Put Your Hands Up For Taiwan: Q&A With DJ Fedde Le Grand

Not to “drop” names or anything, but Taiwan’s first ever EDM festival, Road to Ultra: Taiwan, this month “produced” some of the biggest names in EDM visiting the island, Armin just saying. City543 caught up with Fedde Le Grand, the Dutch DJ and producer best known for his hit “Put Your Hands Up 4 Detroit” who has consistently ranked amongst the top 100 DJs in the world by DJ Magazine since 2007, after he played a fun and explosive set at the festival, alongside the likes of Armin van Buuren, Afrojack, Alesso, Ansolo and Robin Schulz.

在今年九月台灣首次舉辦的大型電子音樂節——Road to Ultra: Taiwan 邀請到許多電音界的重量級人物來到台灣。也沒有刻意要提到幾個大牌明星的名字的意思, 但像是Armin Van Buuren (阿曼凡布倫)也有參加演出。Fedde Le Grand (費德勒格蘭德) 在精彩的表演結束後特別撥出時間接受City543的訪問。這位荷蘭籍的DJ兼音樂製作人以「Put Your Hands Up 4 Detroit」這首歌聞名;2007年開始,Fedde Le Grand就是DJ Magazine百大DJ排行榜上的常勝軍。這次一同出席音樂節的表演者還包括 Armin van Buuren (阿曼凡布倫)、Afrojack (艾佛傑克)、Alesso (艾利索)、Ansolo (安索羅)、Robin Schulz (羅賓舒爾茨

Please tell us about your latest single, “Cinematic” featuring Denny White.

This really is one of those tracks that I feel will go down as a true favorite of mine. It was a long time in the making, but it was very much a labor of love. Denny White has one of those voices that gives the track so much emotion and energy. I was also very humbled when Ultra asked to use it as their soundtrack to Ultra Japan’s official 2014 Aftermovie. I’m really hoping to make another track with Denny in the future, so keep an eye out for another collaboration soon.

可以跟我們談談你和Denny White合作的全新單曲「Cinematic」嗎?
這首歌真的是我真心最喜歡的歌曲之一!製作的過程非常漫長,但這算是嘔心瀝血放入了很多愛的作品。Denny White擁有那種可以賦予音樂許多情緒與力道的聲線。當Ultra詢問能否用這首單曲當作2014日本Ultra活動紀錄片的配樂時,我深感榮幸。我很希望未來能有更多和Denny White合作的機會,所以大家可以開始期待我們更多作品。

fedde le grand dj set road to ultra taiwan taipei 2015 fireworks

What’s a regular work day like for you?
I’m in the middle of my Ultra tour, so a lot of ‘work days’ are spent either on a plane, waiting in airports or sleeping before a show. When I’m back home, I spend a lot of time in the studio trying out new ideas and working on my forthcoming album. I also try my best to catch up with family and friends.

可以跟我們形容你每天工作的行程嗎?
我現在正在Ultra巡迴表演中,所以我的「一天」通常不是在候機、就是在機場等起飛或是在演出前補眠。回家的時候,我會花很多時間在工作室裡嘗試一些新想法,還有為下一張專輯籌備。我也盡我所能和家人朋友多相處。

You’ve been in the scene for quite some time now. What is your secret to staying in the industry?
To be honest there isn’t much of secret! I’ve always felt if you want to stay at the top of your game you have to make music and play shows that keep people interested. Music is one of those industries that constantly changes so you need to make sure that you move with the times and don’t get complacent. I’ve always maintained a high work ethic, and that’s allowed me to keep doing what I love.

你在DJ界闖蕩好一陣子了,你在這個產業能夠維持這樣的地位的秘訣是什麼?
老實說,這也不是什麼秘訣!我總覺得,要是想一直在DJ界保持巔峰的話,就得做出讓大家覺得有興趣的音樂和表演。音樂是一個流動迅速的市場,所以你必須讓自己與時俱進、而且別感到自滿。我秉持高度的職業道德
,正因如此我才能持續做自己所愛的事情。

How has the EDM scene changed since you released “Put Your Hands Up 4 Detroit” in 2006? And how has this influenced your own music?
EDM wasn’t really a ‘thing’ when I released “Put Your Hands Up”. However, it has really turned into the biggest driving force in dance music, which has had both positive and negative effects for the industry, I think. On the one hand, more people are into dance music than ever before, which is great, but also I think there is a saturation of music, which means a lot of the time quality is sacrificed for quantity. I’ve always tried to maintain a high standard with my music and not just flood my fans with tracks.

