Known as the Saviour of House to many people, Dutch DJ and producer Fedde Le Grand is undoubtedly one of the most influential and important people working in EDM today. After really arriving on the scene in 2006 with his hit single Put Your Hands Up For Detroit, Le Grand has continued to stun audiences with killer original work like So Much Love, Sparks, Get This Feeling and Don’t Give Up, as well as jaw-dropping remixes such as Paradise, Glowing and Love Never Felt So Good.
Preparing to drop a new studio album and hotter than ever, Fedde Le Grand touched down in Toronto this past weekend for the Digital Dreams Music Festival, where he played to an ecstatic crowd, showing off both old favorites as well as some of the new stuff that we’ll be seeing on his next album.
While there, I had the chance to sit down with Le Grand for an exclusive interview. Though my time with him was brief, he was more than happy to speak with me about his upcoming studio album, when we can expect to see some new music from him, what goes into a remix, and upcoming DJs that we should keep an eye out for.
Unfortunately, we ran into some technical difficulties with our microphone during the interview and weren’t able to use it. Instead, we had to go with the one that’s built into the camera. It wasn’t ideal (as the main stage was in the background), and the audio definitely took a hit, but we did do our best to clean it up and have also provided a transcript of the interview. We apologize for the inconvenience though and assure you that it won’t happen again.
Anyways, check out our exclusive interview with Fedde Le Grand below, along with the transcript beneath it, and enjoy!
Let’s talk about your upcoming studio album first. When can we expect it and what can we expect from it?
Fedde Le Grand: It was actually scheduled to be released after the summer, but since there are so many other albums coming out at that time (Hardwell, NERVO, Tiësto), I decided to postpone it a little bit to the beginning of next year, before Ultra. We’re probably going to do a huge release party in Holland as well. We have a great partner there who we’re working with, so it kind of makes sense to postpone it. And the album is probably going to be about 90% vocal, I think.
What about collaborations? Anything you can tell us about?
Fedde Le Grand: Can’t say too much about that yet, just because I’m not allowed to. There will definitely be some DJ collaborations and some interesting vocalists, but that’s all I can say right now. I’m sorry man.
Any idea when we’ll see your new track Cinematic officially released? Does it have a date yet?
Fedde Le Grand: No, actually not. Twisted is coming out in two weeks though if I’m not mistaken, and that’s purely club. We’re actually going to do a vocal re-release for Don’t Give Up. That and Cinematic are through Sony though and unfortunately it takes a bit longer. There’s a lot of planning that goes into it, so I don’t have a release date for either.
What’s the feedback been like from audiences on the new stuff you’ve been playing?
Fedde Le Grand: Really good actually. It’s always hard to drop a new vocal track when people don’t know it though.
Right, because then they can’t sing along.
Fedde Le Grand: Exactly. And sometimes it’s too much new information. But in both cases [Twisted and Cinematic] it worked just instantly.
Talk a bit about why it takes so long to put out a studio album and what goes into that.
Fedde Le Grand: Well, I think it depends on what you’re going for. It doesn’t have to take long. I make albums to do different stuff than what I do when I’m playing live. That’s why it takes me longer. It takes a bit of time to figure it all out because you kind of have to rearrange yourself to make it work.
When you go to remix a song, how do you choose which songs you want to work on? I’m curious because one of my favorite things that you’ve done is the Paradise remix.
Fedde Le Grand: I actually pass on a lot of songs. The artists usually approach me, I don’t approach them. With Paradise, I love Coldplay, so it really starts there. I’m also looking for two things when I go to remix a song. One, is when you don’t have to mess up the song too much to make it work for EDM. Also, you have to keep the essence and soul of the track in place, even when you’re remixing it. That’s very important. You need to honor the original song. And if you can do both things, then it’s fine. Sometimes it’s as simple as just changing the BPM, and that’s great.
You’ve been really instrumental in discovering a lot of new DJs and putting them in the spotlight, is there anyone that you’re working with now who we should keep an eye out for?
Fedde Le Grand: Ya, I’m working with four guys, actually. They’re two duos. The first is Jewelz and Scott Sparks. They found a really cool way to make stuff that works on the main stage, but they still have their very own sound. They’re actually dropping a new track really soon. And then there’s Roul and Doors. They’re a duo, too, and it might take another half a year for people to be ready for them, but I think they’ve found a nice middle ground between house and EDM. It’s very catchy, but still works on bigger stages, too.