Ferreck Dawn has been a fixture on the dance music scene for over 2 decades, breaking through the mould with releases on the likes of Nervous, Defected, and Relief. With a new collaboration on Repopulate Mars on the horizon with Lee Foss and Alex Mills, backed with a remix from Marco Faraone, the Dutch titan takes some time out of his busy schedule for a chat with us here at When We Dip.
WWD: Hi Ferreck, thank you for talking to us today, and congratulations on your new track ‘The Void’, with Lee Foss and Alex Mills! Could you tell us a bit more about the process behind this collaboration?
Thanks for having me :). I released a track with Alex Mills in 2019 and we stayed in touch. I sent her a basic idea of the instrumental of ‘The Void’ last year and asked if she wanted to work on it together. She sent back the amazing topline. Alex is a great singer and writer, she really knows how to write a topline that fits perfectly in a house track.
After I finished the outline of the track I sent it to Lee and asked he if was up for doing it together as a collab on his label. I’m a big fan of Lee’s productions so I was really happy he was into it.
WWD: You’re no stranger to collaborations, having previously worked with artists such as A-Trak before. How was this collaboration different, particularly during the lockdown. Did this impact your work?
I’m a fan of collaborations indeed. I love sparring with another producer, exchanging ideas and feeding of eachother. I find it more enjoyable to work on music together. Both Alain and Lee are great producers so in that way it wasn’t very different. Both had very creative ideas that worked well in the tracks. The lockdown didn’t really affect it as 99% of my collabs are online, sending stems back and forth to producers that aren’t based in the Netherlands.
WWD: Could you share your approach to production with us? What is your studio set up like, do you have any equipment you couldn’t live without?
I usually like to start with the vocal / topline as I find that the easiest starting point. Although that’s usually how I start on a track, The Void was different. I started a beat, ended up being really into the instrumental and sent it to Alex.
Regarding equipment, I produce ‘in the box’ so I don’t use hardware. Some of my favourite plug ins are Sylenth 1, Diva and Rob Papen’s Subboom bass. Also a big fan of Soundtoys and Waves.
WWD: What initially drew to you dance music as a career path?
Aged 16 I attended my first big rave in the Amsterdam Arena. I was so in awe with everything that evening, the music, the light show and the energy on the dance floor. That really started the fire and after that event I purchased 2 old turntables and a mixer and started practising. I’ve been djing for almost 18 years now and producing music for about 15 years. In 2014 I released a track with my good friend Redondo called ‘Love Too Deep’ that made it to daytime rotation on BBC radio 1. Because of the success of that track, I decided to quit my daytime job and pursue a fulltime career in music. 7 years later and here we are 🙂
WWD: With festivals and gigs still out of the picture, what do you do to fill the time?
I have 2 young kids so I’m spending a lot of time with them. I love seeing them grow up everyday but also can’t wait for the festivals and gigs to come back. It’s all about balance haha :). When I’m not with the kids I’m in the studio. I just moved house and actually building a new studio as we speak.
WWD: Overall, 2020 was a tough year, how did you get through it?
It definitely was. It started off great with a gig at the amazing Printworks in London, my debut in Italy and my first tour in Australia, New Zealand and Bali. Then in March all of a sudden the schedule was empty. That was very hard to swallow as I had some amazing gigs lined up. I definitely found it hard to deal with that in the beginning. I spent all of my time in the studio and worked on a lot of new tunes. Even though I’m a bit ‘used’ to not touring now, I literally can’t wait to get back out there. I really really hope the fall of 2021 will be the kick off of the ‘old normal’ again.
WWD: And now that it’s over, what’s on the horizon for 2021?
I just had the release with A-Trak and have the collab with Lee and Alex coming up. I also have collabs coming up with Vintage Culture, David Penn and Guz and working on a few originals as well. Fingers crossed I get to play them out in a full club end of the year 🙂
Lee Foss, Ferreck Dawn ft. Alex Mills ‘The Void’ drops on Repopulate Mars on 29th January 2021. Buy HERE