Fedde le Grand - Where's You Fedde At-
With three of the biggest singles of the past two years – seriously you can’t go anywhere with hearing one of them (you know which one) – Dutch electro house producer Fedde le Grand’s debut artist album is hot property. 3D’s Cyclone got the latest before he hits Oz.
Fedde le Grand is on top of the world. He’s been endorsed by the Queen of Pop. Not only has Madonna incorporated 2006’s mega hit Put Your Hands Up For Detroit into recent live shows, but she also commissioned him to remix Give It 2 Me. Now, after successive monster singles, le Grand will finally drop his ‘artist’ album, Output, at the top of 2009. Before then, the electro houser, who operates Flamingo Recordings with his studio collaborator Funkerman, is returning to Australia. And this time he’s bringing singers Camille Jones (who features on the smash The Creeps) and Ida Corr (Let Me Think About It) plus an MC-come-hypeman.
Since Put Your Hands Up, le Grand, from Utrecht, has demonstrated that there’s more to contemporary Dutch dance than trance. He’s broken the monopoly of Armin van Buuren et al.
Prior to embracing house, le Grand was a hip hop freak – he was actually in a reputable breakdance crew – and, for Output, he teamed with his rap equivalent, will.i.am, who enlivens I’m Still Alive. Le Grand previously remixed The Donque Song for the Black Eyed Peas’ moonlighting hitmaker, boldly shedding Snoop Dogg’s contribution.
Fedde, a pro DJ since 1998, didn’t want Output to be a straight dancefloor LP. “I had a lot of fun doing the album,” he says. “It was a good opportunity to do stuff that’s more on the production side. In my opinion, when you do an ‘artist’ album, you’re allowed to do more than always DJ beats. I approach it from more of a listener’s point of view.
“Of course, there will be remixes of all the tracks, so there will be dancefloor [tracks] as well, but, for the album itself, a big part is more to listen to – which was cool to do because it gives you a slightly different approach from what I normally do.
“The albums I always liked were from Daft Punk, Basement Jaxx, Groove Armada and guys like that, so that’s the approach I took for my own album.”
Madonna isn’t the first Detroiter to give props to Put Your Hands Up, which lifts its hook from a Matthew Dear single on the uber cool Ghostly International. Eminem’s posse D12 – specifically Bizarre – disseminated a vocal version. “From a DJ point of view, it was unplayable – even though they did nothing with the music itself, but they wrote a whole rap for it. But the thing I really liked about it is the way they did the vocals. They really made it their own song.”
Fedde is yet to speak to Madonna, rumoured to be hands-on with remixes. He admires her creative acumen, while tactfully acknowledging that she’s “not the world’s best singer ever.”
Le Grand admits that his crossover success means that purists view him suspiciously, although Defected licensed the underground Take No Shhh. “It’s good, but it’s bad at the same time, because people pigeonhole you right away. But, on the other hand, especially from a producer’s point of view, it opens a lot of doors. I just love making music!
“I’m happy but, maybe from a DJ point of view, it’s not always the most convenient thing because sometimes you have to convince people that you’re about more than those three tracks.”
WHO: Fedde le Grand
WHAT: Plays Arthouse / Plays Sensation Melbourne
WHEN: Saturday 27 December / Wednesday 31