Exclusive: Ferry Corsten talks Gouryella, Ultra Europe and his old friend Tiësto

Exclusive: Ferry Corsten talks Gouryella, Ultra Europe and his old friend Tiësto

Ultra Europe 2021

Ultra Europe 2021

Split, Croatia

Few names embody the sound and spirit of pure trance like Gouryella does. Ferry Corsten and Tiësto first went under the name back in 1999, before it was put aside for over a decade in 2003 after Tiësto had already parted ways with the project.

In the 13 intervening years, trance went on to develop and morph alongside electro, house and stadium EDM. All the while, the Gouryella alias and all it represented reached almost mythical status. Uplifting and melodic, it epitomised something that fans felt they had lost somewhere along the way – and longed to be reunited with.

Fast forward to November 2016, and Corsten is reflecting with us on what it's been like to finally bring the name Gouryella back. From the track that convinced him the time was right, to the fans he's seen crying at live shows over the summer, and even a glimpse of another new project on the horizon…

How would you describe the Gouryella sound, as compared with the Ferry Corsten sound?

Gouryella has its roots and foundation in almost melancholic soundscapes, whereas Ferry Corsten is still melodic yet more about brute force and in your face.

When you look back to Gouryella the first time round, what are your stand-out memories from producing and touring under that name?

I actually never toured under the name Gouryella. Gouryella was one of the aliases I used when I produced music but I always toured under the name Ferry Corsten. Actually even with this version of the Gouryella show concept, it is still presented by Ferry Corsten. Producing Gouryella the first time around was fun. I was experimenting with different sounds and Gouryella was another outlet for me to try a slightly different sound.

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Do you think your good friend Tiësto can still be heard in Gouryella now, after all this time?

Not at all. Tijs is a great guy and an amazing DJ but I definitely don’t see the connection with him within the Gouryella project anymore.

You’ve said that the track Anahera felt like the right production to bring Gouryella back with. What was it about that track that felt right?

It was the track that for me had that turn of the century sentimental type of trance sound that people had been longing for for so long.

And how has it been to present Gouryella Live – has it been as you expected it would be?

Honestly, I’m over the moon with the response of the Gouryella show. I love looking at my social media feed after the show because I see a lot of people absolutely in awe of it and people that understand the concept of the live show and not necessarily just the visual here, text there…

I was just reading the other week that one guy couldn’t even take a photo of the event or even message someone because he was so enthralled. I’ve seen some people as well cry from where I am when I’m playing. It makes me feel so good as an artist to be able to move people like that. I see the impact of my music and the concept of the show come together like magic. There are simply no words that can describe how I feel when I see the fruits of all that hard labour.

What is it like to bring such a trance-focused sound into parties and festivals dominated by EDM and house music? Do you find that the typical dance music crowd in 2016 is open to different kinds of sounds?

I do notice that a lot of the trance crowd is absolutely ecstatic for this and it seems that it spills over to people that are not really used to it, or into it for that matter, which is great because trance has recently been on the rise again.

Tell us about Ultra Europe this summer – how did you find your set, and the crowd?

Ultra Europe was fun. It was a shame that there was bad weather on the first day so I’m kind of lucky that I didn’t have that since I was playing on the second. The crowd was awesome, and the production was amazing! It was great to play for such a mixed European crowd.

And any idea if we’ll see you back there for 2017’s 5th edition?

That’s a good one. I’m not too sure. I haven’t been paying too much attention to the upcoming shows next year as I’ve been working on my next album.

Finally – what does the next year look like for Ferry Corsten and for Gouryella?

I’m really looking forward to 2017. I’ve been working hard on a project since 2015 and it has taken longer than I have thought…

Gouryella was a one off project that has basically rolled out to a concept. So there will be something linked to Gouryella soon – you guys will find out soon enough!

Tickets and packages to Ultra Europe 2017 are available below.

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