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Win Ferry Corsten studio masterclass and gig

In association with Olmeca tequila

What’s left to do when you’ve been voted one of the top 10 DJs in the world (no.9, to be precise), have released six albums under different monikers, embarked on nine world tours, run a hugely popular radio show and won numerous accolades, from Best Trance DJ to Best International DJ?

Well, you could design your own tequila bottle, for one thing. You could become a WWF spokesperson. Or you could even run a competition in which 10 lucky finalists get a personal master-class in your studio. Ferry Corsten has done all three…

How did you end up with your own official bottle of Olmeca tequila, which is unveiled on 30th September in St Petersburg, Russia?
“It’s a Mexican brand, but it’s doing really well in Russia and they wanted to reach out to me to capture the nightlife audience. It’s very different to making music, you sit down with people who have a lot more experience. It was interesting to see how we could put both logos together. They came up with a couple of ideas, and I gave feedback with my ideas. You’ll see what it looks like yourself very soon!”

Are you a fan of tequila slammers, then? What’s your favourite tour tipple?
“Sometimes, it depends on my mood really! Usually champagne keeps me going. But I think tequila can put you in the right state of mind at the right time.”

You’re running a competition to remix ‘Feel It’. Are you looking for something you’d play yourself, as we understand the overall winner will also open for you at a gig, or do entrants have free reign? What’s one general tip you’d give to all young producers starting out?
“I’m not looking for anything in particular, just great music. Whether that’s hardstyle or minimal techno, I don’t care. Basically, when someone remixes a track and it sounds fantastic, you know you’re already dealing with someone who knows what they’re doing. I’m looking for good quality, that’s all.

“For my radio show, I need to listen to all kinds of music, it’s not a typical trance show, it’s good music in general, be that house, techno or even dubstep. I try to keep my mind open. It also provides inspiration for me to take ideas for my own music.
“The thing I always say is, be yourself. Follow your heart. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true. You can only be good at something if you love what you do.”

You recently put a post on your website defending comments about ‘Check It Out’. Why did you feel the need to respond in this way?
“I’ve been making music for over 10 years. People know me for trance, that’s how I got my breakthrough, and before that I made everything from drum & bass to hardstyle to techno to ambient, you name it I did it. I hate it when people say ‘it’s not trance’, because, exactly, it’s not trance. I’m not only trance! I said my piece to people who are so narrow-minded, they only want to hear what they want to hear. I’m an artist, I want to hear what I want to hear! It’s that’s not what you like at this point, hey, maybe next time.”

We know it’s still under wraps, but can you give us any hint of what to expect from your next album, which is due in February of next year?
“It’s still definitely going to be trance, but slowed down. Right now it’s a very exciting time for trance and for house, because they’re meeting in the middle. I’ve got the Swedes playing my stuff, three or four years ago it wasn’t possible to think of that. House is very melodic and trance is getting really groovy. With the album, I’m tapping right into that, so there will be more tracks like ‘Check It Out’, which are a bit out there. But so, at the time, was ‘Punk’ or ‘Rock Your Body Rock’, and those tracks have been really big for me ever since, and I’ve gone back to making trance. I like doing crazy things from time to time, but it always ends up being very melodic, hands-in-the-air, euphoric, uplifting and very vocal, and that’s what the album is going to be as well.”

How do you balance working for the WWF with all your airmiles?
“That was exactly my question! I’m part of a scheme called GreenSeat where you compensate for your carbon footprint. Then as a DJ, for example, at Earth Hour last year where they turned off the lights for all the big landmarks in the world like the Eiffel Tower, all the bars and restaurants in Rembrandt Square did it in Amsterdam, and I played a free gig. I can use my fame to create awareness.”

Enter the 'Be The DJ' competition here. Entry closes at midnight on Monday 24th October.

This feature is taken from DJmag issue 502 out now. Subscribe to the online PDF or print magazine here.