從你2006年的單曲「Put Your Hands Up 4 Detroit」之後的這段時間,你覺得電音市場有什麼改變?這對你的作品又有什麼影響?
在「Put Your Hands Up 4 Detroit」發行的時候,電音其實還不是很主流。但是,電音真的已經成了舞曲音樂發展的最大推動力了。不過,我認為這有好有壞——一方面,越來越多、甚至是前所未有的人潮,開始喜歡舞曲音樂了,這是一件好事, 不過,我也覺得這種類型的音樂數量已經非常飽和,代表「品質」就常常在大量產出中被犧牲了。我總是努力維持去做出高標準的作品,而不是用一大堆歌曲搪塞我的歌迷。

fedde le grand road to ultra taiwan taipei DJ set close up booth stage set

You’ve said that you spend a lot of time thinking about the tracks you’re going to play at events like Ultra. What was your thought process while putting together the set for Road To Ultra: Taiwan? What were you trying to achieve?
I never like repeating sets, so I’m always trying out something new at every show. Taiwan I feel is beginning to really fall in love with dance music so I tried to showcase the best of what that scene has to offer. I got a really good vibe from the crowd so I think I did a pretty good job!

你提到你會花很多時間構思在像Ultra這類大活動時的歌單。當你在製作這次台灣RTU的set時,你的想法是什麼?你想達到怎樣的效果呢?
我一直都不喜歡重複播同一個set這件事,所以每次表演我都會試試不同的新點子。我覺得台灣處於熱衷舞曲音樂非常初期的階段,所以我就試著把舞曲音樂中最棒的歌曲都挑出來放入我這次的表演。我覺得觀眾的反應真的很不錯,所以我想這應該滿成功的吧!

RTU: Taiwan is the first large-scale EDM festival in Taiwan. What were your impressions after playing the show? 
I think because this was the first festival of its kind everyone really knew it was a special event so were going especially crazy. Let’s hope it’s the first of many!

台灣RTU算是台灣第一個大規模的電音音樂節。你這次表演後的印象如何?
我覺得正因為是第一個,大家都知道這真的很特別,所以都特別熱情瘋狂。希望這只是個開始!

As Taiwan’s still very new to EDM, what would you recommend for EDM fans and DJs in Taiwan who want to grow the scene?
I think there really isn’t a better time for EDM lovers and DJs in Taiwan. The scene is in its infancy, and so there are so many new opportunities for aspiring DJs and producers. I’m sure by next year the festival would have grown, and I can’t wait to come back!

台灣的電音市場還正在起步,你會推薦什麼給希望推動這個產業的台灣電音迷和DJ呢?
我覺得現在就是台灣電音迷和DJ的最好時機了!這個產業還正在初始期,所以DJ和音樂製作人的機會也很多。我想明年的音樂節一定會規模更大,而我也很期待再回來參加!

fedde le grand dj taiwan night market taipei road to ultra 2015

You’ve been playing festivals in Asia for some time now. What were your impressions of Taiwan during your trip? What, if anything, makes Taipei stand out?
Taipei is such a vibrant city, and the people are so welcoming. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay as long as I would have wished as I had to hop on a flight to Bali, but rest assured I’ll be back soon!

你在亞洲音樂節表演也一段時間了。你在旅程中對台灣的印象如何?你覺得台北特別的地方是什麼呢?
台北是個充滿生命力的城市,裡面的人也非常友善。可惜我能待的時間太短,因為我在表演後必須飛往峇里島,不過請放心,我很快就會回來的!

Taiwan’s famous for its food. What did they feed you while you were here?
All the food was amazing! I tried this thing called the Changhua Bawan (彰化肉圓), which are a kind of large dumpling made from a dough and stuffed with pork and vegetables. They were delicious.

