Fedde Le Grand has been one of the most consistent artists in the electronic music scene for quite sometime now. His dedication to create something completely original and to deviate from the norm is a firm indication of his expertise and his vision towards providing fans with a unique collection of music.
2016 has been a big year with Fedde and includes a lot of highlights like the release of his first album in 7 years – Something Real, 200 episodes of Darklight Sessions and taking his groundbreaking show that fuses music with live acrobatics/dance to Ziggo dome.
Read our chat below as Fedde reflects on a monumental 2016, and shares his plans for 2017.
Varun – Hi Fedde! Thanks for taking time out for this interview. How has this past year been for you?
Fedde Le Grand – No worries, thanks for having me! This year has been one of the busiest to date, and I’m really happy with what I’ve accomplished. When you’ve been in the industry as long as I have you need to keep things fresh and take on new challenges, and I feel like I’ve done that.
Varun – You’ve been pushing the envelope with your ground-breaking show GRAND which came to the Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam this year. Can you tell us more about it?
Fedde Le Grand – GRAND was a massive undertaking when we first debuted it in 2015. I had the idea at the back of my mind for a while but I could never find the right time to try bring it to fruition. But last year we decided to just go for it and it came off really well. The reaction was so great that we realized we should put it on again this year, but bigger and better. Taking it to the Ziggo Dome allowed us to super charge the performance, making it into a much larger spectacle. It was pretty stressful and I lost quite a lot of sleep over it but it was all worth it in the end! You can check out the aftermovie from the 2015 theater edition here, created a full movie out of the 2016 stadion production which is now available on iTunes in 53 countries which we’re adding to as we speak: You can find a short 30 sec trailer below.
Varun – Your ‘Something Real’ album did very well! The new singles have inspired as well. What plans do you have for producing new music in the next month and next year, considering the evolution of genres and producers alike?
Fedde Le Grand – Thanks! ‘Something Real’ was a long time coming, and a product of about 3 years work so it was great to finally have all songs out there, especially the process of stepping away further from the normal rules I tend to adhere to while producing I think was very freeing for me. In a few weeks we’ll be releasing a special Deluxe edition of the album with a few extra additions and some exclusive bonus stuff. On top of that I’m preparing a lot of stuff for 2017, I’m really taking things in a wide array, I’ve got some super cool pop stuff I’m working on that I’m very excited about but in the meantime I’m also onto this new club sound kind of thing, I’m not exactly there yet so it will be a few more weeks of fiddling in the studio before I’m going to talk into more detail about this. But yes, exciting times as far as I’m concerned
Varun – You’ve done it all in your illustrious career! What is your next goal to accomplish as an electronic music producer and DJ?
Fedde Le Grand – Right now pretty much what I outlined above. I want to develop myself as a producer in an even wider array of sounds than people are already used of me, I think there’s a great division to be made between more pop oriented records versus the more club oriented records, in exploring that division more a great artistic freedom can be found that I’m enjoying very much at the moment. My studiotime is really my highlight of every week / day / month at the moment.
Varun – Darklight Recordings has been our label to watch this year! The productions are great and the artists are keeping it real. What were your plans to keep the label going with respect to the sound and the artists involved?
Fedde Le Grand – One of the founding principles of Darklight Recordings is to nuture talent and provide artists with a platform from which they can build. It’s been so great to be involved in the starting point of so many young artists, for a lot of them all they really need is a first platform and someone to give them that first break, and everything will just spiral on from there. That’s a magical thing to be involved in and I hope to keep on finding those new talents over the new year.
Varun – Your ‘Darklight Sessions’ radio show hit an important milestone of 200 episodes earlier this year. How would you best describe that moment? What role do you feel podcasts have to play in the global dance music scene?
Fedde Le Grand – Yes! It was so great to see it reach that milestone. It was something I started without thinking all that much about it, but it’s developed into something really special. It allows me to showcase music I wouldn’t necessarily play at a club or festival, and it’s a great way of giving exposure to up and coming artists. I get sent hundreds of tracks a week, some of which make it in, so if you’d like to be featured send me your stuff and I’ll have a listen!
Varun – What’s next for you on the touring front and what can fans expect from your shows?
Fedde Le Grand – Well I have a few shows coming up before the years out! I’ll be hitting up Tokyo, Shanghai, then over to Canada and the US for a NYE performance in Atlantic City. So if you’re in any of those cities, stop by for the party! As always you can expect high energy grooving sets that will keep you dancing into the early hours
Varun – What’s the most important studio related advice you could give an upcoming producer?
Fedde Le Grand – Start small! There’s no point buying lots of expensive kit if you’re just starting out. Get to grips with the basics like a good software program (Logic Pro or Ableton are always safe bets), midi, and some good plug-ins. Then just produce stuff that you like, there’s no point trying to pander to other people’s tastes or what’s ‘popular’. Once you find your sound then develop it, and try and make it as unique as possible.
Varun – Which artists caught your eye in 2016? Your artist to watch for in 2017?
Fedde Le Grand – There’s just so much good music out there at the moment. I love a lot of tracks of Billy Kenny, he keeps a hard minimal groove that makes it impossible to stay still. Also there’s an upcoming kid from Holland called Zilverstep who’s more in the funky laidback grooves which I very much like. At the moment I’m shifting focus more and more to the more swinging and groovy house stuff, so at the moment I’m also really inspired by MJ Cole who’s kind of the king of garage and 2 step. At the same time I signed a lot of stuff this year that really impressed me as well, for example Andy Bianchini, Tony Romera, I’m exited to see what everyone will bring in the new year!
Varun – Which are your essential tracks at the moment?
Fedde Le Grand –
1) Cazztek – Came To Get Funky
2) Bojac & DSTRCT – Formula
3) Billy Kenny & Aaron Jackson – Right Here
4) Mike Mendo – Carnaval
Varun – Thanks Fedde and wish you the very best!
Fedde Le Grand – Thanks guys!