Now on his second US tour of the year, Ferry has also played the Creamfields tour and across Asia and South America. Even at this stage in his career, he’s discovering new things, stepping into uncharted territory and enjoying every minute of it.
“One of the unexpected highlights was when I played in Syria,” he explains. “I didn’t really know what to expect. They rarely have DJs play over there, so it was on a tennis court with a clubhouse next to it in the middle of the desert. It was great. The crowd was chaotic – in a good way.”
Playing to music lovers where the number of club events fall drastically short of somewhere like Europe or the UK, for example, is always destined to garner a rapturous response but this one made Ferry’s year.
While Ferry is still very much willing to lay down the sort of up-tempo big-room trance vibes he is best known for, a recent engagement with the deeper, more melodic side of house music has lead him to slot the odd 128/130BPM record into his sets.
“House music can be warmer, groovier and still have a party feel,” says Ferry. “Trance is much more melodic, so it is great that those two genres are really meeting each other at the moment. It creates a lot of space for everybody.”
A greater willingness to feed more gradual, slow-burning vibes into the mix has been spurred by the recent production of part two of his ‘Once Upon A Night’ mix series; a release that, as the title suggests, sets out to take the listener on a musical journey.
Amid an arsenal of flashing lights, mesmerizing pyrotechnics, ascending fireworks and pulsating beats, tens of thousands of people are singing at the top of their lungs to his classic productions and latest hits. They clamor to get as close to the stage as possible at a recent concert to get a better view of the man pulling the strings behind the decks. From Malaysia to Melbourne, Lebanon to Los Angeles, the scene is eerily similar, with dance music fans the world over experiencing the latest show of a living legend. Few DJs can inspire this level of pomp and furor.
But then again, few have reached the levels of Ferry Corsten.
It’s easy to get hyperbolic and excessive when talking about DJs, but with dance music pioneer Ferry Corsten, whose musical productions and DJ sets have combined trance, house, and electro, the facts speak for themselves: Best Producer of the Year (Ericsson Music Awards). Best Trance DJ (Ibiza DJ Awards). And consistently voted as one of the Top 10 DJs in the world for almost a decade according to DJ Magazine. Since his immersion on the scene in the late 1990s, the Dutch musician has amassed best-selling albums, nearly a dozen gold singles, and countless other awards. Still, as longtime fans already know, Corsten has never been one to rest on his laurels.
This DJ/producer, who has just toured with his Twice in A Blue Moon: The Experience show, has played to hundreds of thousands of fans across the globe and has been busier than ever strengthening the link between his own musical production and DJ show elements. Based on his last artist album of the same name (featuring the hugely successful singles “We Belong,” “Radio Crash,” and “Made of Love” and released on Corsten’s own record label Flashover Recordings), the show is just the latest in a career that has melded influential productions with unprecedented live sets. In stark contrast to the typical DJ set that focuses solely on the DJ himself, Blue Moon’s 6-hour plus set sees Corsten as only one part of a grand, visual production, bringing the crowd into the party instead of lecturing and dictating like so many of his peers.
It’s this humility and desire to interact with his fans which has helped propel Ferry Corsten as one of the most sought after DJs in music. A far cry from the usual arrogant spinner that preaches to his crowd from on high, Corsten has enacted a number of projects designed to get his fans as close to the man himself as possible. In 2007, the DJ began “Corsten’s Countdown,” a weekly radio show that sees Corsten highlighting his favorite new tracks by artists both known and unsigned. Keeping in line with his desire for full interaction with his audience, fans can vote on their favorite tracks each week, which determines Corsten’s Countdown Chart, a Top 10 show at the end of each month. In addition, the recently released DVD Ferry Corsten – Backstage follows the artist as he prepares for both the release of his last artist album and his annual legendary “Full On Ferry” event in Rotterdam. In addition, Corsten recently launched www.FerryCorstenVIP.com, one of the most extensive artist sites that allows subscribers exclusive content and unprecedented access into Corsten’s life.
It’s a life that has been virtually raised on music. As a 9-year old kid growing up in Holland, Ferry Corsten became obsessed with both The Soul Show and Disco Mix Club, shows that specialized in club music and introduced Corsten to deejaying. Cut to the mid-1990s and a wildly prolific Corsten can be found producing two to three releases a week under a dizzying amount of aliases (System F, Gouryella) and record labels before starting Tsunami, his first imprint. His sixth release for the label, the trance anthem “Out Of The Blue,” went Top 20 in the U.K., sparked a massive bidding war for the producer and revolutionized dance music production. Since then, Corsten has remixed tracks from everyone from U2 to Moby to Public Enemy, released three albums under his own name and put out a myriad amount of compilations (Trance Nation, Passport) and singles under various guises.
While the producer is best known for his trance classics, Corsten has also been known to push boundaries creatively and has always been keen to switch up his musical style when the mood hits him. The producer released 2006′s L.E.F., an updated version of the classic electro Corsten loved growing up that earned the #1 spot on iTunes upon its release.
2010 is set to be one of Ferry Corsten’s busiest years yet. In addition to an upcoming album celebrating the 10th anniversary of the ultimate trance anthem “System F: Out of the Blue,” Corsten is busy preparing his latest compilation album with exclusive material and another full-length under his own name with an accompanying grand production tour set to kick off sometime next year.
It’s an ambitious schedule, but one in which Ferry Corsten has built his career on in past years. Someone who has had as many hits, rocked as many dance floors, produced so many classics, as Corsten would be forgiven for taking a hiatus and basking in the accolades. But there are still future classics to be made and people the world over to be entertained. And with a master who has already proven himself time and again running the show, the legend’s career is just starting.