When you’ve been making music for nearly two decades, you need to change things up and try new and different things to stay on top of things. Trance pioneer Ferry Corsten has always been known for ambitious projects such as Gouryella and last year’s sci-fi concept album Blueprint. Ferry unveiled his newest project, UNITY, at a special show at Exchange LA last month with Alpha 9. Ferry will be collaborating with artists from across the trance spectrum.
The first collab, “A Slice of Heaven” is with none other than legendary UK producer/DJ Paul Oakenfold. A portion of record and gig sales will also benefit VH1’s Save the Music Foundation. Ferry sat down with us before his set to tell us about UNITY, the process behind Blueprint Remixed, giving back and why he loves visiting Los Angeles.
Tonight is all about UNITY, tell me about the project?
“After Blueprint, I feel like I really need projects in my life. UNITY is my attempt to unify, in a way, the trance world. I know, it sounds super dramatic. I feel like there’s so many little islands that call themselves trance; you’ve got the 140 [BPM] guys, you’ve got the psy [trance] guys, on the other side of the spectrum you’ve got the Above & Beyond-type of vocal, groovy, house-based trance. Everyone’s putting their nose up toward the other party, but if you look at trap, all the bass stuff, all the EDM stuff, the house scene, it’s all one, everything’s just one and it’s like a very solid movement. And I feel trance is not that, you know, there’s a vast amount of people that are trance fans, but still the 140 guys look at the 128 guys, like, eh, meh. So with Unity I’m trying to put it all together, so I’m doing collabs with Alpha 9, Paul Oakenfold, Markus Schulz, and a whole bunch of other artists from the trance genre. It’s Unity, united, we’re all one genre, whether it’s this tempo or that tempo, we are a group that makes a stand in the electronic space. I also connected it to a charity organization, VH1 Save the Music Foundation. It’s a charity organization that makes it possible for kids in underprivileged countries to be able to make music, get that creativity out, and just play with music. It’s something my heart is close to, I know what it’s like as an escape, a relief for everyone.”
You’re also releasing the Blueprint Remixed album, what is the process like compared to the original album?
“Well, the original album, obviously I make all the music, so that’s the foundation. The remix album, it’s taking my tracks, but each caters to a certain audience. So say, track A caters to a slower BPM type of crowd and I want to have that remix on the album, I ask the guy who’s remixing that track to turn it around and make that track sound like it’s being painted for a crowd that likes the banging stuff. So that’s how I look at remixes, the original is there, that caters to a market, but the remixes need to do the opposite. The slow track becomes the banger track, and the banger track becomes the slow track. Just to give it a whole different feel, vibe, idea. And Blueprint had such a strong reaction from my fans, in many ways. Like, oh we don’t like the voiceover, we love the voiceover, this track would be amazing if it was 140 BPM or something like that. So the remix album is answering all those things, and it’s really cool at the same time to see how other artists experience those tracks, and use that as a basis to create their own track.”
Since you’re here in Los Angeles, what do you enjoy the most about visiting California?
“If we talk about California in general, compared to the rest of America, it’s the mindset of people here. People are so chill here, and their outlook on certain things is very different, it’s definitely American, but it relates a lot more to the European way, so I feel very much at home, that’s why I love California. I think L.A. is the epicenter of creativity, so for what I do, this place is amazing, left to right I can find whatever I need over here, it’s great.”
What will be your focus for 2018?
“UNITY is pretty much the main focus right now. I’m really thrilled to be able to say I finished my first movie score. It’s a movie called Don’t Go, it’s going to come out in September, it’s an American-Irish movie, for me, it was the first step into that direction, which is super cool. Perfect for being in L.A.”