Lost Frequencies

by Dan MacIntosh

Here's something you don't see very often: a country song remixed by a Belgian producer becomes a #1 hit throughout Europe.

The song is "Are You with Me" by Easton Corbin, and the producer is Felix De Laet, who goes by the stage name Lost Frequencies. His specialty is deep house, but he often works in other genres, including hip-hop, jazz and country. We caught up with the 22-year-old wunderkind at the Coachella festival.
Dan MacIntosh (Songfacts): You don't strike me as a country music fan, so how did your remix of Easton Corbin's song, "Are You with Me" come about?

Felix De Laet: I was looking for a track to remix with a guitar vibe and driving bass and nothing else. I was looking for a long time and I never found it. And then when I'd stopped looking at some point, on Soundcloud I heard a really short demo of his album, and when I heard this track I said, "Hey, this is the track I've been looking for."

It has what I really wanted, so I bought the track and I did a remix of it and I posted it on Soundcloud. Then a label from the Netherlands saw it and liked it and had somebody else sing the new version with new guitars and stuff.

Songfacts: Have you ever talked to Easton Corbin?

Felix: I talked to the songwriters. They were really nice. They were, like. "We really like the version. It's really cool. We should try something together sometime." And I was, like, "Sure, sounds awesome."

"Are You with Me" was written by Tommy Lee James, Terry McBride and Shane McAnally. All of these gentlemen are successful Nashville songwriters. McAnally, for example, is one of Kacey Musgraves' main collaborators, and also co-produced her two albums. He's also produced for Sam Hunt, Kelly Clarkson, Old Dominion and Jake Owen.
Songfacts: When you talk about looking for music to work with, it reminds me of the title to a George Michael album, Listen Without Prejudice. You don't really care what genre the song comes from, just that it has what you're looking for in sound?

Felix: Yes, I've made a lot of different music, from a lot of different genres. It doesn't really matter where it comes from, just as long as when I put the music on, it feels good.

Songfacts: Did you receive any complaints from the country music community for redoing this song?

Felix: I like to go on YouTube to read the comments on my videos, but I don't recall seeing a lot of bad comments. They just say it's different. It's a new version. Maybe not better. I always say I'm not making a better version, I'm just making another version.

Songfacts: Can you think of other music you've created with a genre that may surprise people?

Felix: I'm working on a new album, and all the singers on the album are not famous. And sometimes, they don't come from the dance world. They have a lot of differences, so we see what we can do together. I don't really have a name for the world they come from.

I really like a guy who is from Norway, and he does a lot of rock. He contacted me because he really liked "Are You with Me," and he just said, "Maybe I can sing for you one time." I said, "Sure. Why not?" So, that's how I like to work.

Songfacts: When you listen to music, do you hear singers and think, "That's somebody I'd like to work with?" Who are on your wish list?

Felix: I really like MØ. She's really specific in what she's doing. Sometimes the song's weird, but I really like her.

Musically, I was thinking about Tove Lo. It's funny that I'm saying girls right now because my new album is almost all guys. Maybe that's why I'm saying girls right now.

Songfacts: I know a lot of songwriters will start with music, and then they'll add lyrics. But with the music you make, I wonder how you work. Do you start with the beat?

Felix: Yeah, I start with the beat. And because I play the piano, I usually start with the piano to play the melody. I put a lot of stuff around it, then I take stuff off. Otherwise, it's all piano.

Dance music has so many different sounds that you can use. You can use some crazy stuff, so I like to take the piano off and use other sounds. I like guitars.

Songfacts: Do you play other instruments?

Felix: I can pick up the guitar and do some stuff, but I never really learned it. I was focused on the piano. But that's helped me a lot because I produce on a computer. And now with all these synthesizers, all the instruments are on synthesizers.

Songfacts: You're from Belgium, and so with everything that happened with the terrorist attacks recently, it makes me wonder if world events influence the music you make.

Felix: Yes, it does. Actually, I just made a track after the events that has a less happy vibe.

I play festivals where people are happy, and I cannot always bring music that is sad. Usually, I make a version that I really like, that I listen to in my bedroom or my car to relax. And then I make another version of it for my DJ sets that's a little more crazy so people can dance to it.

Songfacts: So you create for you, and then you also create for others?

Felix: My music isn't really hard, but because I'm getting bigger, sometimes I play at one o'clock or two o'clock in the morning and it's late. I don't want to play stuff that's really down because people are going to be tired and I have to keep them focused. That's why I'm making a lot of different versions so I can play in the circumstances.

Songfacts: Tell me about this new album. Is it finished?

Felix: It's mostly finished.

Songfacts: Do you have a title for it?

Felix: Not yet.

Songfacts: Who are the artists that really inspired you to do what you do?

Felix: There's one artist I really love. He's called Flume from Australia. He had an album a few years ago called Flume, and I've been listening to this album so much.

Songfacts: Usually when I talk to other artists, they won't admit to listening to other artists.

Felix: I listen to a lot of different artists. When I'm backstage and I see all those guys, I go crazy.

July 12, 2016
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