Words by Cris O. Ramos Jr.
As a multi-awarded and recognized electronic musician and trance pioneer with 10 albums under his belt (6 under his name plus 4 more under various aliases), Ferry Corsten definitely knows a thing or two about how to achieve success.
He tells BillboardPH, “I guess the blueprint is having the mindset of following my own path. I’ve been doing this for years, and yet every time I ask myself what else is out there and try to do it, it just doesn’t come out the way I want it to be, so I just go back to what my feeling, which is different from the norm. You have to have this attitude to just try and do something different. If you fall flat in your face, tough luck, just get yourself back together and pick the pieces. Try to have a signature sound.”
It was a fitting subject to discuss with the release of his latest album Blueprint, a concept album based on a full-length science fiction story narrated by Campbell Scott and written with screenwriter David H. Miller (whose credits include House of Cards and Rosewood).
Drawing influences from modern day shows such as The OA, Westworld, and Stranger Things as well as iconic sci-fi authors like Jules Verne, Hugo Gernsback and HG Wells, Blueprint’s story revolves around protagonists Lukas and extra-terrestial being Vee. From a discovery to a bond to consciousness to inter-dimensional travel, the album embarks on a voyage across the galaxy meant to provoke listeners to ask more questions.
“When I sat down with David to work on this project, we both knew it had to be a sci-fi love story,” Ferry revealed. “We agreed that the sci-fi twist had to be realistic and believable. So we looked at iconic sci-fi stories such such as Blade Runner and Ex Machina. I believe this album definitely more diverse. It is trance in general, it’s very lush and melodic, it has downtempo tracks too. It’s almost a narrative story with more cinematic tracks delivered in an audio-book inspired format and almost runs like a cinematic score.”
Corsten agreed that one big challenge that lies ahead is how to integrate Blueprint in his live shows. “You have to consider too that people come to the shows primarily to dance and have fun,” he concedes. “I’ll try my best to take bits and pieces of the narrative. I have to take into consideration the running order of the album. I did special edits of songs that were not necessarily dance-y and work with remixes. David and I also agreed that while there has to be well-fleshed-out narrative, the tracks and lyrics had to stand alone. I always make it a point to work based on a flow. Over the years, I’ve made a lot of tracks with different flows, so it’s almost like that.”
As for the prospect of doing another concept album or a sequel to Blueprint, he said: “I really don’t know if there’ll be a sequence, it’s too early to tell. David and I were ecstatic with how the album ended up sounding. It was so much fun doing this album, it is kind of difficult to go back doing a normal album (laughs).”
Listen to Blueprint here: