Ferry Corsten embarks on a journey to shift a paradigm that is largely unwelcoming to full-length albums his most ambitious project to date, Blueprint. The sci-fi love story is voiced by Haliene and Eric Lumiere and marries trance music with an emotional and sweeping narrative co-written by David H Miller (House of Cards, Rosewood). Inspired by the works of HG Wells and Ferry’s life long love for Sci Fi, it’s the culmination of a long time goal for the trance champion, and likely the first album of its kind in dance music.
We caught up with Ferry, on his North American tour supporting the new work, to chat about his inspiration for the album, how he brought its dynamic and talented team together, and his thoughts on trance’s reemergence into the mainstream.
What was the inspiration to bring the world of sci-fi and dance music together?
When I sat down for the first time with David Miller we realized a love story would be the best material for songwriting. We are both big Sci-Fi fans, so giving it that little unknown factor, like an AI sort of thing, gives it that extra dimension.
How did you end up working with David H Miller?
When I realized what I wanted to do, I called my manager who is in Hollywood at Red Light. And said to him, ":isten I want to do this but I need to find a screenwriter." That same night he was having a drink at a bar and he ran into David who was a classmate of his from a long time ago. They were talking about what they do now and David said he was a screenwriter doing stuff for House of Cards. [My manager] said “You know what, this is perfect timing because one of my artists wants to do this and this.” I was going to be in LA in a couple of weeks, to go in the studio, so I met up with him there to see how we feel about being involved and we clicked right away.
Has it become more difficult in the last few years made it more difficult for an artist to take on a full-length album?
It has become a fear that the record industry and the artists have put onto themselves. There is an ADHD sort of mentality. Everything is sort of disposable. It doesn't necessarily mean that people aren't longing for [more].
It's never been done really in the electronic scene. But I really think that the actual story, the narrative, grounds you in listening the whole way through. That was also my fear at the same time I knew that this was different. I was afraid that I was going to release these clips and open my socials and see all boos. But it was sort of the opposite effect really.
How did you bring in the vocal talents of Haliene and Eric Lumiere?
From the beginning, I was already looking for a small team. It gives it more of a cohesive feel, especially with the two main characters, Lukas and Vee. I worked with a few people at first and it wasn't really good and then I ran into Haliene who's really been everywhere lately. We were already working together and her voice was so right for Vee, because I was looking for that angelic type of vocal. And Eric Lumiere is a great vocalist as well, we were already in touch about doing a collab at some point. For Reanimate, Clarity [sent me] this top line and it was so beautiful and it fit right into the story where Vee basically comes back and Lukas' world has gone to shit. Also, Haliene/ Kelly has also done a lot of voice acting back in the day for commercials. So when I was looking for a voice actor, I asked her and she said yeah that's what I used to do. Eric did a great job on it as well, so the whole package came out really nicely.
Do you think the EDM explosion created a space for trance to reemerge onto the main stage?
The big EDM, big room "Put your fucking Hands up" bubble is gone. It has popped. That has shifted to bass music, that's the new EDM if you will. I've always felt like there's an action and there's a reaction. Trance was huge in the late 90's and in a way only got less melodic from that point on. And then, being knocked over the head with 4 or 5 years of [big room] I think that created a certain longing for a type of music that brings a tingling feeling and hair standing emotion on the dance floor.