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INTERVIEW: Ferry Corsten talks world premiere of Gouryella in Australia, Atlantis 2016 and Trance

Atlantis complete their epic 2016 trance lineup

Atlantis 2016 will honour trance history with the world premiere of Ferry Corsten presents Gouryella next month.

One of the most influential and versatile producers of the modern electronic music scene, Ferry Corsten, will reach our shores next month for Atlantis 2016 and will perform under his Gouryella alias for the first time ever.

Corsten started up the Gouryella project back in 1999, together with Tiësto, releasing trance hits including; ‘Gouryella’, ‘Walhalla’ and ‘Tenshi’, and later produced a fourth single ‘Ligaya’ with Dutch composer John Ewbank. Gouryella also remixed Solange’s ‘Messages’ and the classic ‘1999’ – Binary Finary.

We caught up with legend in an in-depth phone interview that took place last week in our Sydney office and fired away with questions on Gouryella, the origin of the 2015 hit “Anahera” (voted ‘A State Of Trance Tune of the year’ in 2015), and he revealed the artists who inspire him the most.

Click here for more info on Atlantis 2016.

We’re extremely thrilled for your return to Australia, and this time you’ll be performing for the very first time under your alias ‘Gouryella’ at Altantis 2016 – how excited are you for the upcoming shows and why did you choose Australia for the world premiere?

I’m really excited! It’s a project that I’m doing for the very first time. I never really had the intention of doing anything in the sense of performing under Gouryella, it was originally just going to be a once a year release type of thing, like it used to be. I first bought it back with Anahera”, I tested it out to see what the response would be like and i never really expected the great hype that soon followed after the release. People around the world kept asking if I was going to perform under Gouryella. At first I kept saying not really, because the more you touch something that is successful, the more you run the risk of ruining it, and thought i’d just let things be, but then it was so overwhelming that I was like OK maybe I should. Not just for promoters and having the opportunity to do the shows, but because of the response of the fans that wanted that sound back again, so I decided to go for it!

Atlantis is at the right place, and at the right time for me to do this, and what makes it even better is that Atlantis is a trance-only event, which is great, you don’t have many of those anymore. I prefer to introduce Gouryella to people who love it the most, the trance fans, instead of going to a normal festival where you play for people who don’t all necessarily like trance.

I really wanted to bring it back to the heart of the scene, and that’s what Atlantis really is.

Gouryella means Heaven in native Australian, so with all those things together – it had to be Australia!


We understand that Tiësto won’t be joining you throughout the Gouryella appearances, but did you ever approach him or try get him to join you on stage?

After the third Gouryella release, he was very clear that this was not the sound he wanted to continue with, and he wanted to do his own thing, and soon after that he stepped a way from trance altogether anyway.

We’ve talked about it over the years, my question was always met with “I’m not sure, im not really into the music anymore, I don’t know where you would like to take it, and I don’t think I’m into it.”

After “Anahera” and the great response to it, i thought, you know what, let me just do it – people want it!


What can fans expect from your upcoming sets? Will you be playing all of your Gouryella tracks throughout the Atlantis 2016 tour in Australia?

It’s going to be an hour show, and all of the Gouryella tracks will be played, and there will be some new stuff as well that I produced just for the show. There’s also little bit of Ferry Corsten in there, some recent stuff that fit well with the Gouryella sound.

It will have a 1999 feel to it, with a very modern sound.

I reproduced all the old Gouryella tracks. They sound exactly the same, but only just a lot tighter! The reason I did that was because I was playing around with the old stuff to see what I would play if I was doing a Gouryella set, the old tracks from 1999 simply didn’t stand out sonically to “Anahera”, so I had a choice to either just play a DJ set with all the original Gouryella stuff, or reproduce everything and have the freedom to remix my old tracks again in a sense of like restructuring it and really give it a show sort of feel to it.


What was the inspiration behind the hit “Anahera”?

With “Anahera”, I really wanted to come back with that old 1999 sound, especially with Gouryella, it needed to have the sound like back in the day. I’ve tried it many times before but I could never really find the right sort of melody or right structure. 

I went through all my old projects to see how I produced all those tracks. I stopped by the System F album I produced for Japan, and one of the tracks I heard from the album was The Sonnet. In that track there’s a melody tucked away underneath, its not the main feature in the track its just a supporting part for the other main melody of the song,  and I thought you know what this is so beautiful, I should actually take this, tweak it a little but and give some sort of spotlight basically, and that’s the melody of “Anahera”.

So System F was the inspiration for “Anahera”.


Looking back on the tracks and remixes produced under Gouryella, my personal favourite is the single “Gouryella” – it definitely gives me goosebumps each time i hear it, in fact all your tracks have that effect on me and I’m sure thousands of others, but i do want to ask, which Gouryella track is your most favourite and why?

I really like “Tenshi”. There’s a feeling to “Tenshi”, you can really put your finger on it, on one end its happy and on the other end there’s a sort of sadness to it, and that’s what I really love about it.


What has been the most life-changing moment in your career to this day?

System F – “Out of the Blue” changed my life, it cemented the root that was meant to be for me, it was the record that opened all the doors for me to be where I’m at right now!


You are such a hero to many fans across Australia and young producers out there. Who are your heroes? Which artists inspire you these days?

There’s a guy we work with on the label, his name is Dimension. Funny enough he’s very influenced by my early works, and having him on the label here inspires me! That’s why I’m a happy supporter of him, his tracks are amazing .

On more of a commercial level, I definitely think Calvin Harris is one of them, whatever he does, as commercial as it is, its always spot on. There’s nothing about his tracks I would of done differently.

Above & Beyond are one of my favourites as well!


What advice would you give to upcoming producers from Australia?

Always stick to your guns, follow your own vision, look around and be inspired but don’t copy. Don’t try to be that artist that you copied from, because that artist is already there, you’re not. Really try to be unique. Its trial and error, you do something people like and then you do the next thing people hate, but you live with it and learn!

Create your own unique presence in the scene.

You see a lot of guys come and go, especially with some of the ‘EDM’ DJs that come out just like that, and they get famous, playing all the main stages and they do it for two years but then the sound dies out, because they don’t have their own identity, they just play the hits that everyone else plays. Don’t be that guy, be the guy who invents the next sound.


Will we have to wait a long time for another Gouryella single to be released and are you planning to release a Gouryella album?

I’m not really planning a Gouryella album. For the show I came up with new music, so there’s definitely something new in the air!


Do you have any last words to all your Aussie fans?

I’m really proud and happy that I actually can bring Gouryella to Australia where I borrowed the name from, so its really cool to have it start there, so I’m super excited for next month!


Atlantis 2016 complete lineup:
Aly & Fila
David Gravell
Ferry Corsten presents Gouryella (World Premiere)
Giuseppe Ottaviani Live 2.0

Orjan NIlsen

Atlantis 2016 tour dates & cities:
Sydney: Friday March 11 – All Phones Arena

Perth (Club Atlantis): Saturday March 12 – Metro City
Melbourne: Sunday March 13 – Hisense Arena

Atlantis 2016 tickets:
General on-sale:

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Written by Miguel Ramirez

My name is Miguel, and i'm a trance addict.

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