Embarking on his epic, award-winning musical career over three decades ago, playing low-grade sets in hip-hop clubs around Paris, David Guetta, king of commercial dance music, returns with his fifth album.
Listen to Guetta’s exclusive one hour mix for i-D Online to your right.
Currently working his way through an intense worldwide tour, the Grammy-winning, EMI signed artist/producer/remixer/DJ is back to single-handedly set the European club scene on fire. Working with a host of the most in-demand artists, his latest urban dance flavoured double album features Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Usher, Akon, Chris Brown, Jennifer Hudson, Taio Cruz, Snoop Dogg, Sia and Timbaland, whilst the B-side is entirely electronic. Not content to just mosey along the same path which has precipitated him becoming an international sensation, Guetta wants to push things forwards, satisfying his audiences whilst appealing to new fans at the same time. Keeping the balance right, experimenting with established producers whilst continually encouraging and promoting new blood, the 44-year-old father of two has experience and perspective on his side.
Discovered after Daft Punk casually dropped by a venue he was playing back in the early days, his rise to success has been fairly effortless and his life now allows him to enjoy the kind of luxury lifestyle us mere mortals only dream of. i-D Online caught up with the phonetic Frenchman to find out where dem girls at.
What are your plans for the summer in terms of touring? We are doing shows in Europe and America. There’s a festival in Vegas I think is going to be really crazy and fun, they used to do it in Los Angeles. I saw that they had 120,000 people in one stadium, so really looking forward to that one. Then I’m going to Canada then heading back for Easter. Then there’s a night in London, then Italy, then Denmark. I have a gig everyday during the summer, it’s mainly in Europe, I’m doing all the big festivals.
Do you still get nervous before performances? Yeah of course I get nervous. But not all the time, I do tours throughout the year so I’m used to it, it’s funny because actually what makes me nervous is not playing in front of thousands of people, it’s more like if I’m playing for the opening of the gig, or when I’m playing in front of close friends that’s what makes me nervous.
When you are in front of vast crowds, the reaction you get from your fans is phenomenal, people go crazy for your stuff. How does it feel to be in control of so many people? Well I don’t see it as being in control, I see it as a communal experience, we are enjoying something together, that’s my drug. When I see so many people moving together I feel like we are all as one. This is the feeling I’m trying to promote as a DJ, to make everyone feel the same, it doesn’t matter if you are poor, rich, gay or straight. It’s just about a moment where everything else doesn’t matter. I have a song ‘nothing really matters’ – the meaning of it is that it’s my life and that’s why I love what I do so much. Sometimes when I have those moments it feels likes it’s the only place in the world. In reality to everyone everything is so separated, ordinary people take the subway and go to work. I think when I perform it’s the only place where everyone can be in one place and that’s it.
When you are not working how do you relax? What I do like to do is make music. It’s my hobby. I never watch TV. I like to make beats.
How long have you been working on the 5th album for? A year.
How do you feel about it when you listen back? I’m very happy, it’s a really really crazy album.
What was it like working with Nicki Minaj? Oh she’s amazing. I’m very happy we worked together because we did something totally different with her and I think everyone is going to be very, very surprised. She was very professional and has a huge personality, incredible look. And she really has a voice, which says a lot for just one person.
Do you think it is your most accomplished album to date? I don’t think like this, because I am a perfectionist. I think this album will be received really well. I believe I said a lot with this album.
Click here to see more from our i-DJ series.