Q&A with Fedde le Grand

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Spinning at Rok Vegas for 360 Sundays on March 22, Fedde le Grand found success with his chart-topping track, “Put Your Hands Up for Detroit.” The Weekly caught up with le Grand to find out more about the Dutch DJ and producer, his charity work and what’s in store for 2009.

It’s been three years, but “Put Your Hands Up 4 Detroit” is still a very popular track in clubs. What is it like to have a successful single that just won’t stop?

Haha, it’s great! It was a major track for me, I’ll never get tired of hearing people say how much they love it; it’s a real compliment for me as a producer.

How involved were you in the creative concept for the video?

I’m always involved in anything that is to do with my music. I make up my own mind, and I think it’s important as an artist to have that say. But, of course, I’m more than happy to let others give me advice about what works and what doesn’t. … In the end, when you’re working with great people in their field, the first thing they’ll do is ask you for your opinion and your ideas because they understand that something as important as a video has to be a reflection of the music that you created in the first place.

One of your tracks was used recently on CSI: NY. How do you feel about electronic dance music being used in TV shows and movies versus commercials?

I was really happy when they told me! They used pretty much the whole track too, which is unusual for a TV program. I think whether it’s TV shows, movies or commercials, they can all be influential in giving a track exposure. … Just look at Junkie XL’s track for Nike. That was insane! That kind of almost “accidental” exposure is any producer’s dream, definitely.

What type of set can we expect to hear from you at Rok Vegas on March 22?

I think fans of my music will already know the kind of sound that I’ll be pumping out. I don’t necessarily change my style to suit a city, because I think that the people in the club have come to see me play; they don’t want what every other club in Vegas is offering. My music is what sets me apart from other acts—it’s my signature. So if I started dropping Beyonce or Usher—no offence to either—in my set, I think it might throw the dance floor! I’ll just be bringing my biggest arsenal of beats with me, dropping some hot house tracks and underlining them with some filthy tech-y grooves. … I’m really excited about playing at Vegas. The city has an electric atmosphere and it’s very infectious. The people are always up for a party and that what I’m all about!

What type of a live rig do you use?

I tend to use CDJs and usually a Pioneer mixer. CDJs are pretty much the standard for any prime venue anywhere in the world now. A few years ago, it was all about the Technics 1210s, but now you go to some clubs and they’re either not there or pushed back into the corner of the booth. … Record boxes can be back-breaking and I’ve always been a DJ who wants to have as much opportunity at my fingertips while I’m in the mix.

You’ve been involved in the Live Earth campaign. Are you still involved with that (or other charities and issues) and in what capacity?

I’ve recently been asked to join up with Dance4Life as an Ambassador, which I’m absolutely thrilled about. I’ll be announcing more about that when I get to Miami [for Winter Music Conference] at a special panel conference, but for me, giving something back if I can is important, no question. The Dance4Life guys are heavily involved in the whole education aspect of preventing HIV and Aids.

What’s the most annoying or strangest thing you’ve been asked by a club-goer while you’re spinning?

“Do you do requests?” I don’t do requests anyway, but some people will come up and ask for a RnB track in the middle of a filthy house set!

What three new tracks would you recommend to dance music fans?

F.L.G. “Amplifier,” Funkerman “Remember” and F.L.G. “Pink Bird.” “Pink Bird” and “Amplifier” are both under my underground alias of F.L.G. and are out now on the Toolroom Records. Both are doing really well, which I’m happy about. “Remember” is one of Funkerman’s latest and you have got to hear this one. It’s such a beautiful tune and the video to it is just something else. We’ve got a feeling about this one; it’s growing day by day around the world. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was one of the wild card hits of the summer.

What can we expect from you in 2009? Any big, new productions, more touring, etc.?

Well, my album Output is out in September this year, so that’s extremely exciting. I think the American market in particular will be receptive to it as it’s not just strictly dance music, but has hip-hop flavors in there, courtesy of artists like Will.i.am and Mr. V from New York. Then I’ve done an almost trip-hoppy jazz house track with Rob Birch from the Stereo MCs. I worked with Funkerman, Ida Corr, Camille Jones, Luciana, Andy and Dorothy Sherman, Mitch Crown, Mr. Gee who is the voice on “Put Your Hands Up…” It’s definitely a cross-over album and it’s allowed me to express me as an artist, as a producer and as a person.

(Originally published at LasVegasWeekly.com)

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