By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Dutch House DJ/Producer Fedde Le Grand, best known for his track “Put Your Hands Up For Detroit,” returns to Rio to play two shows this month; first at Sunrise Espaço De Eventos (Sunrise Events Space) on Sunday, December 15th and then in the Centro de Convenções SulAmérica (SulAmerica Convention Center) on the 19th. Before he takes to the decks, he took a couple of minutes to speak with The Rio Times.
Originally released in 2006, Le Grand’s “Put Your Hands Up For Detroit” was seen, at the time, as a revival of house music. It peaked at the number one position on the UK Dance Charts and went on to be sampled by Detroit native Madonna during her promotional tour and by the Detroit hockey (Detroit Red Wings) and baseball (Detroit Tigers) teams during their games.
When asked about the recent news of the U.S. city of Detroit’s declaration of bankruptcy, Le Grand told The Rio Times, “It’s kind of crazy that a whole city could file for bankruptcy and I guess it’s a very stark thing to happen to Detroit. When you think about all the industry that was there with the motor factories, and of course Motown, then Detroit Techno, it’s really sad.”
“It was Detroit Techno that inspired the tune,” Le Grand continued. “One of the most inspirational musical movements for me and a lot of my electronic heroes like Kevin Saunderson, Derrick May, Juan Atkins were part of that.”
Following “Put Your Hands Up For Detroit,” Le Grand released the track “Let Me Think About It”, a remix of Danish singer Ida Corr’s original song and another massive hit for Le Grand.
Remixes of Coldplay’s “Paradise” and Everything but The Girl’s “Missing,” Camille Jones’ “The Creeps,” and Nikki Williams’ “Glowing” followed, along with the tracks “Control Room,” “So Much Love” and his most recent release entitled, “Where We Belong.” The artist’s continuous successes have worked to establish Le Grand as a major player in house music.
“I started DJing when I was a kid, at school, but I was more into hip-hop when I first started,” Le Grand explained. “Back in those days you had to go to a record store to get new music, so when I was in there listening to hip hop tunes I started to listen to records that were more house.”
“There was just something about the house sound that felt natural to me, it did what I wanted in a mix, I was able to create a musical journey that I felt a fit with.”
He continued, “Being able to head up a party, being able to direct the mood, to get the dance floor pumping by the music that you’re choosing to put on there as the DJ is a pretty amazing feeling, it just got hold of me and I guess you could say I was addicted.”
Over his career, audiences became hooked as he gained a reputation as a great live DJ with the ability to keep the crowd moving with both his hits and combinations of the best music out there today. He is known for playing both large stadium/big venue shows and for his appearances at smaller more intimate clubs.
In Brazil, Le Grand’s fan-base is eager for his return and he feels the same. “I love Brazil, the clubs are incredible, playing during carnival is a once in a lifetime experience, the fans are so warm and welcoming, I think that if you ask any DJ about Brazil they’ll say the same thing, it’s definitely on the bucket list for a lot of artists.”
Who: Fedde Le Grand
When: Sunday, December 15th and Thursday, December 19th
Where: Sunrise Espaço de Eventos and Centro de Convenções SulAmérica