Over the span of three decades, Ferry Corsten has become a name synonymous with trance music. Ferry Corsten’s expressive power and connectivity as a DJ & producer as well as his unwavering pursuit of sonic innovation have kept him at the vanguard of the dance scene for over two decades.
Hailing from Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Ferry discovered his passion for music at an early age. From humble beginnings experimenting with his first synthesizer, little did he know he would become a trailblazer in the scene of electronic dance music.
Throughout his career, the Dutch DJ & producer has showcased his creative versatility by using a variety of aliases such as System F, Moonman, FERR, and Gouryella (with Tiësto). And with this he has pioneered a melodic-driven spectrum of sounds segueing through trance, progressive house, melodic techno, and ambient.
In this Funktasy Magazine Spotlight we have an exclusive conversation with Ferry Corsten where we delve into his latest release “Yes Man”, explore his life, vision, and what lies ahead in his musical journey.
Download & Stream “Yes Man” by Ferry Corsten Here.
Congratulations on the release of “Yes Man”. This is an awesome track! Is there a story or inspiration behind this new release?
Thanks! That’s a funny story actually. After I went into the studio with Armin van Buuren, Ruben de Ronde, and Benno de Goeij, to create the new A State Of Trance anthem, I had such a fresh new look on producing music. Putting all our brains together for a few days really opened up some inspiration in me, and the first solo track I produced after these collaborative sessions, was ‘Yes Man’.
Tell us about your forthcoming album in 2024… Can you give us a sneak peek into the theme and concept of your upcoming album?
I can’t give away too much, just that diversity plays a big part in it. It’s not going to be a single genre album, much more an exploration of my creativity and passion. There are some really cool and unexpected collaborations on there too which I’m really excited about sharing with everyone.
Your music has evolved over the years. How would you describe the progression of your sound from your early days to now?
I’ve always tried to explore other styles and genres of music to challenge myself, but also my fans. I wouldn’t be where I am today without that being an integral part of my productions. However, lately I’ve been going a bit more old school with the release of Yes Man, which has some early rave vibes in it. And you notice that the whole scene is going more towards this style, which I love as it’s close to my heart. It’s literally where I started!
You have produced, collaborated with and done plenty of remixes for A- list artists such as U2, Moby, Faithless, Boy George and Justin Bieber. Is there a dream artist whom you’d like to collaborate with and why?
I wouldn’t say I have a dream artist to collaborate with. There are multiple artists whose style I’m a fan of and it would be really cool to do something with, whether it’s a collaboration or a remix. But if I had to pick one, I’d say Fred Again. He has a certain boundary-less thinking of genres which I’m fond of, seeing that I try to do this myself too.
As a world-class producer, how has the production and recording evolution in the digital age contributed to your work flow and creativity? Do you work mainly in thebox or hybrid?
I would definitely say that I always try to work more outside the box. The transition from analogue to digital in the production evolution certainly makes this easier. Back in the day you needed hardware to produce and you were limited to the capabilities of the hardware that you owned. Synthesisers were, and still are not, cheap so these were big investments back in the day, you definitely could not afford to have all that there is out there. Now that basically all synths are digitised, it’s much easier to explore. Of course, you would have to buy these plugins as well for your digital audio workspace, but the price of these plugins are much more accessible than the price for analogue hardware.
Many artists have rituals or pre-show routines to get into the right mindset before performing. Do you have any specific rituals or habits you follow before going on stage?
Not exactly right before going on stage, but I do have a pre-show ritual which is fairly simple, but I’ve noticed this works exactly right for me. Usually when I’m checked in to the hotel, I go to sleep for a few hours. Wake up, get ready, go out for dinner as late as possible, have a double espresso as dessert and go straight to the venue. For me, that’s essential because if I would switch my nap with dinner first, you’ll never be able to wake me up. I guess you can call it a food coma? Haha! And in terms of rituals right before going on stage, that’s just taking a quick toilet break to avoid having to go mid-set.
Do you have any interesting stage or touring mishaps/funny stories that you would like to share with us?
This summer before my first show in Ibiza, we were having a team BBQ at a villa that my booking agent rented. After we rounded up dinner, my PR manager needed to go to her place, which by chance was only 100 metres away, to get ready for the show. So, we gave her the keyfob to open the front gate, to ensure she could easily get back in and we all would go to the venue together. But when it was time for our pickup, she still wasn’t back and there was no way to get a hold of her. Having given her the only key fob of the front gate, we were ‘trapped’ inside the villa and couldn’t get out. We thought we were going to have to jump the fence to make our pickup and get to the venue in time. In the end we managed to unlock from the inside, and she did make it to the show a few hours later, having fallen asleep!
How does Ferry Corsten’s touring schedule like for 2024?
Festival season is looking good already and I’m excited to start an album club tour as well once it’s finished!
Can you share any upcoming projects, collaborations, or future goals?
2024 will be the year in which the new album will be ready for release so it’s all stations go there. I don’t want to give away too much in terms of collaborations, to keep it a surprise when it’s released but I can definitely say they’re quite unexpected, so I’m really excited about that and to see what the response is like.
I also want to grow my ambient project, FERR, a bit more. I’ve found a huge passion in creating neoclassical and cinematic music, so I’m keen to dive into this more and see where I can take the project. We presented it live for this first time this summer and I hope we can bring more of these shows to life in the future.