Five minutes with Ferry Corsten
Ferry Corsten is a name you don't let slip by when discussing some of the most important DJs of our time. Despite not having topped DJ Mag rankings, the trance heavyweight has influenced many emerging DJs and snagged a few million fans along the way. Surekha Ragavan steals some time from the DJ's busy schedule to talk about the best party spots in the world.
Do you recall your first gig?
Yeah I do actually. It was at a club I used to go to myself at Rotterdam and I knew the DJ there. And he asked me if I wanted to play for one night and it was my first time playing in a club so it was all very scary. But I loved it, there was no stopping me.
What’s the biggest perk being a world-class DJ?
You travel around the world and meet a lot of great people. I go to a lot of places, I see a lot of airports and hotels. But that’s not interesting sometimes; it’s the people who make it interesting.
Do you mean the fans or the locals in general?
Everything. The fans, the locals, the promoters, people who work at the press. It could even just be the person next to you on the plane.
Is it a priority for you to climb up the DJ Mag ranking?
I do this for my fans and for myself. To play the best is most important to me. If it means I go up or down the rankings then so be it. But I’m not playing my sets for DJ Mag.
So many of the world’s top DJs hail from the Netherlands. Does this make it more difficult for the newer DJs to break through?
No I don’t think so. Because the new generation has their own sound. There was once like a trance wave, now we have the electro wave with Afrojack and Laidback Luke. It’s hard to compare the sounds and I don’t see it as competition at all. Those guys are just coming up so fast right now.
Have pioneer DJs like yourself helped in contributing to this electro wave?
Yeah I think so. I know Afrojack tells me ‘I used to listen to your music all the time, that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing’. But also for me, I used to listen to people like Paul Oakenfold and the generation before me so I think every generation will somehow influence the one after it.
Like an evolution?
Absolutely. We all listen to each other and you know, I’m also listening to what the new generation is doing now.
Getting to that, are you happy with what the new generation is doing?
Yeah certain elements, not all of it. You know some of the ‘bleepy’ stuff which comes out I don’t really like. But sometimes, it’s great to take some of that and use it in my own music in a minimal way just to give my work some different and new flavour as well.
We know Ibiza is world-famous for its electronic music scene. Which location could possibly be the next Ibiza?
Las Vegas. There’s so much going on right there. While Ibiza is an island which really comes to life for about four months in the summer, Vegas is alive every day. I must say though, in Ibiza, it’s more natural. It became the island, it became the vibe. And Vegas is almost fabricated like you have to go crazy and party you know?
Would you say it’s more about the music in Ibiza but less in Vegas?
Yes! It’s a purer form in Ibiza.
Just to feed our ego, what’s special about the Malaysian party crowd?
KL is just a really cool city. The crowd’s very knowledgeable. In Asia, I can play my music and people will like it but in Malaysia, people actually know the music. And everybody really sings along to it. I can play anything and they (Malaysian fans) know it or are really eager to know about it.