FEDDE LE GRAND INTERVIEW
- So tell us, where do you call home? How often do you actually sleep in your own bed?
Lately, I’ve hardly slept in my own bed at all! I’ve been touring a lot lately so I spend more times in hotels than anywhere else. But the Netherlands is my home and also my favourite place to be.
2. Just a quick personal question: what music do you listen to in your car, or perhaps on a Sunday at home?
I like to listen to lots of different kind of music, from hip-hop and funk to more indie and rock. If you ever come and see me play, you’ll probably notice that I make a lot of my own edits of classic tracks like the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and stuff like that – it’s music that I love to listen to and I like to bring a bit of it into my set.
3. We love the fact that you are playing to so many audiences all around the world. What has been the most memorable country you played at and why?
I think that the most memorable place for me so far has been Green Valley in Brazil. It’s a real superclub, kind of half inside, half open air. The DJ booth is a huge rig right in the middle of the dance floor and when you look out you can see thousands of Brazilians partying with you, and then behind them there’s this amazing backdrop of palm trees all lit up. It’s a fantastic atmosphere, hopefully I’ll get to go back again soon 🙂
4. Can you remember the first time you did an international trip to play overseas? Great response? What about now?
One of the first trips that I ever remember doing internationally was a festival in Israel. It was an amazing party, I really enjoyed it. They asked me to go back the next year but then it was too dangerous to travel there, I was really disappointed because I’d had such a great time. The response now? Pretty much the same, the parties still rock but many more people want to get their picture taken with me or get my autograph.
5. This year I saw you play Mysteryland, the crowd went wild! You played an amplified set, there wasn’t enough space for anymore people in the tent to see you. How do you adjust what you plat at a festival, in contrast to playing in a club?
I’m impressed you came to Mysteryland! 🙂 That was a great set for me, of course to play at Mysteryland anyway is always a good feeling but I was in the Tiesto arena and it was so full, there were people spilling outside the tent and all the way up the slopes on either side just going crazy. I wouldn’t say I adjust my set so much when I’m playing at a festival but maybe I drop a couple of big tunes a bit more often because it’s an amazing feeling to watch a whole sea of people go nuts to a big tune
6. What is your personal style of music? How would you describe your sound? Has it always been the same since you started?
I’d desribe my sound as House. I actually started off playing hip-hop which surprisingly maybe is how a lot of Dutch DJs started out. But gradually I found myself getting more and more into the House sound – it’s just an easier flow with the music in the mix and I was able to begin creating sets that travelled musically and built up and took the dance floor in a certain direction.
7. Do you feel Djs sacrifice their own personal style for commercial interest? How do you feel about this?
I think you can if you want to but I don’t think that’s just related to DJs. You could say anyone did that, from a painter to a film-maker to anyone who is doing something creative. If you want to make money then yes, sure, keep doing what you’re doing and as long as it keeps selling then I guess you’re happy. For me personally, I think that you can have commercial success but also keep experimenting with new sounds and different avenues. It’s not just about having a hit record, it’s about pushing yourself musically and also enjoying what you do. If you can have it all and you’re enjoying it, then I guess why not?
8. Where is music going these days? How do you feel about the direction that things are going? Any suggestions?
I don’t want to make suggestions to other producers or artists or kids at home learning to produce other than my main focus in whatever I do is just to be yourself and do and make what you want. That for me is the most important thing.
9. Flamingo Records is a renowned label from Holland, so much so that there is even a dedicated tent at such mega events as Mysteryland. What is your relationship with the other artists at Flamingo Records such as Johnstar? Are there any collaborations between artists at the label that we can look out for?
Flamingo is a label which represents our freedom We can do what we want, we support young and up and coming talents who we believe in such as Johnstar, Nicky, Juri Donatz, Firebeatz etc. We’re just very fortunate to have so much talent, not just from Holland, but from other countries as well such as Yaref from Israel. Maybe some of them will collaborate with each other in the future – you’ll have to keep it tuned to Flamingo:)
10. What’s happening in your schedule in the near future? Any where you would really like to visit (like South Africa HINT HINT)?
Haha of course I’d love to come to South Africa 🙂 At the moment I’m actually in Brazil for the Ultra Music Festival, then I’ve got Sensation White in Copenhagen Denmark, my residency at Ministry of Sound in London, then a couple of gigs in Germany, then when December hits I’m doing an 11-day tour of North American hitting 10 cities. After that I might just sleep for a week 🙂
11. With regards to the latest technology changes for DJs, do you feel it effects the style of music played? Or is it taking away from the raw original technique?
Personally I used the Pioneer CDJs, for me they combine the latest technology but I still have the feel of mixing records. I haven’t moved into laptop technology yet, I haven’t found anything that I want to use but that’s not to say in the future something won’t come out that I might switch to. I don’t think that new technology takes anything away, I just think it gives us more tools to play with and experiment and do new tricks with. It’s not something to be scared of.
12. Finally if you like, can you name any career defining moments that stick in your memory?
I have so many but I’ll tell you an Africa related one. In between gigs, we went to a resort, you know where you go on safari in a protected animal people carrier. They had these young lions and you were allowed to touch and to pet the young lions. It was really special to see and to hold those big cats. They were used to people but they were still wild lions. If they were a couple of month older, we wouldn’t have been allowed to go near them because they would have been too strong and able to hurt you. I thought it was really special to be so close and to touch wild animals. It makes you really appreciate nature.
Thank you for taking the time to share with the fans in South Africa!!