Fedde Le Grand Discusses Ultra Music Festival, ‘Grand,’ and his latest album in an exclusive interview
On Sunday afternoon, We Rave You sat down with Fedde Le Grand, who was fresh off his electrifying performance on the Ultra Music Festival Main Stage.
Ultra Music Festival
It was my first time seeing Fedde Le Grand perform after being a fan of his for years and he did not disappoint. The Dutchman, who danced and grooved the entire hour, seemed to have enjoyed performing as much as the crowd. The only issue he had with the set? The heat from the pyrotechnics in front of the stage. “I think I am the first DJ who is well-done because it was so incredibly hot,” he stated.
The ‘Grand’ Concept
The week before Miami Music Week, Fedde Le Grand hosted his spectacular ‘Grand’ show at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Fedde has been polishing his ‘Grand’ concept for the past year. The outcome is stellar. Fedde says he started ‘Grand,’ “not only because of my last name but because it is a grand show. I wanted to do my own show for a long time, but I really wanted to do something different. Not because I am fed up or something, but there is a lot of the same thing right now… I am just looking for the edge; how can I surprise people and just do something different and out there.”
“not only because of my last name but because it is a grand show. I wanted to do my own show for a long time, but I really wanted to do something different. Not because I am fed up or something, but there is a lot of the same thing right now… I am just looking for the edge; how can I surprise people and just do something different and out there.”
For those who did not see any of the clips of the show, the ‘Grand’ show incorporates live acts and art into Fedde Le Grand’s performance. “It’s a bit like Cirque du Soleil. We have live artists ranging from piano to violin to vocals. There are dancers, but everything blends together,” according to the Dutch producer. “I really see it more as a concert and experience.” Due to the blending of styles and art, the show draws in a far more diverse crowd than your typical Electronic Music show. According to Le Grand, “the ages really go from 16 to 40s,” creating a unique environment for all those attending.
Planning a show like that takes a lot of work and involves a lot of moving pieces. However, Fedde Le Grand says he enjoys being a bit of a control freak when it comes to getting everything to fit together. “I don’t do everything because that’s really not possible, but we have a creative group that discusses all of the acts and the groups,” he stated. “We discuss everything, all the designs, special visuals, special edits.” We are excited to see where Fedde pushes the boundaries next with his ‘Grand’ shows.
Returning to an Album
Fedde Le Grand released his much anticipated ‘Something Real’ album earlier this year, earning the acclaim of fans, including yours truly. It had been 7 years since his previous album, so we were intrigued about why he decided to return to the studio. Fedde said, “I think the great thing about an album is that people accept it easier if you go left and right from what you normally do. If you do something strange on an album, it’s like ‘it is an album track so it’s cool…’”
Recently, there has been a movement to create an ‘anything goes’ style again in Electronic music and that excited Fedde. As he sees it, “there are no clear limits [right now.] Before, it was ‘this is exactly EDM, this is exactly whatever.” There is a bit more blurring of the lines today in the industry, and Le Grand’s album exemplifies that exploration. Fedde is especially pleased about his collaboration with MoZella on ‘Beauty from the Ashes;’ it is a record that took off with her vocals. MoZella’s vocals moved him and forced Fedde to create something different from his usual style, but the two came out with a wonderful record.
Running Two Music Labels
Fedde Le Grand’s expanding interests have prompted him to create two music labels: Darklight Records and Flamingo Recordings. According to Fedde, “Flamingo is a joint label with my friend, Funkerman… Flamingo is sort of for ‘older talent,’ because the label has such a strong following, that is where we can break in guys.” Darklight, on the other hand, is the premier label. Fedde says, “Sometimes new guys make one amazing track. That’s kind of like the bar. If they make two or three, then they kind of move on to Darklight… We want to give the young guys a chance to prove themselves.” The interaction between the two labels is intriguing, working together to help foster young talent. Which emerging artist has been catching Fedde’s ear recently with their sound? Billy Kenny. “I think he makes underground-ish [music] but it’s got great swing… and not too deep. I just really like his music.”
Defining His Sound
‘Put Your Hands Up 4 Detroit’ and ‘So Much Love,’ both have been iconic in the industry, are familiar Le Grand classics. But more recent records like ‘Sparks’ and ‘Give Me Some,’ fresh off of his new album, are also top-notch productions. Fedde Le Grand talked about his belief that artists need to grow, not just rely on their core sounds:
“I don’t believe that a[n artist’s] style should just depend on three sounds that you just use over and over… That is only going to work for a couple of years. Every two years, give or take a couple of months, there is a new style. I believe, from yourself, you already have a certain preference for certain sounds and grooves, even though, you don’t narrow it down that much, your style will still shine through.”
Electronic music can fall into a rut where a lot of the music is hitting the same sort of notes, the trend of the month essentially. That is what is so refreshing about Fedde Le Grand’s style. His music continues to develop and grow, showcasing his unique talents. Fedde is never washed out.
We Rave You wants to thank Fedde Le Grand for speaking with us, despite being cooked well-done on the Ultra Main Stage. Make sure you check out his album, ‘Something Real;’ it is easily one of the best albums of 2016 so far. We cannot wait to see what the rest of the year has in store for him.