台灣最有名的就是食物了,你在台灣的這段時間,他們都給你吃些什麼呢?
所有的食物都很美味!我吃了一個叫做「彰化肉圓」的東西,有點像一個大型的麵團水餃,裡面有豬肉和青菜餡。非常好吃。

Where did you go to party after your set was over?
I know this sounds a bit boring but I was so exhausted I just headed back to my hotel!

你表演完後去哪裡開趴呢?
我知道這聽起來滿無趣的,不過我真的太累了,所以就直接回飯店囉!

Your name’s a bit difficult for Taiwanese people to pronounce. What’s the most unusual pronunciation you heard while you were here?
(Laughs) There were some odd variations that were pretty funny, but even people in the west struggle to pronounce my name sometimes so I wasn’t offended at all!

你的名字對台灣民眾來說有點難唸耶,你在這裡聽到最不尋常的念法是什麼?
() 確實是有些奇怪的版本,還滿好笑的,不過就算是歐美地方的人還是常常唸錯啦,所以我聽到有人念錯不會不高興的!

fedde le grand dj pingxi taiwan sky lanterns taipei road to ultra 2015

So what’s next for you? Can we expect your new album soon?
Once my Ultra World tour is done, I’m heading back to Holland to get back into the studio to polish off my album — not long now!

所以你的下一步是什麼?我們可以開始期待你的新專輯了嗎?
在我Ultra巡演結束後,我就要回荷蘭的工作室去整理我的專輯,距離發行不遠囉!

Are there any artists, particularly in Asia, who you would like to work with next?
I haven’t really thought about who I’d like to work with next — I’ve been so busy touring. But if there are any Taiwanese producers out there who think I’d like their stuff, send it over!

你有沒有想與任何(尤其是亞洲地區的)藝人合作呢?
我其實還沒想過接下來要和誰合作耶,因為巡迴實在太忙了。不過如果有台灣的製作人覺得我會對他們的音樂感興趣,儘管寄過來給我吧!

fedde le grand stage road to ultra taiwan 2015

What advice do you have for young and aspiring DJs?
I’ve always said that if you want to be a successful DJ then you’ve got to be prepared to work incredibly hard and also to fail a lot. The key is to try get your sound out there as much as possible, and nowadays that’s pretty easy to do with things like Soundcloud and YouTube. Master your craft and when you think you’re ready, approach a label, and if you’re good enough, everything should fall into place from there.

可以給年輕人或新銳的DJ一些建議嗎?
我總是說,想當個成功的DJ,就要有心裡準備。你必須非常努力、而且會失敗很多次。多讓自己的音樂曝光會是關鍵——在這個時代有了SoundCloud和Youtube,應該會滿容易的。精熟你的專業技巧,然後,當你覺得你準備好了,就去接觸唱片公司。如果你真的夠強,所有事情應該就會在那裏豁然開朗了。

Do you have any recommendations for people visiting your hometown?
If I can give any tips when it comes to my home country, then it would be to make sure you don’t just stay in Amsterdam. Amsterdam is really, really great as it’s got so much cultural diversity; there are amazing places to eat. But Holland isn’t just about Amsterdam, in fact, most of the DJs – amongst others, Tiësto and Hardwell – actually stem from the south such from Breda, the city where my studio is located. So when you visit Holland, make a cultural DJ trip and visit the south as well.

你對於前往你家鄉的旅客有什麼推薦呢?
如果要我給前來我家鄉的人一些小撇步的話,那就是別讓自己只待在阿姆斯特丹。阿姆斯特丹真的非常非常棒,她擁有好多不同的文化、還有許多美食。但是荷蘭可不只有阿姆斯特丹!事實上,大部分的DJ,例如TiëstoHardwell和其他人,都是來自南方地區,例如布雷達,這也是我工作室所在的城市呢!所以,當你造訪荷蘭時,別忘了也來南方做個「DJ文化之旅」。

 

“Cinematic” is available on Spotify, iTunes and Beatpro. Like Fedde Le Grand on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

Translated to Chinese by Teresa Lee; with contributions from Kevin Chen.

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