Interview #13: Ferry Corsten

By: Forward Musiq
We sit down with legendary trance and house producer, Ferry Corsten, for an exclusive interview. Come on in and see what he has to say.

Along the years in electronic music history, trance has stood as a proud representative, a milestone to the success of music. One of the most popular music genres of the century, trance has captivated the hearts of millions across the globe with its intricate melodies and beauty captivating rhythms. But it is the work of the grandfathers of trance that has made the genre such a huge success. Men like Armin Van Buuren, ATB, Paul Van Dyk and of course Ferry Corsten have helped greatly in making trance reach places where music’s propagation was once unimaginable. The man, the legend, the maverick of trance, Corsten’s work could very be the reason along many others to why trance still stands  as one of the most popular genres of music in the world. Ranging from Trance to House, Ferry Corsten has established his name very well in a competitive industry, expanding his sounds as the years progress, never dulling the edge of his musical blade. With 23 years of experience and 6 albums done by his hands, the Dutch superstar has had little rest when it comes to presenting the world with his music, alongside with his dozens of world tours. Without further ado, we present our exclusive interview with the legend:

Name: Ferry Corsten, Ferr, System F, Moonman
Genres: Trance and House
Years DJing: 23
Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Website

Forward Musiq: You’ve been making music since you were a kid, progressing through the years, maturing musically and personally. What got you into making music?
Ferry Corsten: Since I can remember I always loved electronic music. Not just Trance, but a lot of other genres as well. I was always busy with making music and saving money to buy equipment.

FM: Trance has been your stronghold for all these years, why did you decide to work with it? With recent years the EDM scene has seen the birth of many genres and the rise of others, why have you stuck with the trance formula up until now?
FC: I’ve produced a lot of different genres over the years. Ranging from hardcore to drum and bass to chill out. What I love about trance is the use of melodies and breaks. I will always produce Trance music but as an artist I will always experiment. What I do know, with every experimental music that I make the melodies and breaks that you find in Trance will be there.

FM: We could say that you broke into the scene in 1989, at least in Holland, winning the award De Grote Prijs van Nederland. What did this mean to you at the time? Did it give you a premonition of what lied ahead in your career?
FC: Making music was really just a hobby back then. When I won that award I was so happy but I still didn’t think I would end up where I am now though. What the award did was open up doors for me and gave me more opportunities to produce. Eventually Out Of The Blue was released and I literally saw it explode all over the world.

FM: System F was your launch pad into the international scene; under this alias you achieved your first hits along with your famous Out of The Blue album. You quickly took over the charts and soon started collaborating with other known Dj’s such as Tiësto and Robert Smit. How was this success important for you at a personal level, did you felt as if you achieved what you where after?
FC: Actually I was already collaborating with Robert Smit and Tiësto before Out Of The Blue was released. The success of System F – Out Of The Blue was a great achievement for me and a personal confirmation of moving forward with my productions in Trance music.

FM: Right after your success with Out of the Blue, what followed was anything but short of impressive. Awards rained down upon you and your singles continued to be hits in the charts. Amongst the glory you were awarded the Silver Hapr Award in 2000, how did this impact you?
FC: It’s always great to be recognized for the work that you do. Whether it is in the form of an award or a fan letter.

FM: 2005 was a busy year for you; among your triumphs you established your own record label, Flashover Recordings. What prompted you to create your own record label? Did you finally decide it was time to establish yourself definitively in the scene?
FC: Tsunami Records was a great record label but I thought it was time for a new image, especially for the Ferry Corsten brand. Flashover Recordings prides itself as a label that releases quality Trance recordings but also has the variety of releasing other genres similar to Trance music.

FM: You also released your second album, L.E.F, along with a massive tour that reflected a new more aggressive and intenser style than before. What triggered the change?
FC: As an artist I’m always searching for new sounds. “L.E.F.” the name of the album actually means loud electronic ferocious. LEF is also a Dutch word that means having guts. When I produced that album I wanted to experiment with new sounds and the album was the result.

