The year 2016 is very special for Fedde Le Grand in more ways than one. Ten years ago, he released “Put Your Hands Up for Detroit,” the breakout track that really launched his career as a world-renowned DJ and producer. He’ll also play one of the most important shows of his career – GRAND, the live solo show which debuted last year that will now take place at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam. As if there weren’t enough major events, Fedde is also ready to release Something Real, his first studio album since 2009. Last week, the Dutch legend released “Keep on Believing,” the latest single off his album. We had a chance to catch up with Fedde to talk more about his album and future plans.
This is your first solo studio album since 2009’s Output. Did the album-making process feel familiar, or did you feel that a lot had changed since the last time you sat down to produce a full album?
Well, this album has been a long time in the making but yes, things do feel different. I think my taste in music has evolved a lot since 2009 which reflects in the kind of music that has made it onto the album. There are a few progressive house tracks that people will recognize as my style, but there is also some more down-tempo stuff that may come as a little surprise to my fans (a good surprise hopefully!). I went through the whole spectrum of my musical interests without pigeonholing myself and I’m extremely satisfied with the result. It represents a little bit of me from all different angles.
Why did you choose the title Something Real for the album? Was it because of your approach?
My reasoning behind the album was to try and move the focus away from all the hype and pigeonholing that comes with releasing new music. I specifically tried to be as open-minded as possible working on this album; I wanted to challenge myself and not let the creative process be limited in any way. I think that resulted in some really great tracks and has opened a whole new box of creativity for me, the whole process felt really liberating.
Can you tell us about any collaborations/surprises on Something Real?
There are some collaborations on there with some amazing new talent like Merk & Kremont, Cobra Effect, and Holl & Rush. There may be some surprises in the track list, but the main goal for me was making the album really convey a musical story. “Keep On Believing” and “Cinematic” are special tracks to me, but there are so many new songs on there as well. I can’t wait to get it out there!
What did you learn most about yourself while making the album?
I think this album is quite poignant as it’s being released in 2016 which marks ten years since the release of ‘Put Your Hands Up For Detroit’, which was one of the tracks that really kick-started my career. It therefore made me take a step back and assess what I’ve achieved in the span of a decade so I guess there’s a lot of nostalgia attached to the record which is a nice aspect of it.
Fans might remember “Keep On Believing” originally as “Don’t Give Up.” What drew you to adding vocals?
Well I think the vocal transforms the track for the better! It’s funny, sometimes when you have an instrumental that you really like you can get quite defensive of leaving it as is, not wanting to ruin the integrity of it. The track went back and forth to so many singers, but the voice didn’t feel quite right until this one. It really manages to elevate the original into something that I think people are going to enjoy. Now I’m just so proud to see it out there!
Last year’s GRAND live show was a massive success. Would you consider doing a special Something Real edition of GRAND this year?
I’m so happy you asked! We are actually going to be reigniting GRAND in March this year. It’s going to be a bit different from last time as we’re taking it to the much bigger venue of the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam and only having a one-off special performance. Expect a whole new sequence of acts which will be put to a load of the music off the new album.
You can purchase tickets to Fedde’s GRAND live show here.