Fedde Le Grand talks new music, EDM and ‘gimmicky’ producers
One of the biggest names in dance music, Fedde Le Grand first shot to international fame with his track ‘Put Your Hands Up For Detroit’ in 2006. Now, almost a decade has past, and the Dutch DJ and producer has long exceeded his worldwide chart-pleaser, releasing a number of top club hits and heading up his own Flamingo Records and Dark Light Sessions radio show.
We caught up with the house legend backstage at Ultra Music Festival in Miami over the weekend to chat new music, EDM and what he thinks about some of the other big names in the industry…
MTV: Hey Fedde! What’s going on in your music world at the moment?
Fedde Le Grand: A lot, actually. I’ve been in the studio for about two months, just straight up producing. I took some time off of my schedule in January and February and it actually went really well. I might even be done for the rest of the year! I’ve made a lot of music over the past two years or so, so I wanted to figure a few things out for myself sound-wise. I’m really happy with the end results. There’s one track out right now which is ‘Don’t Give Up’ – I think it just entered the Beatport Top 10!
MTV: Have you collaborated with any other artists on your new material?
Fedde Le Grand: I’m actually working towards an album and I don’t want to spoil everything, but I’ll be premiering a part of the album tonight during my Ultra set. There’s one song which features Danny White, he’s not a well-known singer but he’s amazing. That’ll be the only radio track that I’ll be premiering before the album’s release.
It’s actually quite exciting because it’s been a while since I’ve done any radio-worthy records. I was asked to do a collaboration with a Dutch rock band called ‘Direct’ and it was really cool because the guys and me had such a good ‘click’ and so I decided to do it and it actually went really well, especially in Holland. I thought it was really cool to kind of blend a rocky influence with dance, but still in a radio structure - I thought that worked really well! So I decided to do another one which I will be premiering today…
MTV: What do you think about the current EDM scene in the US at the moment?
Fedde Le Grand: When something becomes popular it’s always good and bad. The good part is the more dance music the merrier, you know? The more people who get to know this music and get to experience it – I’m all for it! The only downside of it is sometimes when something gets really big it usually gets more commercial and the music doesn’t always benefit from that. But I do think there are some artists that still keep the integrity of the music and at the moment I think it’s pretty cool. Right now, we’re sort of past the first ‘oh my god what is this thing’, so it has kind of settled down a bit and good music has returned again.
MTV: How do you balance that in your own music – producing a radio hit vs. staying authentic to your own sound?
Fedde Le Grand: This is the first time in a while time I decided to produce more radio-worthy or vocal-lead tracks. After ‘Detroit’ and ‘Let Me Think About It,’ I had some accidental crossovers like the ‘So Much Love’ edit I did. But I’ve just been focussing on the dancefloor music, because I still do think that’s where my fans are and that’s where my core is.
MTV: What do you think about the current chart-topping artists? Do you think they’re selling out?
Fedde Le Grand: How can I say this politely? When I look at artists like Calvin Harris and Avicii, they’re both quite commercial, but most of their tracks are still good and I consider it proper music. I’m doing more vocals yes, but steering my music away from being a very ‘gimmicky’ thing.
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