David Guetta’s pandemic moves
The EDM star on his latest number with Sia and how he got through the global lockdown
In his pre-pandemic life, one of the world’s most popular electronic artists David Guetta would be making tracks and catching a flight every 48 hours. With the global lockdown steadily easing up, the Frenchman has so far traveled to New York, Paris and London, but mostly stayed at home. “It was a big change for me, from being away from home most of the time to being at home 24 hours a day. But I also feel like I needed it in some kind of way,” he says over email.
One of the biggest names in EDM, whose songs like ‘Flames’ and ‘Hey Mama’ pushed the genre into mainstream, chart-topping consciousness, Guetta recently teamed up once again with ‘Titanium’ collaborator and pop star Sia. This time, they offered a feel-good track called ‘Let’s Love’, that delivers an apt message of hope and togetherness. He explains, “I was really inspired to make club music before the pandemic started and it definitely motivated me to start making feel-good music. I imagine this will certainly influence the DJ world when we can play live again.”
He says that during the lockdown, there was plenty of time to “continually develop” his sound, which is one way to avoid relying on formulas — even if you’re a Guinness World Record holder for the DJ with the most fans on Facebook and Twitter. “It has been great to go back to the basics. Creating new things is what it’s all about in the end. It feels like I’m really doing what I love again,” he says.
Album art for David Guetta and Sia’s song, ‘Let’s Love’
At a time when DJs and producers can only perform to audiences virtually – which cuts out the energy of a club or packed festival with pyrotechnics – Guetta still managed to leverage his following online to raise $1.5 million for charities working to aid those affected by Covid-19. While digital concerts are easy when you command a following like Guetta’s, he says there’s no “special trick or secret” that can help others in his field adapt to the times. “My only advice would be to continue creating music that you love and share it everywhere you can.”
He also released New Rave, an EP that heralds the beginning of what he and Danish DJ-producer MORTEN term as “Future Rave”. Guetta says EDM tracks have been “sounding the same for the past four years” and he wanted to change that. “Underground music which is considered ‘cool’ doesn’t have the energy to really get a crowd going on a big mainstage at festivals… We decided to put it out right away despite the clubs being closed.”
Balancing hard-hitting EDM that can turn dancefloors upside down with melodic, shimmering electro-pop, Guetta is striding with a foot in both universes. New Rave arrived about a year after he and MORTEN were working on music, so he promises there will be more to come.