocals, and sounds took a while but I love the result in the end.
At the beginning of 2011 the genres house and trance came closer and closer together. This inspired me to create a dance floor tool which became Feel It. After playing it in Miami while promoting the re-release of Punk at that time, the crowds ate it up. The support from DJ’s became so massive that it even ended up on many radio stations. The vocal here is a re-recording of a famous J5 live jell. In the 90’s it was used by house legend Todd Terry under his moniker Royal House. It simply fitted perfectly on this track. Can you feel it?
‘AIN’T NO STOPPIN’’ ft. Ben Hague
Sometimes everything comes together just at the right time and ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ is just that record. I wanted to produce a track with a raw edge that combines house, trance, pop , and with of course my signature, a big synth riff. Ben is a debut singer from the UK. He is a great guy with an amazing voice and a good bloke at that. I really hope this song gives him his break as a solo artist.
‘DON’T BE AFRAID’
This track is actually a re-work of a track that I produced many years ago under the pseudoname Moonman. I’ve always loved that track and many of my fans have asked me to make rework of it.. So I thought why not have a go at it. This is for you guys. Enjoy!
‘NOT COMING DOWN’ ft. Betsie Larkin
Betsie Larkin is an artist that I’ve worked with on my previous artist album ‘Twice In A Blue Moon’. With the success of ‘Made Of Love’ I was inspired to work with her yet again for this album. I think that ‘Not Coming Down’ is a great follow up to ‘Made of Love’.
‘BRUTE’ Ferry Corsten vs. Armin van Buuren
The two of us go way back and the first two productions that we made together were called ‘Exhale’ and ‘From The Heart’. With Brute, we wanted to create a massive hands up in the air festival track . The repeating melody is effective due to the triple time beat programming in the middle of the track. I hope you can hear the fun we had in creating this dj tool
‘LIVE FOREVER’ ft. Aruna
Aruna send me this vocal with piano backing demo, and I immediately was inspired by it. If you listen to the lyrics, it is exactly what we DJs try to make you feel on the dancefloor. The production has a lot of different levels after you hear it a couple of times. Try and listen to it. You won’t be disappointed.
‘LET YOU GO’ ft. Sarah Bettens
Sarah Bettens is a well-known alternative rock icon from Belgium. With her band K’s Choice she had numerous crossover hits to the main charts in the Benelux and beyond. To create something with an artist, so far away from what I am as a dance music producer is always a challenge. I am really proud of what the collaboration brought us in the end.
‘CHECK IT OUT’
As a follow-up to ‘Feel It’ I wanted to stretch the House/trance boundaries even more and played with influences from today’s house sound and even had a little fun with some hardstyle sounds. This track definitely shows my range as a producer in various genres. It’s defies all genres and through this record allows me to experiment as an artist. The vocal sample is from Captain Rock originally produced by the legendary Aleem Brothers. The Captain and the Aleems re-recorded the sample for me so it would even sound better than using the original.
‘LOVE WILL’ ft. Duane Harden
Duane Harden is a songwriter and vocalist who also sang on the track ‘You Don’t Even Know Me’ from Armand van Helden. Duane and I have been wanting to work together for years. I finally had the right music demo to send him. The lyrics and vocals he sent back was beyond my wildest imagination and inspired me even more to produce it further. It is a bit on the housey side of things but hey it’s dance music and I love it. I think this will not be the last time we work together….
‘IN YOUR EYES’ ft. JES
Jes Brieden is a vocalist from the US who is known for her works such as “Motorcycle’s As the Rush Comes”. It is one of my favorite album tracks.You can play this really loud but also at normal level as it is just a damn good song. At least I think so.
‘WALK ON AIR’ ft. Pierre In The Air & Amba Shepherd
This is one of the last productions I did for the album. I just had to finish this song right before the deadline of mastering the album. We had to reschedule my entire tour schedule to allow me to finish it. David Skaines (Pierre) and Amba Shepherd co-wrote the song. The high pitched voice of Amba may trouble you when you want to sing-a-long ☺ but it is the icing on the cake. Deadlines sometimes are the motor for creativity.
I produced ‘Take Me’ in the early stages of the album one evening holled up in my studio. I guess you can say I was in the mood to produce some trippy music. What can I say, the result is the somewhat unique trance track for my fans. I have tried to create a piece with an underground twist. Hope you guys like it as much as I do.
