Legendary, trance music pioneer, Ferry Corsten: “I would like to see the trance sound going back to original trance sounds, like 1998, 1999, 2000”
Written by Simona Kanapickaite on November 23, 2017
Before the interview with trance superstar Ferry Corsten, I tried to count how many years he has been on the scene. As long as I remember, since the development of trance as an independent music genre, he had already been in. It’s not a surprise that his first major achievement, produced single as a solo composer, and under the pseudonym Moonman was released in 1996.
Then followed another unstoppable release as well as the new classic era under the name System F. Another pseudonym – Gouryella doesn’t need an introduction as this name is still in Ferry Corsten’s performances.
The list of DJ and producer awards and nominations speak for itself, and I can’t describe the honor, the excitement and the impossibility to realize sitting next to him backstage at Luminosity 10th Anniversary Weekender and listening to the special voice of a trance pioneer that has been shaping music history and is sentimental talking about the older classics.
Ferry, soon you will go to play on the stage – what are your feelings usually before the set?
- Every time it’s different, you know, tonight here that’s all new set up, it’s very different. So because it’s the 10th anniversary, it’s very exciting. The last time I played for 10th anniversary for them was at the beach, so now it’s in the club. I’m excited, promoting a new album Blueprint, so I’m playing a lot of the stuff tonight! I do it everywhere I go, but tonight as well, and this is the 10th anniversary, you know… my job ends some like a classic or so.
When you are finishing your set on the stage, what are your thoughts while playing the last tracks?
- So as I’m always wondering how the next Dj just gonna do, cause I bring it to the certain point, and I’m always curious to see like the next guy, how he’s gonna taking from there, so that’s what usually I’m concerned about, what I think.
Some personal feelings?
- Personal – easy, like sometimes you have these sets that are just so amazing the crowd just really you wanna play a little longer, but there always you are a part of a lineup, so everyone’s there on set time, so even if I could…
What is your opinion of Luminosity events, how are they doing? Some ideas to improve?
- I think they just are doing fine. Luminosity is not trying to be bigger as they are, and that’s what I think is great, so I don’t see any major points where I can see improvement. I’ve been working with them for quite a number of years and it’s a good crew to be part of it, they do the things they need to do, which is putting on good trance events, like I said they are not trying to be bigger than they are, they are not trying to do bigger stuff than they can handle. Luminosity on the beach has grown into the quite a big thing now, but it’s not like they are trying to push it, which is nice.
Are there some places around the world, where you feel like playing at home and wishing to come back several times a year?
- London is one, I’d say Melbourne, Los Angeles, I would say New York as well.
Some places in Holland?
- Yeah, of course, this one actually, Panama, it was like forget. Panama is lovely, if I play in a club in Holland, it’s mostly like to be Panama.
Talking to older classic trance, do you miss it? What is older trance significance?
- Yeah, I do miss it. For me it’s a question like it’s a missing of music, or the people, or the Djs, or whatever, or is it like sentiments, because I was younger, like when you think, is it really dead, it’s sentiment playing a role in this. I do believe like that when I listen to music now, all the trance that you hear now is inspired by trance that came before it. The trance that we are talking about like the golden years of trance, that trance was inspired by was not trance music, the music that early trance was based on, was not trance music. It was really original, it was like invented right there. All the music we hear right now is invented by people that made this music listening to trance for so many years.
Comparing trance nowadays and the older one, which one do you prefer and why?
- I like the older trance, because like I said it was made and based on early trance, it was new, it was fresh, and all the trance you hear now is based on earlier trance like a copy of a copy of a copy. At the same time do I like, I’m wondering, I’m asking myself if that really true or it’s sentiment playing a role well going back in the days everything was better, I don’t know, it’s hard to say. That’s my logic.
What kind of music does inspire you to create, what genre do you like to listen to?
- I listen a lot to classical music, especially… how to call it – modern classical music, I saw on Spotify that playlists call it near classical, I don’t know it if makes sense, but it’s like a classical music anyway, film scores, yeah, a lot of that kind stuff as well, sometimes even jazz – just when I want to listen to something completely different, I listen to jazz.
There are many opinions about an impact of trance. What is your message sent by your music?
- I guess hopeful… hopefulness, like always there’s a better side of this. It’s not that I’m sitting in the studio conscious about I’m gonna make a hopeful record, it doesn’t work like that. I’m just making music that I feel is right when I’m in the studio. And the result that comes out eventually is that when people hear it, it’s like a positive impact… especially when I hear stories about people who have been really really sick for a long time or something, or had to go through bad moments in their life and your music was just the stuff that really kept them going, even people like soldiers that went to Iraq and Afghanistan, they came to me at shows saying “I just came back from war and I always had your music on, when I came back from a mission.” It was like ‘Wow!’.
What is the most important moment for you: to discover a new melody, to create a track, or to play it?
- For me, it’s just when I’m just playing some melodies and so nice and nice and nice, and then when I hit that one melody where I feel “ooh”, that’s the one, that’s it. That moment and then I play it on my sequencer, when I surf looking for the right sound and I find a combination of that melody with the sound that I was looking for or I created the sound that I was looking for, yeah, that’s the moment, when I just can get up and I can hear the impact of it.
What is your wish looking forward to the future?
- Right now I’m just working on my first ever film score, which is very cool. So it’s a very different approach to music than making another trance track, but I really love it, it’s so different and it’s pretty cool and I would love to go to do more of that.
You will present a show of Gouryella 2.0 at Transmission festival, is new Gouryella 2.0 album in your future plans?
- Eventually, maybe. Set at Transmission – yes, but I haven’t thought about the album. I mean that Gouryella “From the Heavens” album was almost like the live show, the Gouryella show – so maybe.
Which were the most amazing places with very special feeling to play?
- There are so many different places like that, I mean I played once in Jordan, in the middle of the desert which is amazing, it’s really cool. Another one – I played in Romania, Constanța, at its beach, the Black sea and sun was coming up. It was just amazing, really really good.
Last question – what would you wish for the trance music now?
- I would like to see the trance sound going back to original trance sounds, like 1998, 1999, 2000 – that era. That’s the sound that I love the most. Do I want trance to get bigger – I don’t know, because when it gets bigger, it gets commercial, you get the wrong people, if it’s something getting bigger, other people that don’t really necessary like the music for the music, but just for a success of it coming as well, and I don’t think that’s what trance needs right now.
After being deeply associated with music for more than 20 years, Ferry is still passionate about finding a combination of melody and sound, truly living the moment when it’s found. Then he feels that positive impact of newly born music – music which reaches even the soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and keeps them up. Creating new projects, working on film scores, albums, his own Full On events, hosted more than 500 radio shows Corsten’s Countdown – the legendary name of Ferry Corsten still remains unchangeable in the music world.