The award winning DJ and record producer’s weekly radio show Corsten’s Countdown airs in several radio stations all across the world. His melodic Trance anthems and his recurring appearances at festivals like Ultra, EDC and Tomorrowland that have made him into a dance music icon.
The Dutch DJ-producer joined Dayanna Ramirez in the Nexus Lounge during Miami Music Week 2019, to talk about his new single Free Fall with L.A-based singer-songwriter Nevve; Finding inspiration while skiing in the Austrian alps; Embarrassing moments while DJing and more! This is TAKE 5 with Ferry Corsten!
New Single: Free Fall Featuring Nevve
Dayanna Ramirez: I’m here with the one, the only Ferry Corsten. Ferry, How are you?
Ferry Corsten: I’m great! Yourself?
Dayanna Ramirez: It’s good! It’s all good! So, tell me, I’m just going to go right for it, Okay? Free Fall was just released.
Ferry Corsten: Yeah! Last week.
Dayanna Ramirez: I’m excited! We have a lot of people excited about it.
Ferry Corsten: Me too! Yeah, it’s been one of those tracks that I haven’t … I haven’t done a track like that in a long time. You know, I had a session in L.A- a bunch of people lined up and […] Nevve and I we just hit it off right away. Bang!
Dayanna Ramirez: How do you say it Nevve?
Ferry Corsten: Nevve or Neivve- I dunno.
Dayanna Ramirez: So, you guys hit it off right from the get-go?
Ferry Corsten: Yes, it was fun. You know, a bottle of wine came out and then bang there was a song, it was great!
Dayanna Ramirez: How about how long did that take to come together? Pretty quickly?
Ferry Corsten: Yeah, I think we had sort of like the frame [for the song], I mean the song I had already as like an earlier demo for another project that never really materialized. So the music was pretty much there and I was playing them some stuff and they were instantly vibing to this one. Yeah, within the hour I think the frame was there…
Dayanna Ramirez: Yeah, that’s pretty quick.
Ferry Corsten: But it was fun. It’s like one of those very sweet sort-of light songs, top-down, you’re in your car cruising type of (song).
Dayanna Ramirez: Got it! I definitely got that vibe from it. So, along those lines […] is there anything up to now you haven’t explored musically? something that you would kind of want to dabble into?
Ferry Corsten: Well, it’s not that I haven’t done that yet. It’s sort of something that I am [actively] doing. So, I’ m sorta really dipping my toes into the whole sort of like neo-classical world. It’s really intriguing […] and it’s very inspiring for me. I’ve got [this] playlist on Spotify called Still Point by Ferry Corsten and it’s just this real sort of like piano, almost classical music. Some of that […] stuff I’m doing just as a passion project.
Dayanna Ramirez: So, do you have a lot of passion projects?
Ferry Corsten: I do. I have too many sometimes, but yeah, it keeps me going. Yeah. I need it.
Dayanna Ramirez: You’ve been doing this for so long now and I’ve been privileged to follow your career for so long. How do you continue to find such inspiration that you bring into your work?
Ferry Corsten: I think foremost it’s really [about] keeping your ears open. You know, [just keep an eye] on what’s going on […] in my own directed world. You know, dipping my toes in (classical) while [keeping] another foot firmly planted in the Trance thing that I’m known for and where my heart is really.
At the same time, keeping track of the latest technology. I mean, hearing a certain sound can instantly give you inspiration (too). A good example is when I was snowboarding in Austria […] and when you pass by you hear that [muffled] music playing right? All of a sudden, I just had to stop […] and got my memo recorder out ‘la, la, la, la, la, la, la’ in the middle of the slope [laughs]. Because. I [had] to remember (that sound).
Dayanna Ramirez: You’re such a rebel!
Ferry Corsten: So yeah, that’s how…
Dayanna Ramirez: Don’t try this at home kids!
Ferry Corsten: Yeah, don’t do that in the middle of the highway. So yeah, […] wherever you can find bits and pieces of inspiration and just put it in one big box and go from there!
Dayanna Ramirez: So, you traveled the world. Is there a place that holds dear to your heart?
