In conversation with David Guetta, the Goliath of EDM
Bridging the gap between Electronic Dance Music, especially House, and other genres, David Guetta was one of the first DJs to enjoy global success. In an email interview with Dhara Vora, prior to his second visit to India, the French DJ/producer speaks about his new album and the changing course of his signature style of music
Q. Your new songs sound different from your regular music style. Was this a conscious decision?
A. Listen (his new album) has been one of my most personal and challenging albums till date. And yes, it is completely different from anything I’ve done before. That’s also why it has taken almost three years. All I can say is that it’s entirely song-based.
I have always been drawn to harmonies and emotional music and this album is no exception, and it is even more song-based than my last one. I wanted to push myself to the max. I knew I could make beats that make people dance, so now the challenge is to create the best possible music and songs that are timeless.
French DJ/producer David Guetta. Pics/AFP
Q. Tell us a bit more about Listen.
A. There are records to make you dance like crazy, but it’s deeper. The album has collaborations with many people who are new to me; like Emeli Sande, John Legend, Nico & Vinze. All are new — except for Nicki Minaj and Sia. Sam Martin features on two songs. He is talented but isn’t very famous yet. This is kind of a statement too, and a risk.
David Guetta, won the Best Remixed Recording, (Non-Classical) category at the 53rd Grammy Awards in 2011
Q. The Electronic Dance Music scene is filled with young DJs today, all making it to the Top Ten charts with the likes of Tiesto and you. Is the competition good, and how do you keep up with the pressure?
A. It’s brilliant how the Electronic scene has exploded across the world. Five years ago, the big risk that I took was when I bridged the gap between Urban and Dance. More than anything, I feel I have a responsibility towards my fans and I feel the urge to surprise them each time I come up on the stage. It’s also great to know that people are being inspired by me because it’s an honour and I’ve been inspired by other people too, so I’ve no problem with that. The only thing I can do in response is to try to reinvent myself.
Q. How do you manage to compose while on tour?
A. Well, I don’t do anything else than touring or making music. While a lot of people might think this is very pathetic, but it makes me very happy. I am travelling most of the time. But this year, I have spent chunks of time in LA or Ibiza, where I could focus on writing and producing Listen. Nothing But The Beat was created mainly on the road. My studio was my laptop. This time, I used more traditional methods. I hope, the result is a collection of songs that can be interpreted by anyone — from a Rock band to an orchestra.
Q. What do you plan to do on your India tour?
A. First of all, I’m genuinely excited to be coming to India again! I loved playing in India. The Dance music scene has really escalated to a different extent after my debut visit and I’m very excited to see it. Guetta performs in Delhi and Bengaluru this month and will be the headliner at Enchanted Valley Carnival on December 20.
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