FM: You also reached number 5 in the DJ MAG Top 100 poll, how did you take the news?
FC: It’s always nice to be appreciated or recognized for what you did.

FM: Your continuing fame once again shined when you launched your weekly radio show, Corsten’s Countdown. Why did you decide to make this program? Was it something you had wanted to do for a while?
FC: I always liked the idea of having my own radio show in which I could decide what would be played. Later on I changed the radio show to a much more interactive show in which the listeners could decide what would be played. Today, this is still the concept of Corsten’s Countdown. The listeners can vote for their favorite tracks and the 3 tracks with the most votes will be played the week after.

FM: In 2007 you produced the 1st official anthem for Bavaria City Racing, in which you opened the event along with the prime minister of Netherlands for a crowd of more than 500,000 spectators. How was this moment special for you? Did meeting the prime minister mean something for you at the time?
FC: Its always great to be the first artist to create something as I did for the Bavaria City Race. It was fun making the track and it was also nice meeting the prime minister.

FM: You debuted your third album, Twice In A Blue Moon, on your 2nd edition of Full On Ferry in Rotterdam. Was the production received as you had hoped for?
FC: Yes it was. I wanted to make a Trance album and my Trance fans appreciated it.

FM: The first single from this album, Radio Crash, soon became an instant club hit, drawing the attention of other well-known DJ’s such as Tiësto, Above & Beyond and Armin van Buuren. How did it felt to have your tracks recognized by fellow peers?
FC: It always gives a good feeling if my fellow DJs like and support my tracks.

FM: You also released a remix version of the album, why did you decide to do this? Did you feel it was necessary to remix the album, perhaps to throw in some beats you wanted to include, or change a track you did not like?
FC: Its always nice to see how other artists intrepid my music. So we asked other artists and djs to do this. The results were great and we loved every single mix.

FM: As a leading DJ in trance, what are your thoughts on the genre? Is it stronger now or has it subsided over the years?
FC: I feel it has changed over the years. I think genres are really starting to merge. You hear a lot of Trance breaks in house tracks today. This is not a bad thing; if different genres can work together and create awesome music you won’t hear me complain.

FM: With a growing support around the world, piracy has become a common tool to access music for a lot of people. What are your views as an artist on piracy, are you against it, or do you approve of it?
FC: I don’t approve piracy. People forget that artists put a lot of time in producing their music and for an artist it is their way to make a living.

FM: What  is the formula for your events? What do you do to make yourself stand out from the rest?
FC: Playing a lot of my own productions and having a good show besides good music.

FM: What set-up do you normally use when playing live?
FC: 1 usb stick, 3 cd players, mixer and my headphones

FM: You have an extensive list of events at which you have played. To you, what is the most memorable event in which you have participated? Why?
FC: I just played my first WKND show concept in Moscow, Russia for 10.000 fans and it was off the hook!

FM: Out of all your productions, which one is your favorite? What makes it so special to you? Also which one is your least favorite?
FC: Gabriela Skye is currently my favorite track. I have been traveling a lot lately and don’t get to see my daughter that often. Listening that track which is named after her keeps me going. It’s hard to say what my least favorite track is, if I don’t like it I won’t release it.

FM: Can we expect to see a change in your style in the future?
FC: Maybe, maybe not ;-). Check out my upcoming album to find out.

FM: Any new artists you have recently started to listen to?
FC: Not just recently but ever since he started producing I really like what Arty is doing. Hope he keeps doing what he does in 2012.

FM: What can we expect from you in the future?
FC: I am currently working on my new artist album which is set to release early next year. Being back in the studio is such a blast and I can’t wait to hear the reactions of the fans.

FM: Thanks for your time Ferry, it’s been a mayor honor to have you participate! Stay awesome.
FC: Thanks! For more information check out


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