We talk to Felix De Laet, or Lost Frequencies, about his burgeoning career
Lost Frequencies: The DJ playing on a whole new wavelength
We speak to Belgian DJ, Felix De Laet, better known as Lost Frequencies, about his burgeoning career as one of EDM's rising stars, and his pivotal take on a 1990s pop classic.
Congratulations on a solid 2018. In this year’s DJ Mag Top 100 you climbed nine places to 17th best DJ in the world. How important are these rankings to DJs?
AIt is more about being able to export yourself to other countries. For people who don’t know you, these rankings sometimes show that you have some value. But I think at the end of the journey, if you’re doing shows and people are coming and listening the music, then it doesn’t matter if you’re in the rankings or not. What matters is what’s happening in real life, which are the shows and people having a great time.
This year you released the well-received single Melody, a collaboration with British singer-songwriter James Blunt. How was that experience?
He asked me to do a remix for him two years ago, during the summer. But I was like, maybe we can do a collaboration together instead. So he sent me a rough demo of Melody. I started working on it and we did some back and forth emails and in the end, he liked it enough to release it. I am just so excited about it because I’m a really big James Blunt fan, and then when I met him, he was just such a nice person.
While you score hits, your 2016 debut album Less is More is still being discovered. Is that the challenge now when it comes to creating albums in the EDM scene?
It is a challenge because on one hand, with music streaming platforms, it takes a really long time for people to listen to the whole album. And I wasn’t planning to release an album in the first place. I released a few singles. But then I also had songs that are not single-appropriate and are more club-ish or more experimental. I really wanted to release them because I played them in my set and people were asking me about it. But the label didn’t plan to release the tracks because they didn’t view them as a single. So I put them in an album so I can put out all my unreleased stuff. Less is More is like a compilation.
What is Love is a big hit from Less is More. A lot people love the original Europop version of the track by Haddaway. Was it a challenge to update it?
My aim wasn’t to make a better version of the original because that song is really cool by itself. I look at my take of it as an alternative version of the track. What made me happy is the writers of the original song told me how they loved the attitude of my version. And the response, of course, was really cool.
While your Dubai show will be a straight DJ set, earlier this year, you experimented performing your music with a live band in select European shows. This is something DJs rarely do because of their multi-layered production. How was that experience?
I compromised a lot. Sometimes, the drummer does something different in the rehearsal and you just have to go with it. I worked on a lot of the arrangements and when someone from the live group is not playing exactly the same, I hear it immediately. But these small mistakes are part of the fun, too. Like once I was playing, I had a keytar hanging around me, and it just fell on the ground so the music just stopped for a few seconds. You just learn to go with it.
Belgium is a small country but home to one of the world’s biggest dance music festivals, Tomorrowland, and scores of popular DJs. What is it about the country that has allowed it to become a citadel of the EDM movement?
It comes from an open-mindedness I think. For example, when I go to a festival, I have no problem going to all the stages to hear different kinds of music. Also, when it comes to the artists, we genuinely like each other and we help each other. With Belgium, there is the attitude of ‘we do what we do’ and we enjoy life.
Lost Frequencies performs at Zero Gravity, Sky Dive Dubai on Friday. Doors open from 5pm. Tickets range from Dh295 (ladies) and Dh345 for men. For details call 04 399 0009