Fedde le Grand

 

This Dutch DJ’s house beats are kissed with a touch of trance

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By Michael Hamersly

When you're in the mood for some real party music, Fedde le Grand is your man. The Dutch DJ spins the type of house beats, kissed with a touch of trance, that sends crowds into a frenzy, making them jump up and down and pump their fists in blissful unison (check out FLG TV on YouTube for a taste - it's like a DJ reality TV show). Pop in Le Grand's new artist album "Output" for a different side of his sound - it features collaborations with Stereo MC's and will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, among many others. Catch Le Grand Thursday, Sept. 2 at LIV at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach for an early start on Labor Day Weekend.
 
How long ago did you start FLG TV, and what inspired you to do it?
I started FLG TV about a year ago. I have a great guy called Charley who travels with me on most of my tours and takes some amazing footage, and we’d been making it into little episodes for fans for a while. We had really great feedback from everyone that watched them and I just wanted to make it all a bit more official, so FLG TV was born. It’s a great way for me to communicate directly with fans, put messages out and show everyone what it’s like on the road and some of the amazing parties I get to play at.
 
Do you get into the party scene that surrounds electronic music, or are you mostly business?
I tend to be mostly business - not because I don’t like to party, though! Because my schedule is so busy, unfortunately I tend to fly straight into a city, grab something to eat, and then I have to head straight to the club to play. If I’m lucky I’ll get to hang out a bit afterwards but I have to make sure I grab a bit of sleep before I catch the plane to the next club or country. Sometimes when I’m on tour somewhere like the States or Australia I manage to take a couple of days off or a week off after the tour and spend some time enjoying myself, hopefully on a beach.
 
What can we expect from your show Thursday night?
I’m so looking forward to playing Miami at LIV in the Fontainebleau - Miami is one of my favorite places in the world. I get to see more of Miami than any other place just because of WMC, so I’m quite familiar with the city and the people. I’ve got some great new tunes in my record bag that I’ll be dropping, I’ve made some special edits of some of my favorite tunes, and I’ll also be dropping my new track "Rockin' High," so make sure you listen out for it if you’re there.
 
Are you playing anywhere else in Miami over Labor Day weekend? If not, what are your plans?
I’m only playing at LIV in Miami Beach, so if you want to catch me, that’s the place to be. I’ve got a five-day tour over the Labor Day weekend – after Miami I’m in Tampa Bay, then I’m going to Nocturnal Wonderland in Texas and the Electric Zoo festival in New York, before finishing it all off at Wet Republic in Las Vegas, which should be fun.

I hear lots of different styles in what you play. How would you describe your sound?
I describe my sound as house music. I love my beats, mixing them up when I’m in the booth, dropping some massive sounds and then bringing in some great vocals from classic tracks that I love.
 
Last year you released your first artist album, "Output." How was that experience compared to making a compilation mix?
It was such a different experience, and of course it took a lot longer. When you make a compilation album, probably the longest thing is getting the tracks approved and licensed from the individual labels and artists. Once you have everything agreed, then it’s just a case of getting into the studio and putting it together the way that you’ve envisioned it in your head. When it came to "Output," it was like putting myself down in the studio. I had so many ideas, people I wanted to work with, melodies and beats and rhythms and I had to bring them all together to form a collection of songs that would eventually become an album that I was happy with. It was a very personal experience for me but the end piece of work, I was very happy with what I’d done – which is the most important thing.
 
How does the American nightlife scene compare to Amsterdam?
I think it’s quite hard to compare all the different nightlifes in American cities, let alone the nightlife in America to Amsterdam. Each city in America has its own different feel and the crowds are slightly different in each city. Amsterdam is of course in my home country, so when I play there I get to catch up with a lot of people, and the crowds always make me feel like it’s a homecoming, so that is good. When I play in America, sometimes because I haven’t been there for so long, it’s a really special feeling coming back to each city. I feel a lot of love from people in America - they always make me feel so welcome and they’re always up for a massive party – there’s a lot of energy from the dance floor which is great for me to connect with.
 
What are some of your favorite cities to play in the States?
Like I said, I love Miami - the sunshine and the people are always good for me. I also love New York. I’ve played there a lot recently and I’m getting to know the personality of the city very well as well – it’s such a big place and has a really special energy which you can just feel as soon as you step onto its streets. L.A. is also one of my favorites because the crowd there really gets my style musically.
 
What are some of your favorite Winter Music Conference memories?
Well I guess not so much my favorite but definitely my most memorable WMC story was when I got stuck in a lift on my way to the IDMAs. It was the year that "Put Your Hands Up For Detroit" was out and I was up for three awards – and I won them all. But I couldn’t collect them, because I was stuck, so someone had to go onstage and pick them up for me instead. Not so much fun at the time, but something I can look back and laugh about now.
 
Tell us something about you that would surprise people.
My name is actually Fedde le Grand. Most people think that I made it up as a fake name, but it’s actually the name I was born with. Not bad as far as names go.

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