Interview: Fedde Le Grand Explains His Rock N' Roll Roots

Raver and rocker, while other producers look to hip-hop or country for inspiration Fedde Le Grand sticks with rock n' roll roots. Since his breakout hit "Put Your Hands Up 4 Detroit" in 2006, FLG has built his EDM empire on indie rock influences, even remixing and touring with legendary indie rock band Coldplay, and now he begins a new chapter in his life with the single "Where We Belong" with the up-and-coming band, DI-RECT. Read on to get the inside details on EDM's personal rock star, including his special plans for NYE.

Also, if you'd like to see your face appear next to Fedde Le Grand's, then enter his Instagram Lyric Video Contest. Instructions and details found here.

VIBE: How would you compare your sound now to what it was six years ago?
Fedde Le Grand: It has taken on so many different influences since then I think. With the expansion of electronic music there is so much to learn from, so many styles to work with and adapt. With all the new acts we have though, lots still look to old school methods in production. On my track with DI-RECT, I tried to apply the old with the new – get back to the studio with instruments, treating it like a long jam session. What came out at the end we were all very proud of.

Now you have your new single “Where We Belong,” which you collaborated on with indie band DI-RECT. How did you guys end up together in the studio?
I was a huge fan of their music so we met up and started to go over some ideas. This led to studio session after studio session to get the sound we were looking for… they have a massive following in the Netherlands so it was really cool to do something like this for home fans.

What was your mission or purpose when conceiving this single?
To push the boundaries of dance music really, formulating ideas and sounds through a natural creative process. Often, we producers do a lot of co-work over the Internet while we’re on the move so to get back to basics and produce something you can all see coming together in front of you was what we were looking to achieve.

You seem to be naturally drawn to the rock culture, remixing Coldplay before and even opening for them on their tour. What are some elements of indie rock that fuel your own music?
Most definitely, yeah – a lot of the music I listen to in my spare time is indie or rock. There is so much to admire in it and its not that far removed from dance music. They have the same build up, the same hook, and the purpose of both is for the crowd to feel the energy of the music. Rock music is designed to make you move.

You opened for Madonna in 2008 and Coldplay in 2011. Which artist was the most fun to tour with?
Haha, I couldn’t possibly choose! Both were amazing experiences for me and a cool change of pace from your own tour. You have to adapt and play for a crowd who perhaps are more into other styles of music.

Would you consider collaborating with a hip-hop/rap artist? If so, who?
I’m not sure about rap, but from a different genre I’d say Justin Timberlake. He has had a phenomenal career, making hit after hit…we can all learn a lot from the way he puts together tracks.

Where do you go from here? Looks like you’ve been traveling for the tour, but we’ll we be seeing some more new music drop as well?
Definitely. "Where We Belong" drops worldwide just before Christmas on the 23rd and then I’ll be putting finishing touches on a lot of new stuff for the New Year.

Where will you be spending New Year’s this year? Who do you plan to kiss at midnight? New Year's resolution?
Ha! Well I’ll be kissing my girlfriend on New Year and I will be at Avalon for a show – love playing those sets as people are so excited for them – the energy is unreal. My New Year’s resolution – definitely to make 2014 an even bigger year than 2013. There are a lot of really big things that we’ve been working away on behind the scenes that will finally come to fruition in 2014, so it’s going to be a really exciting year for me, seeing those things become a reality.

Photo credit: Chelsea Werner

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