‘WKND’ was a track that had been lying around for a year. The main melody lines were created but I guess I never had the time to finish it. The album ‘WKND’ is a selection of tracks that will take you through the weekend …through the highs… and the lows: when you want to forget about the world and through moments you don’t care about the world. Sometimes you just want to embrace it for what it is. This is my ‘WKND’.
‘SUNDAY’ (iTunes Bonus Track)
This track is exclusive to the iTunes album and iTunes LP and it is just the perfect track to end your WKND with.
You are launching the album with a spectacular Full on Ferry night in the Matrixx, Nijmegen – what can we expect on the night?
“Full on Ferry is my concept where I invite other DJs who I admire to play back2back with me, regardless of their style and genre. With this concept we will bring you a wonderful night with a lot of fun and action. And it’s the perfect way to celebrate dance music in its diversity. For the Matrixx we have Aly & Fila and Zoo Brazil who come to join me. Also Ben Hague, the vocalist on my current hit single, Ain’t No Stoppin’ will perform live.”
After the night you set off on a world Full on Ferry tour – where in the world are you looking forward to smash?
“We’ll be taking Full on Ferry around Europe, USA and later in the year we’ll visit Australia as well.”
How long did the album take to create and how many tracks did you discard?
“It took me a bit longer than a year to finish it. I started in July 2010 and finished it in September 2011. I had 17 tracks but I used 15 in total if you include the bonus track on iTunes. The other two are great tracks as well but still need a little tweaking.”
What is your current top 10 you are spinning at the moment?
1. Ferry Corsten ft Ben Hague – Ain’t No Stoppin’ (Flashover Recordings)
2. Ferry Corsten – Take Me (Flashover Recordings)
3. Ferry Corsten ft Aruna – Live Forever (Flashover Recordings)
4. Ferry Corsten – Don’t Be Afraid (Flashover Recordings)
5. Fery Corsten ft Betsie Larkin – Not Coming Down (Flashover Recordings)
6. Ferry Corsten – WKND (Flashover Recordings)
7. Ferry Corsten ft JES – In Your Eyes (Flashover Recordings)
8. Heatbeat – Rocket Monster (Captivating Sounds)
9. Orjan Nilsen – Legions (Armind)
10. Alex Larichev – Acid Harmony (Flashover Recordings)
Last time we spoke you were off to Australia for the Stereosonic Tour – what were the highlights down under?
“One of the highlights was that I was celebrating my birthday down under. A crowd of 20,000 people sang me Happy Birthday!”
Last time we spoke you said that you had been spending the latter point of 2011 road testing certain tracks from the new album – what tracks have been going down the best?
“‘Take Me’ was about the first track I finished and tested it at Energy 2011, the former Trance Energy. ‘Feel It’ and ‘Check It Out’ and ‘Brute’ were the first three singles. They did really well at the festivals last year and got big support by other DJs. ‘Ain’t No Stoppin” is now on rotation on the radio. ‘Live Forever’ ft Aruna and ‘Not Coming Down’ ft Betsie Larkin also got major response from the crowd. They haven’t been released yet.”
A big week for music, for the right and wrong reasons. What was your take on Skrillex cleaning up at The Grammy’s and also, the sad news regarding Whitney Houston?
“I am happy for Skrillex that his succes is paying off. His genre crosses over to a very different audience than just the dance crowd. It’s always sad when someone passes away. Especially under such circumstances.”
What artists, non electronic dance do you listen to chill out to?
“I listen to all kinds of music actually. Right now I really like Foster The People with their track ‘Pumped Up Kicks’. But I also like to listen to Moderat or Miles Davis. As diverse as it can be really.”
A big year looms for Mr Corsten gig wise, what has the summer in store for us?
“We’re looking to return to the island with another episode of Full On Ferry Ibiza. Other than Ibiza we’re also taking Full On Ferry on Tour like I mentioned above. I will be doing all the major festivals, where I will mainly focus on my WKND Albums showcase.”
Who are the other producers around the world you are giving props to at the moment?
“Avicii, Arty and Rafael Frost. Those are real talents and have created a new sound that is going down really well.”
What are the plans for Miami next month?
“I’ll be playing Space and I’ll be playing at the Ultra Music Festival.”
And finally, the album celebrates your 20th anniversary as a producer – what has been your proudest moment to date?
“As a producer that must have been the release of System F – ‘Out Of The Blue’. That track opened a lot of doors for and kickstarted my carreer. As a DJ it would be the start of my Full On Ferry concept in 2007. Amazing feeling when such an event carries your name.”