The Dutch house master talks to Skiddle about the difference between Fedde le Grand and F.L.G, his favourite place to spin records, and how he’s not too concerned with appearance – unless he’s missing a tooth.
Date published: 1st Oct 2010
The funny thing about DJs is that half the time, unless you’ve seen them live (and even then they're no more than a tiny blur), you really have no idea what they look like.
I mean, half of them don’t even appear in their own music videos. Is it about anonymity and letting the music ‘speak’, or in Fedde Le Grand’s case is it simply about the lack of time in a day? Only after interviewing him am I completely convinced that the multiplying semi-naked manbot in ‘Put Your Hands Up’ is in fact a mere model.
Today, he explains the difference between Fedde le Grand and F.L.G, his favourite place to spin records and how he’s not too concerned with appearance – unless he’s missing a tooth.
Why did you decide on the name Fedde Le Grand?
It’s actually my real name, so it wasn’t too hard to choose!
You also release under the name F.L.G. Do the two names carry different personalities? Do you choose to be a particular one depending on the mood you’re in?
F.L.G. is definitely a different musical personality to Fedde le Grand, yes. When you’re listening to a Fedde le Grand track it’ll probably be a bit more uplifting, more vocals in it, more of a ‘commercial house’ sound if you want. With F.L.G. I tend to make more stripped down productions that are more on the underground side of the music. For me it just allows fans to know the difference between the music I make from the name that I put it out under.
You started Flamingo Recordings in 2004. Is that still a main priority?
Flamingo Recordings is still a massive priority for me, not just for my own music but for finding new talent and giving them a platform. Flamingo provided me with an avenue to make music, not just money.
Did you see your career really rise and your fanbase increase after the 2006 release of 'Put your hands up for Detroit?' Did it open up doors?
Of course, on both accounts. The track was a number 1 hit in the UK and other countries and the video was all over the TV so suddenly people knew my name, my music and who I was. People wanted to see me play, they wanted to listen to the rest of my music and of course when I came to release my next single, a lot of people were willing to test it out on the dance-floor and on radio stations just because they liked 'Put Your Hands Up'. The track was massive and a great opportunity for me to build on things. It was definitely a golden moment.
Your video clips never seem to feature your face. Are you purposely trying to be anonymous?
I am actually in some of my videos. I was in the video for ‘Let Me Be Real’ which was from my album Output. To be honest, the main reason I’m not in some videos is that I’m touring all the time so it’s hard for me to create enough time space to fit filming a music video in. So we just find some very good looking models!
Do you still enjoy creating party music?
I love it. It’s my job and my passion. When you’ve finished producing a good tune and you hear it out on the dance floor for the first time and the crowd start reacting to it then that’s a fantastic feeling.
Are you concerned about including melody?
It depends on the track. Like I said, the music that I make as Fedde le Grand tends to be more melodic, but if I’m producing as F.L.G. it’s more about the beat and the rhythm and what you can do with those rather than just relying on a melody to hold the track together.
How about your appearance on stage? Do you like to dress in certain clothes?
Actually a funny story – although not so funny at the time! I recently broke a tooth and I was playing out in Romania that night, with a lot of TV interviews to do. I had to get my publicist to stop the interviews because I was so upset at missing a tooth! I don’t think I’m vain but I do like to look good – who doesn’t!?
Do you find having a couple of drinks before performing and while creating music helps?
Well I’m not an alcoholic! I always have a bottle of Bacardi and mixers on stage when I’m playing but most of it is drunk by the people on stage with me. I’m a big coffee fan; that helps me when I’ve been down in the studio for hours and hours working on music – I don’t think alcohol would help at that point.
You recently did a Twitter interview. Do you embrace the internet?
Very much so, in fact I’m a bit of a Twitter addict. My online website is a big deal for me, we actually recently won an award for it, it’s been designed to be a bit more of an online community rather than just a place where you can go and read a bit of news or see a couple of pictures. Everyone on there has their own profile, they can upload music, videos, pictures, we have charts where you can rate productions by members, forums, exclusive films, it’s very interactive and we’re always adding to it and updating it so it fits in with the latest technology.
Your favourite city to spin records?
My favourite place to play at (so far!) was a place called Green Valley which is in Brazil. That was just something really special, it’s a beautiful place with a fantastic crowd, I will definitely be going back there and I think that that’s the place that I’d recommend people to go to, yes.
There are a lot of us. Maybe they put something in our water! We’re not that close knit to be honest but obviously if we’re all at the same festival (which doesn’t happen very often!) then of course we’ll hang out. I was actually with Tiesto the last weekend in August, he had a huge arena at a massive Dutch festival called Mysteryland and he asked me to play there for him. It was a great day, he’s a fun guy to hang out with and the place was packed, he definitely rocked the joint.
Lastly, tell us a bit about your new single ‘Rockin High’.
'Rockin High' is the last single to come from my album Output and we’ve got two massive remixes out at the moment, one from Benny Benassi and the other from Nicky Romero. It’s out now on Beatport but it’ll be available everywhere else worldwide from September 13th so make sure you grab a copy.