“I never thought dance music would last this long”
“How do you pronounce legendary? asks superstar DJ, writer, producer and multi-multimillionaire David Guetta from his Paris apartment. “Where are you emphasizing there? »
He tries to describe Creamfields, the festival he’s been linked to virtually since his early days as a DJ – and an event he’s still thrilled to attend in both its North and South incarnations.
“I was a kid when I first played Creamfields,” he says in an accent that still sounds quite French even after all these years. “It’s one of those legendary festivals that is so much a part of our culture. One of the key moments in my career was there.
‘I was kind of new and they didn’t want me to play on the main stage because I wasn’t tall enough so they put me in a tent for 10,000 people and three or four times as many people as that came and the police shut us down. That’s how I started to get hype in the UK, so Creamfields is part of my story.
And it’s a story that includes 50 million record sales, 10 billion streams and a fortune for selling his catalog for the few that would exceed £100 million!
The first time I spoke to David was at the start of his superstar status, when I felt like it was his moment… “And that moment lasted 20 years,” he laughs, not without modesty but with the idea that the culture of dance has proven itself. have endurance far beyond anyone predicted.
“I remember a conversation with [mega DJs] Frankie Knuckles and David Morales was like talking to my masters. It was in 1992 and I had booked them to play with me in Paris…’ at the time when David managed legendary evenings – we repeat this word – at the Palace and at the Bains Douches…’ and I said to them: “You book so many gigs, you must be dying with all the work,” and they were like, “Oh, we have another five years to make dance music, so we have to keep going.”
“I never thought it would last this long, but in my opinion people will always want to dance.”
And he may have been consistently voted the world’s best DJ ever since and worked with the biggest stars – Kelly Rowland, Nicki Minaj, Jason Derulo, Sia, Little Mix, Ella Henderson, Becky Hill – on a string of number one tracks. . and albums, but David is far from resting on his laurels and is determined to remain what he calls “culturally relevant”. This is where his current project, Future Rave, comes in.
“When I started I was 17 and the crowd averaged 22,” he says. “When I was 30, they were still 22 and now I’m 50, they’re still 22!” But I think I’m still 22, I mean, for real. And I like to play for young people. We did Future Rave in New York and it was all kids.
“I thought it was so cool that I can still inspire the younger generation. I loved it as much as having hits. Maybe that’s even more important.
For someone who describes himself as “hyperactive”, the lockdown has been a challenge but a chance to rebalance – from traveling the world as a DJ to creating music.
“During Covid, I went from doing music one day a week, maybe an hour here and an hour there, to seven days a week, all day, doing nothing but music. music. Record companies are always complaining that artists don’t put out enough music and now they’re calling and saying, ‘David, you gotta slow down. Can you relax a bit, please…” I have entire hard drives full of new music.
But now he’s back on tour and remembers how exhausting it is. You wonder why, with all those millions – Forbes magazine estimated he made around £20m a year, regardless of that catalog money – he pushes himself so hard.
“A lot of my friends asked that question,” he laughs. “But that’s what I love!” I am lucky to be able to make my hobby my job. The only difference is that now I can only do the shows I really like. I don’t need to compromise.
“If they bring me a show for money but it looks like something that’s not going to be fun, I don’t do it.”
‘But if they bring me a show that’s going to be super cool, like Creamfields…why would I take out what makes me happiest in my life? Nothing makes me happier than that.
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