[Herald Interview] Ferry Corsten talks about ‘Blueprint,’ electronic music scene

By Yoon Min-sik
  • Published : Aug 2, 2017 - 16:19
  • Updated : Aug 2, 2017 - 16:19
Pioneer of the music genre now known as trance, Ferry Corsten continues to expand his scope today, just as he has done for the past 20 years.

The Korea Herald caught up with the Dutch disc spinner before his performance at Unite With Tomorrowland Korea in Incheon on Saturday, and asked how he continues to motivate himself after two decades.

Ferry Corsten performs during Unite With Tomorrowland Korea in Incheon on Saturday. (Unite With Tomorrowland)
Ferry Corsten performs during Unite With Tomorrowland Korea in Incheon on Saturday. (Unite With Tomorrowland)

“I try to distance myself from what’s going on right now (in the music scene). ... When the whole scene goes this way, I go that way. Whether I’m right or wrong, I have to inspire myself. Doing one thing for seven, eight years straight, it doesn’t work.”

That was what Corsten did for his sixth studio album “Blueprint,” which was released in May. A full-length sci-fi love story based on a story by screenwriter David H. Miller, the album features vocals by artists like HALIENE and Eric Lumiere.

“I was playing my ‘Anahera’ track to my dad, and he said ‘Why don’t you take it to the next level and come up with a real story?’ Like ‘War of the Worlds’ in the ’70s by Jeff Wayne. And that’s how it came about,” he said.

Corsten said it was hard to pick a favorite track, as the 17 tracks interlink to tell a whole story. But if he were to pick a few, “Venera” would be one of them.

The track, the theme for fictional character Vee, is a song from “Blueprint,” but also a track of “Gouryella,” an alias and project of Corsten. “That (track) is the one bringing the two projects together,” he said.

Tracks from the “Blueprint” were heavily featured during Saturday’s performance, along with those from the Gouryella project. Corsten said he will be presenting “Gouryella 2.0” -- an updated version -- at the upcoming Transmission Prague 2017.

Saturday was about Corsten presenting his world to Korea, where trance music plays second fiddle to faster-paced electronic dance music.

“For me, it’s like: OK, I’m going to present it (trance sound) to the new generation out there who have not really heard it growing up. Those who are only used to ‘1, 2, 3, put your f------ hands up.’ I’m just here to present another side of the electronic music spectrum,” he said.

Corsten refuted the notion that electronic music has already reached its peak, saying it is “here to stay.”

While the trance comeback in Asia has been far less notable, compared to the US or Europe, he expressed confidence it will soon follow.

“The nice thing about Asia is that the crowd is always open-minded. Even tonight, even if the majority of the night is EDM, if the next big artist is trance, they’ll just go with it,” he said.

Corsten said he is looking to work on film scores, although no specific plans have been set yet. It would be based on “Blueprint,” but the DJ said he would not be confined to sci-fi.

Having expressed satisfaction with his previous works with K-pop artists Luna and Amber, Corsten added that he may come back in the winter to write a song for an S.M. artist. 

By Yoon Min-sik