Ferry Corsten: Yes. Japan. Yeah. In the beginning of my touring days when I released music under System F, there was a track called Out Of The Blue that became really big in Japan. And because of that, I was in Japan almost three, four, five times out of the year. Seeing the whole country from north to south, and their culture, there are so many things I love about that place. Japan definitely. Asia is a big favorite in general for me.
Dayanna Ramirez: Your career path has obviously led you here, but if you hadn’t have gotten into music, what do you think you would be doing?
Ferry Corsten: [Laughs] Traditionally speaking, if I [had] followed […] what I studied, I would have been an electrical engineer.
Dayanna Ramirez: There you go! Maybe you still would have ended up working with (electronics) like turn-tables.
Ferry Corsten: [laughs] Yeah, perhaps, lights and stuff. But yeah, definitely something (other than) what I’m doing now.
Dayanna Ramirez: You’ve done a lot of collaborations, but is there one (artist)… you’d like to work with one day?
Ferry Corsten: Wow! It’s funny you’re asking […] I want to keep it under-wraps, but I’m doing this whole project called ‘Unity’ which is all about collaborations. I had one with Paul Oakenfold. I had one with Jordan Suckly, with Ilan Bluestone. And it’s all part of the Unity project and there’s still a few (collaborations) on the horizon.
Dayanna Ramirez: Ah! so you can’t reveal it! surprise, surprise.
Ferry Corsten: That’s what we’re here for, we’re hyping it up!
Dayanna Ramirez: Okay. So, what is something that you wish you could add to your rider that would be absolutely ridiculous, but you could probably get away with?
Ferry Corsten: A goldfish.
Dayanna Ramirez: A goldfish. So you’d get so many goldfish?
Ferry Corsten: Yeah! Because it just sits there […] and just looks at you, staring with that mouth going ‘opaa,opaa,opaa.’ It’s peaceful. I mean, I have to think about how to play the best sets of my life for this crowd, and then when I’m done, I [can] look at the fish and it’s just like ‘hey man, it’s all good!’
Dayanna Ramirez: So, if my math adds up correctly, you’re at episode 613 of your countdown (show). What are you going to do when it hits a thousand? Are you gonna do something big?
Ferry Corsten: I don’t know. I’ve got to see what Armin (Van Buuren) does!
Dayanna Ramirez: You’re gonna have to one-up him! whatever he does with more, plus goldfish.
Ferry Corsten: No, I don’t know yet- that’s a long way still but time flies. I didn’t ever think that I would ever reach the 600+, and here we are.
Dayanna Ramirez: Yeah, that’s a lot. It’s a lot to do!
Ferry Corsten: [laughs] Yeah.
Dayanna Ramirez: So, what’s next for you? I mean, you have so many projects in the works. Is there anything else that you can talk about?
Ferry Corsten: Yeah, there’s a new Gouryella on the horizon now. Since I brought it back in 2015, I’ve been trying to do one [release] every year and I already flaked. I missed one last year, so it’s time for a new one […] but a release date is unknown- but it’s there!
Like I said, some of the Unity stuff coming out this year, there’s some other stuff that I’m working on as Ferry Corsten along the lines of the Free Fall track. You know, way more light and vocally stuff. So, yeah- keeping myself off the streets.
Dayanna Ramirez: The last question that I have for you, has there ever been […] an awkward moment in your career that you still remember today?
Ferry Corsten: There are so many! I mean I could go really gnarly or just middle of the road. Back in the day when you played vinyl, I took the wrong needle off, which is okay because we’re all human, you just put the needle right back where you took it off. But then when the […] CD players came out, if you press the eject button on the wrong player, the CD player takes a long time. It stops the music […] and then the CD comes out and you can’t really push it back in because the mechanism locks it. So, you have to take it out, push it back in. And then the CD starts to read again, reboot, whatever, and then I can’t imagine what the crowd does. So, I got used to a few ‘boos’ (because of it).
Dayanna Ramirez: You’ve adapted! Well, Ferry, thank you so much for joining us.
Ferry Corsten: Absolutely. It was a pleasure. Thank you.