Martin Solveig is one cool cat. His latest track "Hello" sees the famous French DJ team up with Dragonette on one of the catchiest dance jams of the year – seriously it get's the crowds moving. EQ caught up with Martin to talk about how he ended up collaborating with Dragonette, how he manages to maintain life as an international DJ, getting his grandmother to do promo for him and why the UK has always been a tricky area for him.
EQ: Hi Martin – how are you today?
Martin Solveig: Good, thanks, it’s a pleasure to be here with you. I’m in Italy, just performed “Hello” yesterday with Martina from Dragonette for a huge TV show here! And I’m also in Milano to play for the Fashion week.
So I love the whole idea of the tongue-in-cheek tennis story around your new releases like "Smash" and "Hello". Why did you decide to do webisodes for your new music videos?
Thanks! I’ve always been very interested by cinema and that’s how I decided to direct most of my music videos. But with the new SMASH project I wanted to take it to the next level as my ‘manageur’ Lafaille would say – it’s a very different approach from my previous albums, combining music and video at the same time, as I feel nowadays that you really have to give people more than just records. With SMASH I’m telling a whole story that would be a distortion of my reality with a mix of real characters, situations and absurd elements and figures. The episodes and the records all work together, the videos bringing people into my universe with at the end the release of the SMASH album.
As someone who is immersed and originates from the French music scene – how is it different than the UK music scene?
The UK has always been a tricky territory for me. I believe it works around the music you produce and some years ago I did experience a burst of interest when "Rocking Music" and "Everybody" did well. We’ll see what happens with "Hello", it’s doing well and it seems the UK is ready to welcome me back. Obviously I am excited to be doing things there again.
I have to ask you – how did you end up getting into bed with Dragonette? I love the tracks you two have collaborated on like "Boys And Girls". What is it about Marina's voice that draws you in?
Well actually we didn’t really end up in bed! More seriously, Martina who is the vocalist in Dragonette is currently one of my favourite singers, she has a perfect attitude and I was so happy with the collaboration on “Boys & Girls” that I wanted to keep working with her – hence the collaboration on “Hello”, and I’d definitely love to have her with me on another track of the SMASH album, we’ll see.
As someone in their thirties (like me), do you find the travelling around the world promoting your music tiring, or are you still having a blast being out there and doing it?
It can be tiring of course, but I will never complain! I’m enjoying myself doing exactly what I want to do while doing my best to entertain people. And SMASH being a different approach it couldn’t feel fresher and more exciting!
How did you react to being named DJ magazine's Top 100 DJs?
The Top 100 is a strange subject. I think there are so many different opinions on this popularity poll these days, and I try not to get involved. Obviously it’s great to be featured in it any year.
I loved the little "Vote for Martin" video you did with the old ladies. Who were those lovely ladies and how did you get them to do a promo for you? What did you bribe them with?
Actually the woman on the left is my grandmother, no kidding! I had this crazy idea & took her with one of her friends to the park for a quick shooting. That was so much fun, having them discuss about Armin and DJ Magazine… They’ve been great!
Are you an active Twitter user? What is your opinion on Twitter these days? Amazing or too much information?
To be honest I’m more of a Facebook guy as it allows for more audio and video content, but of course both platforms are linked so that every time I post on my Facebook page it’s also sent to my Twitter. Definitely a lot of information out there! And a real opportunity for us artists to exchange and share in innovating ways with our fanbase. That’s why it’s so important for me to personally take care of my Facebook page and not let somebody else do the job pretending it’s me.
Looking back on songs like "I Want You", "The Rejection" and "Everybody" – do you feel your sound has evolved much?
I guess “Hello” is a quite logical evolution from HEDONIST or C’EST LA VIE, but with a clear direction, which is more focused on pop immediacy and club energy. With SMASH I want to try new things, new collaborations, stick a bit more to the music I play in my DJ sets, enjoy myself and try to obtain something entertaining.
Aside from continuing to make amazing webisodes – what's next for Martin Solveig?
“Hello” and the first 2 episodes of the web series were only the beginning – I’m now working on the following single, which should be released during the 1st quarter of 2011 along with new episode… And then the release of the actual SMASH album just before the summer and a smashing tour all around the world, with my ‘manageur’ Lafaille of course!
Any parting words for our EQ readers?
Only to say thanks for all the support, I’m a big fan of the site and check in as much as I can.