As the MMIBTY team gets ready to head to Chicago’s Wavefront Music Festival next week, we were fortunate enough to have some questions answered by one of dance music’s fastest-rising stars: Fehrplay. We’ve posted about the Norwegian producer/DJ quite a bit over the past few months, from his excellent original track “Phantom“, to his remixes of “Every Day” and “Give it to the People“, to coverage of his awesome live set at Boston’s Bijou Nightclub. Fehrplay will be playing at the Wave XIV stage on Sunday (day 3) of Wavefront, so if you’re heading to Montrose Beach in Chicago next week, make sure you stop by to see his unique set!
Here’s what he had to say –
MyMusicIsBetterThanYours.com (MMIBTY): “Meow” (Meow Again) was seen as the track that really broke you into the forefront of dance music. We’re big fans of that song, but these days your sound is so much different than Meow, which was more of a club/dance floor track. Tell us about how and why your sound changed so much and how you settled on a more progressive sound.
Fehrplay (FP): I think my sound has just matured and grown up as I think is natural for any artist. I’m constantly growing, changing and developing my sound – it’s an on-going process.
MMIBTY: Back in 2012 when you chiefly got signed to Eric Prydz’s label, Pryda Friends – what was going through your head? How did you process it all?
FP: I don’t think I’ve thought too much about it; I have just tried to focus on my music and to keep everything fresh and interesting (to me at least) and to push myself hard in the studio – Luckily Eric really likes the direction I’m taking!
MMIBTY: Tell us about how Eric Prydz came to be your label boss – did he seek you out? did you meet at a show? Is he a cool boss?
FP: I’d sent Eric and his label manager tracks for a while and was about to give up on expecting a response, when suddenly they got back to me via email and asked for a meeting. 2 weeks later I had my first record signed; surreal experience. It’s an honor to be on the label and work with Eric – someone I’ve have so much respect for for many years. It’s been something I literally dreamed about, and now it’s a reality!
MMIBTY: Since then, how have you grown as a producer?
FP: I’m experimenting a lot with different sounds and vibes, fusing them together in my own way.
MMIBTY: For some it takes plenty of years to earn major recognition for their hard work – with that being said – how long has this journey been a part of your life so far and what keeps you motivated to keep going?
FP: I was 12 when I started on this road first staying playing around with music software, and have never looked back. I genuinely love what I do; I’d still be making music and DJing no matter what. I’ve been really lucky that my passion and hobby has been able to become my job.
MMIBTY: What advice would you give to striving producers who wish to purse a career in this biz?
FP: Be unique. Stand out from the crowd and don’t follow trends, make them. If you’re in it for the money and the fame you’re in it for the wrong reasons. Focus on your art, work hard and put your life and soul into it and you’ll be on your way to getting somewhere
MMIBTY: What have been some of your favorite shows and places to play stateside so far?
FP: So hard to say as I’ve had so many great shows here this year! Highlights would of course be Chicago (the birth place of house music!), San Francisco I’ve loved playing…, also LA, Miami… too many to pick from!
MMIBTY: Are you surprised Americans have embraced the Pryda Friends sound when it’s so much different than the Big Room and festival anthem sound that we hear so often?
FP: I think the American scene is growing up and the youngsters are digging a bit deeper, looking for something with a little more soul to it. Pryda and Pryda Friends is a great bridge between the mainstream, Big Room sound and the underground; its accessible music with underground sensibilities. It’s the reason why its flourished in Europe and the rest of the world over the past 10 years and I definitely think America really wants it now 🙂
MMIBTY: What is the biggest compliment you ever received?
FP: I think just someone taking the time to thank me for a track or a DJ set 🙂
MMIBTY: What are some of your favorite songs to play live right now? What are some of your favorite songs right now that you don’t necessarily play in live sets?
FP: I’m loving playing out Pryda “Power Drive” just gets a huge reaction every time. Sam Paganini’s “Polyester” is a big one for me. Also Kolsch “Goldfisch” great melodic techno vibes! Stimming is amazing; his tracks are just incredible but I don’t get the chance to play them out too often. Also big fan of Hot Since 82, Dusky and Shadow Child. Its nice when I’m playing longer sets I get to spin some of these deeper cuts.
MMIBTY: Many dance music producers have been collaborating with other producers lately. You don’t seem to be following that trend. Is there any reason why? Do you want to or plan to collaborate with anyone in the near future, whether from the Pryda camp or otherwise?
FP: Its not that I decided not to do it, just the timing hasn’t been right and I’ve been so busy working on my solo productions. Eric and I have been passing ideas back and forth since last summer, but nothing that we’re super happy with or want to release. I’d really like to do a track with Jeremy Olander whose also signed to the label. He’s making some great music right now.
MMIBTY: Your tracks are very progressive and very intricate/detailed. That must require a lot of time and patience in the studio. On average, how long does it take you to compose a track – from idea to final version?
FP: It can take anything from a couple of weeks to months and months. I do I like to come back to stuff, its very much about whether the timing feels right for each track. Sometimes you have to shelve a track and come back to it later; “Phantom” was one of the those, I started it over a year ago and came back to it after Christmas with a fresh approach and perspective on it and it worked out great.
MMIBTY: Is there something – an award, a performance (headlining spot at a festival for example), a number of record sales, etc that at that point you’ll say you’ve succeeded as high as you wanted?
FP: Headlining Wavefront would be nice, but I don’t really think about it much like that to be honest. Obviously awards and recognition are nice things to get, but I just love what I do, and want to continue to make music and perform for as long as possible, and hopefully people will continue to enjoy what I’m doing.
MMIBTY: Who are some of your biggest influences, musically or otherwise?
FP: Musically I’ve always listened to a lot of Jazz, Hip hop, lots of film scores. Outside of music my family and friends inspire me and have always supported me, I love the management team I work with they motivate me every day… and of course Eric has been a huge influence 🙂
MMIBTY: What are some of the biggest differences between playing in America and spinning overseas?
FP: The American crowds are fantastic. They are really open to hearing new music and you can feel them really open to new sounds and ideas. It feels really exciting and new here. Europe has been doing it for 25 years so its different; the scenes are established and the crowds a little more used to it all, so I have to play accordingly.
MMIBTY: At what point did producing and DJing go from a hobby to a full-time career?
FP: I guess really when I got signed to Pryda Friends and took on my manager; its all really snow balled from there.
MMIBTY: Outside of music, what are some of your favorite pastimes?
FP: Well other then music, I love to cook, hang out with my friends, take the dog for a walk – just regular boring stuff!
MMIBTY: Predict the future: what’s the next big sound in dance music and who is the next big producer/DJ?
FP: I think real progressive house will make a return in 2014. Also the deep disco sound from Norway – There is some amazing talent out there right now, Finnebassen, Lamaitre, Todd Terje, Andre Bratton to name a few.
MMIBTY: We were told you have some exciting new stuff coming out soon. Can you talk to us about that?
FP: The new single coming on Pryda Friends in July is a double A side – ‘Monte’ and ‘Talk to Me’, really can’t wait for that to drop. Its more in a deeper style (like previous release “Nightride”) but it’s still really hooky and made for the floor so It’ll be really interesting to see the response!
Thanks Fehrplay and see you at Wavefront!