May 24, 2012
Fedde le Grand

With an extensive touring schedule & a slew of upcoming releases, 2012 promises to be house legend Fedde le Grand’s biggest year yet. Fedde spoke with us at ETD.Pop about opening for Coldplay, the talent he is fostering, & how he balances his sound with what is popular.

Fedde le Grand & Sultan & Ned Shepard feat Mitch Crown - Running (Festival Mix) [Flamingo]
LessThan3: What was your involvement with Can U Feel It?
Fedde: The guy who does all my YouTube videos is a friend of mine from way back—FinalKid. I introduced him to the Ultra guys and showed them his stuff and they really liked it, so he got to do the whole documentary.
LessThan3: Do you think these documentaries are useful for the EDM community?
Fedde: It’s good because it’s a bit of “fun education.” You get to see what an artist lives through and the amount of preparation that goes into an event, and sometimes you get a look into the history of dance music.
LessThan3: We loved your remix of Paradise by Coldplay. How did that come about?
Fedde: Thanks, but it’s hard to go wrong with a Coldplay remix. The guys were looking for remixers and I’m not sure how they found me, but they asked me. They ended up approving the remix in one go, which was a huge compliment for me as I’ve heard they are very picky about who remixes their songs. After that, they asked me to open for them in Madrid, which was an unbelievable experience. It was a little scary playing for a rock crowd, but it went well. It was held in this old bullfighting arena, so the setting was priceless.
LessThan3: You won an IDMA for Paradise. Do think awards like the IDMAs or the Beatport Awards are gaining more validity as the years go on?
Fedde: Honestly, I don’t know how much validity is associated with these awards, I’m just honored when I receive them. It’s always great when you gain recognition for your work in one way or another. Since the sea is getting bigger and more pop music is getting involved, these awards naturally gain a bit of importance. I think it’s especially important if you are a newcomer who hasn’t gotten as much recognition yet.
LessThan3: We know you’ve got a busy tour schedule coming up. Any dates you’re looking forward to?
Fedde: I’m excited about a lot of the Sensation events that are coming up. I think they’re a group of people who make the event itself almost more important than the actual DJs. I’m curious to see how well they manage to bring their brand to the US.
LessThan3: People are saying that dance music is leaning a lot more toward “showmanship” these days. What are your thoughts on that?
Fedde: I’ve seen the same thing happen in Europe; it goes up and down over and over again. As an artist, just give me two CD players, a mixer, and a bunch of people in a room and I’m happy. I think to push this whole scene forward, however, it’s important that there is more of a “show” element to performances. I think DJs should stay DJs, though. I’m not a big fan of prerecorded sets and waving your hands. When it comes to DJing, mixing tracks is the easy part; reading the room and handling the crowd accordingly is the hard part. That’s where the skill comes in.
LessThan3: Any new talent that you’re watching closely?
Fedde: Deniz Koyu and Danny Avila, but Danny will probably take a bit longer to grow than Deniz. His productions are good now, but he needs a bit more help in that area. On the other hand, He’s only 16 and is already the most ridiculous DJ I’ve ever seen. Seriously.
LessThan3: How is the sound of dance music evolving from your perspective?
Fedde: If you look at the past few years, every year or so there is a new sound that people get into. First there was the maximal electro sound with people like The Bloody Beetroots and Steve Aoki, then came the Afrojack “Dirty Dutch” sound, and now it’s “trouse” or progressive or whatever you want to call it, and dubstep. The key is to figure something out for yourself that always works and add bits and pieces of sounds that are “cool.” You will be influenced by popular sounds even if you don’t want to be because you will hear them all the time. With my track with Deniz, Turn It, that’s what we tried to do—we kept our own vision, but gave it a proggy approach.
LessThan3: To what extent are you influenced by outside sounds?
Fedde: I think I’m a bit weird, to be honest; I don’t really belong anywhere musically. My music isn’t techno, and it’s not house–it’s a bit of a combination. I just try to stay true to myself and play stuff that I get a kick out of. I don’t think I’ve ever done the same kind of track twice, either. A lot of guys think, “OK, I want to have a style so I’m gonna always use this sound, always this kick, always these hi-hats,” and they become copies of themselves. That would become boring to me.