David Guetta is a busy man. While this statement may not come as too much of a surprise, to give an idea of what we mean, just in the short space of time we’ve been attempting to pin him down for an interview for this very article, the Frenchman has been locked away in studio sessions in LA and playing gigs all across Europe — and this coming month he’s off to Brazil for a short tour too. That’s a lot of airmiles! In fact, according to one popular ticketing website, he’s played 108 gigs in 2016 already — that’s a lot of music!
The most notable of these, without a doubt, was Dave’s performance under the Eiffel Tower as part of the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament. After being announced as the official musical ambassador for the French-hosted event at the end of 2015, Guetta’s track ‘This One’s For You’, featuring vocals from Zara Larsson, was made the official song of tournament. He then performed the track at his home city’s most iconic site; with the tragic Paris terrorist attacks still fresh in everyone’s minds, this was a hugely significant moment for Guetta (and a proud one for the dance music industry as a whole).
While 2016 hasn’t been entirely plain sailing for David — he was accused of plagiarism by fellow DJs Diplo and DJ Snake; a man with a knife broke into Guetta’s Ibiza home (again!) — it’s pretty clear the positives outweighed the negatives. Following a massive show at Ultra Music Festival in Miami and his once-in-a-lifetime gig at the Euros (including the Opening Ceremony, too), the golden-haired superstar spent much of his summer on the White Isle, hosting his weekly F*** Me I’m Famous parties at Pacha nightclub and enlisting the likes of Bakermat, Sam Feldt and Robin Schulz as guests.
Music-wise, Davey-boy’s not exactly been dropping tracks by the bucketload, but what he has put out has at least been varied. Earlier in the year he teamed up with Brit trio Disciples for throbbing house number ‘No Worries’, before turning to a more family-friendly direction for his UEFA track and new single ‘Would I Lie To You?’ with Cedric Gervais and long-time vocal collaborator Chris Willis. Guetta even revisited 2014’s ‘Pelican’, releasing an epic eight-minute builder that serves as a firm reminder that no matter how pop he gets, Dave still knows how to make a cracking choon!
2017 will see Guetta off on the road once again on his Unity tour. The Parisian recently announced his first date, popping over to the Austrian capital of Vienna on 29th July, but fear not if you can’t make it, you can be sure there’ll be plenty to follow. Short of Martin Garrix and Tiësto smashing a boat right through his studio, it looks like nothing can stop David Guetta! BEN HINDLE
What have been the new frontiers for you this year?
“The peak of my year was that I got to produce the anthem for the Euro 2016 [tournament] and perform underneath the Eiffel Tower. I am from Paris and after the terrorist attacks it felt really symbolic for me to be back in my country and to be playing underneath the most famous monument in the world. And of course performing my own record at Stade de France, during one of the biggest sports events of the world, was also great.”
Is electronic music taken seriously enough as an art form?
“I think a lot of people are taking it too seriously. We all started DJing for fun, and it should stay like this.”
What’s the best new bit of DJ/production technology, and why?
“When it comes to DJing, I believe that using Pioneer is still the best option for me. They also made me try an incredible machine that allows you to sync drums with music and follow the tempo. This is incredible, because you can do this with samples too. When it comes to production, there is this completely crazy and simple compressor called OTT. It’s like magic. It makes everything sound so loud, and I can hear many producers using it. I think you can even get it for free and it’s really incredible.”
If you had to switch your style to another genre, what would it be?
“I love many music styles and I've felt frustrated sometimes because I really wanted to play other styles of music. I wished I could play more underground, for example, because I love underground. But the same goes for hip-hop, because I love hip-hop too. I also love classics, and I wished I could play classics from the ‘90s or classic house music. But I think part of the artistic journey is to understand who you are as an artist and to know what you are best at. So I’m happy with playing the way I play now.”
As a fan, what is the top price you would pay to see yourself DJ?
“Don’t worry, I’ll be on the guest list!”
How can we increase diversity in dance music?
“I love many types of music and I think that it’s so terrible that a lot of people only listen to one specific style. It’s something I really don’t understand! Music is also about being curious and discovering new sounds by different influences. When it comes to festivals these days, I’m really happy about what they are doing. They are back to programming different types of artists, which gives a greater overall experience. Right now, it is really exciting that different scenes and styles are emerging, which is beautiful.”