Hailing from Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Ferry Corsten’s lustrous career is exemplified by a passion for music that began as a hobby and spiralled into a full-blown profession. Today, as it was in the beginning, Corsten’s skills lie in his ability to coax the maximum emotional impact from electronic dance music of all genres, not just trance, but also progressive-house and electro. He remains and has always been ahead-of-his time, making music that becomes a template for others to follow.
It was the album, Out Of The Blue, that started it all. As Corsten’s sophomoric artist album under the alias, System F, the eponymous single became a worldwide hit and charted in the UK’s Top 20 UK singles charts and Japan’s Top 10 singles charts for three consecutive years after its release. Corsten’s rapid success ignited a steady flow of releases including ‘Gouryella’ with Tiësto. It was during this time that Corsten’s remix of William Orbit’s ‘Barber’s Adagio For Strings’ became a clubland anthem. Though the instantly recognizable original appeared in the film, Platoon (directed by Oliver Stone), it was Corsten’s heady remix that took the original composition’s strongest elements and amplified them into a singular, explosive masterpiece. Offers for remix work have poured in furiously ever since, including remixes for U2, Justin Bieber, Moby, Faithless, The Killers, William Orbit, Duran Duran, Public Enemy, Nelly Furtado, and many others including TV’s winner of the ‘X-Factor,’ Melanie Amaro.
Corsten has also consistently appeared near the top of international DJ polls and has won his share of industry awards. Over the years, Ferry Corsten has released a steady flow of new music. He has seven full-length studio albums under his belt, namely: Looking Forward as Ferry; Out Of The Blue and Together as System F; and Right Of Way, L.E.F., Twice In A Blue Moon and WKND as Ferry Corsten. These seven killer albums have yielded more than their share of Gold records, including ‘Punk,’ ‘Out Of The Blue,’ ‘Rock Your Body Rock,’ and other world-class hits including ‘Made Of Love’ featuring Betsie Larkin and ‘Radio Crash.’ More recently, the release of his three acclaimed ‘Hello World’ EPs solidified him as an ever relevant presence in trance music, demonstrating his constantly changing and mutating sound and his consistent ability to stay ahead of the curve. ‘Hearts Beating Faster’ ft. Ethan Thompson became one of most revered tracks from the EP, charting high in radio playlists worldwide, finding extended support across the scene’s biggest named spinners and to date receiving in excess of 3 million streams on Spotify. 2016 saw Ferry nominated for an International Dance Music Awards (IDMA) as fans put their support behind him being named ‘Best Trance DJ’ – once again proving the longevity of his talents.
From the outset, Corsten has been a prolific music-maker. So much so that in the early years he felt the need to release music under different aliases. Those pseudonyms included System F, Moonman and perhaps his most notable one Gouryella (with Tiësto). The latter made a brief cameo appearance with a long-awaited single in ‘Anahera’ – that went on to be one of the standout tracks of 2015 and topped Beatport’s trance chart at the year’s end; evening earning a nomination for ‘Best trance track’ in the 2016 edition of the IDMAs. Such was the positive furore around the return it left Ferry pondering whether was any space for much-loved project beyond on the confines of the studio….
But long before the present day Corsten has been delivering music of a timeless appeal to fans worldwide. We only have to backtrack to 2001 when Corsten released ‘Punk,’ that record annihilated dancefloors from Dallas to Dubai and from Morocco to Miami. Corsten discovered Russian producer Arty several years later, and it’s the Arty Rock N Rolla Mix of ‘Punk’ that was one of the biggest records of 2011 and 2012, played by every DJ across a wide spectrum of styles. As a natural performer, the live show is tantamount to Corsten’s appeal as a DJ. Ever the shepherd of the clubbing masses, working up a sweat while championing people’s inalienable right to dance, Corsten’s live DJ performances have evolved with technology and cultural shifts.
Evidence of this creativity is his 2007 project and live show concept – FULL ON – whereby he melds different styles of dance music by playing back-to-back sets with his cherry-picked roster of DJ/producer friends and a state-of-the-art stage setup. Fellow DJs and producers such as Alesso, Dash Berlin, Aly & Fila, Mark Knight, Bassjackers, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Shogun, Cosmic Gate, and many more have accompanied Ferry on multiple venues and FULL ON stages in festivals worldwide. Since then, Full On has gone from strength to strength, with numerous residencies at the likes of Space Ibiza, a sold-out ADE show at Panama, and a slot at Dance Valley in his native Netherlands. However, the show hit unprecedented heights when it was given its own stage at Tomorrowland’s 10th anniversary festival in 2013, which saw over 360,000 fans attend the festival across two weekends.
Another marker of his global reach has to be his ‘Corsten’s Countdown’ radio show. Today it stands as one of the most compelling weekly broadcasts of the very latest releases and future hits from across the EDM spectrum including trance, house and progressive. Known as the only EDM interactive weekly music chart show, ‘Corsten’s Countdown’ currently broadcasts on radio stations in more than 40 countries via 210 radio stations worldwide. The show can also be heard as a weekly iTunes podcast or on YouTube. In January 2017 Ferry celebrated an historic 500 episodes with an 8-hour live broadcast from his hometown of Rotterdam as part of a special one-off CC500 event.
Drawn in by the love and passion of the fans upon ‘Anahara’s release, Ferry stepped into 2016 with an idea to breathe life into the well-known sleeping giant. Back in Autumn 2016 ‘Ferry Corsten presents Gouryella’ became a reality, with a stunning full stage production, the live show hit the biggest arenas and festivals the scene had to offer. Launching the live show at the Allphones Arena in Sydney Australia on March 11th 2016, to a rapturous fan response, this eagerly awaited tour took in exclusive appearances at events such as Balaton Sound Festival, Beyond Wonderland, EDC UK, EDC NYC, Ultra Europe and Belgium’s iconic Tomorrowland festival. The live show was bookended by the release of a 12 track limited edition Gouryella Box set for the music collector and a documentary on the big screen. Fitting given its world premiere in Melbourne where the Gouryella live show began, ‘Gouryella – From The Heavens’ was unveiled as the official movie that details the full story of one of dance music’s most revered and mystical dance acts.
Alongside hit global exploits as a DJ, chart scaling achievements in the studio, Ferry continues to have a day-to-day involvement in his Flashover Recordings imprint. Launched back in 2005 the label enables him to scour the world for fresh talent and release music by cutting-edge producers, giving them a voice on the world stage, alongside hosting his own label parties everywhere from Amsterdam Dance Event to Miami Music Week.
Now the iconic Rotterdam native strides towards his 5th artist album as Ferry Corsten – Blueprint. Out May 2017, this interstellar storyline-driven epic is something unlike any Ferry Corsten record before it. A conceptual masterpiece the album sees Ferry taking his music into an entirely new world combining his love of storytelling, his passion for science fiction and his lifelong bond with music.
Striving always for excellence, this is an artist who is never satisfied with all that he’s accomplished, instead always pushing for the next exciting idea. For Ferry Corsten, the possibilities are boundless.