Ferry Corsten greets me with a big hug and an even bigger smile. He’s ecstatic to be back in New York, this time for the first Full On show at Space Ibiza NY. Tonight, he’ll be playing back-to-back with local DJ Mike St. Jules and Swede Max Vangeli before taking the stage for his own three-hour set to close the night. But things don’t go quite as planned. As we sit down for our interview I hear the music stop; police have informed Space that they have to close because of a nearby water main break that has cut the water supply in the building. All the other major clubs in the area have already closed their doors and don’t plan on reopening. To make matters worse, a thin layer of snow has covered the ground and continues to fall. Immediately Ferry heads to the stage to address the crowd, apologizing profusely and promising everyone to hold tight while they try to find a solution. Backstage, Space’s core staff moves quickly and calmly, making calls and assuring us that the night isn’t over until they say it is. No one has completely given up, but Ferry is still distraught; as the host of Full On he feels personally responsible for making sure everyone enjoys the event.
“The Full On shows are my favorite. I feel like sets these days are so strict; everyone has to play their time slot and no one’s allowed to end early or go over. But here, there’s more of a natural flow. The music never stops and people are more open to playing together and seeing what happens. Full On is about going back to the way DJing used to be.”
Miraculously, the water gets turned back on and the show resumes. Mike St. Jules returns to the decks to deliver the rest of his set, complete with a few hidden treasures on vinyl. The crowd cheers and gets back to dancing, making sure everyone in New York knows that Space is the place to be tonight. The staff, the guests, and especially Ferry are overjoyed that the night has been saved. Oddly enough, this isn’t the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to him at a show, but it will definitely be a night he’ll never forget.
“I think the best parts of the Full On shows are the other DJs. Tonight, we have Mike who plays trance and then we have Max who plays more electro house. I always want to bring in artists that can compliment each other, but who can also challenge the audience who have never heard other styles of music. Trance fans get to hear the tracks they love from myself and Mike, but maybe when they hear Max they can find something new to enjoy and vice versa.”
The Full On concept began as an annual event in Ferry’s hometown of Rotterdam back in 2007. Each artist plays both a solo set as well as a back-2-back with Ferry throughout the night. Traditionally, the Full On experiences have featured trance, progressive house, and electro house DJs, but have recently begun to branch out to other genres as well. Ferry hosts a summer series at Space Ibiza with a lineup which last year included Jacob Van Hage, Gareth Emery, GTA, John O’Callaghan, New World Punx (Ferry & Markus Schulz), and even Rusko. He also curates Full On stages at Tomorrowland, TomorrowWorld, and Stereosonic in Australia too. After eight years, the Full On Experience continues to evolve, as Ferry continues to invite the biggest DJs to his events.
“I would love to have Carl Cox do a Full On show. He’s such a legendary DJ, and it would be a memorable show if he and I spun a techno set in Ibiza together.”
It seems as if Ferry Corsten’s mission this year is to go back to the beginning, in the hopes bridging the gap between genres. In April he’ll have the chance to do so at one of the biggest festivals in North America, as him and Markus will play as New World Punx at Coachella.
“I’m really excited to play Coachella with Markus this year. I think this is the first time we’ll be playing at a festival that’s not completely dance music. On Sunday I’m flying to Miami for a week so he and I can sit down and start working on some new tracks. I think it’ll be just like playing the Full On shows where the crowd will be mixed with people that who know us and who have never seen us before. It’ll be interesting to see how many new fans we can attract!”
Alongside the new music he’ll be releasing as New World Punx, Ferry recently announced that he’ll be releasing three EPs over the course of 2015 called #HelloWorld, a nod to the first example of computer programming. The initial EP, which comes out on February 23, is seven tracks long and includes one of his recent hit tracks “Hyper Love,” ft. Nat Dunn.
“I could have released another 15-20 track album, but three EPs keeps the music new and exciting. When you release an album, you get a few months out of it, and then most of it disappears. Plus, I don’t have to sit on tracks that are finished while I work on the rest of the album. This first #HelloWorld EP is already done, but the other two are still being written. I have no idea what either will sound like; they could be similar to #HelloWorld 01, or they could sound totally different. All I know is that I’m excited to test myself and see what I can do in just a year. I work better under pressure anyway.”
For Ferry Corsten, the race is officially on. In addition to Coachella, Ferry and Markus will be playing Groove Cruise this weekend, and Ultra: Buenos Aires next month. He’ll also be playing at Digital Society’s 8th Anniversary in March alongside Paul Van Dyk, Aly & Fila, and other trance legends. If Ferry truly does do well under pressure, then expect nothing but diamonds from this legend in 2015.