The Eric Prydz protege Fehrplay actually began making music with his first computer at the age of 12. Born Jonas Von Der Fehr, the Norwegian DJ and producer started off listening to trance and then progressed to more funky house stuff in the early Axwell days. Once he found the more progressive side of dance music via Eric Prydz it inspired him to start producing and move to Manchester, England to study music four years ago. His first track, "Meow," was signed by Ministry of Sound and got airplay on the critically acclaimed Pete Tong radio show. Soon he joined the elite record label roster of Pryda Friends and has since embarked on his first US Tour bringing the same dark, sexy feel to the club as Prydz. It makes it's way to the Yost Theater this Saturday April 27th alongside LA local favorite Paul Ahi.
"I made that first track using small speakers in my dorm room and all of the sudden Pete Tong was playing it," Fehr says. "It was incredible and I got the thirst for more." Jonas kept his music to himself for a long time waiting to share it with his famous DJ idols until it had been perfected. "I waited until I thought it was absolutely perfect before sending a demo to Eric," says Fehr. His dreams came true and he was signed onto Eric's management two months after his first release on the label. Today, being on the forefront of Pryda Friends, he gets loads of tracks which all sound the same or need development. "So many people send me music when they have only been producing for a couple of months," he says. "I would love to hear their stuff down the road when they have really honed their sound."
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With his unique track selection, Fehrplay steers away from the mainstream like his producer mentor Eric Prydz and you will rarely hear the same typical Top 40 Beatport selections in his sets. "I agree the whole Beatport top 10 sounds like one producer but if you want to sell music and stick to that formula that works so well then that's how you will sound." Fehr on the other hand isn't the type to smash out a track in a week. Instead, he tries out his tracks live and gets people's opinions long before it's finally released--much like his current hit "Phantom." Inspired by listening to the melodic piano riffs in Eric's music "Phantom" will finally be released May 20th. "It's almost impossible for me not to be inspired by Eric's work and I don't think I can make music without having his inspiration in mind," he says.
Though a genius producer, Fehrplay is still a DJ selector in his own right. He brings a good set of tracks which can include Manuel de la Mar's "Across the Universe" (one of his favorites), Maceo Plex's "Filthy Mama" to Major Lazer's "Get Free" the down tempo Adriatique's Lazers Never Die Rework of course. Since this is his first US tour after touring around with Eric Prydz he is still getting used to how different markets will respond and that's what makes deejaying so much fun for him. "Sometimes I'll try adding a techno track. If it doesn't work and they want more energy then I'll do that," Fehr says. "Yet on this tour I've been playing what I love and it's awesome and surprising to hear the crowds reaction and know they are loving what I'm playing too. That makes it a perfect gig for me."
Having played in California several times now, including a set with Pete Tong at the famous Avalon in Hollywood, Jonas says he looked at pictures of the Yost Theater and thought for a second he was playing in the side room. "Looking at the pictures online the Yost looks incredible and whenever it says theater in the venue name you know the sound is going to be massive," he says. Bringing a fresh take on progressive house the OC crowd who's used to commercial stuff will be pleasantly surprised. Similar to Prydz, Fehrplay has higher energy and bigger buildups with elements of deep house and techno. A big fan of film scores he has recreated those emotions onto the dance floor. "I think a great melody is the secret to a great song and that's what I spend the most time on sometimes sitting on the piano for days before I discover something." Expect to be taken on a musical journey much like the one at Space when Fehrplay had to take over for Eric Prydz in Miami! Follow us on Twitter @OCWeeklyMusic and like us on Facebook at Heard Mentality.