5 Minutes with David Guetta

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Holidaying in Dubai, the superstar house DJ David Guetta reflects on the "magic" of his Yas Island show last Friday and his quest to share dance music with the masses.

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Thanks for your time David. Especially since I heard you were sick during your Abu Dhabi performance.

Oh no! To be honest, I was not sick but totally jet-lagged. I woke up at six in the afternoon and was just in a different space. Jet-lag is the worst thing in my life. Everything is good in my life except this.

What is your thoughts of your sold-out Yas Arena gig?

I had so much fun and, to be honest, I was surprised. Because the Middle East has a conservative reputation I would say. But yesterday everything was really crazy. There was a beautiful, positive energy. Actually, every time I come here I love it more and more. I am now on holiday in Dubai and I really love it.


ou always seem to be having genuine fun on stage. Does it ever get boring or tiresome considering the countless gigs you play each year?

95 percent of the time - even if I am sick or tired - everything fades away when I step on stage. That is the magic of the live show. It is difficult to explain but it is a relationship between people and myself. I feed them and they feed me with energy. Most of the DJs nowadays were first producers who tasted success. I started as DJ, that is my main thing. I love being on stage and having a party with people.

Is it challenging to maintain that connection with the crowd when you are playing in stadiums?

Well yesterday, for example, was kind of magic. It was a huge show but still there was an intimate connection. It is not always like this. There is always a high level of energy but yesterday there was a real connection as well. But you are right, with some big shows you lose that. That is why I love playing in small clubs as well. That is why I try to play a club show every month, so I can play longer sets and play more new electronic music that I like and produce. All my inspiration as a producer comes from the clubs and it's important for me to sometimes play the smaller shows as well as the big shows.

I went to your Abu Dhabi show with a French friend. He said France was proud of your success because "you taught the Americans how to dance."

Well you know, it's not just about dance music. I feel like I kind of started a new standard of pop music in America and yes, off-course, for a French artist it is unique because it's very difficult to break the UK and US because there are so many local talents and they are protective of their own markets. Probably you are right. I am proud but the French people are more prouder than me.

What does the success mean to you?

My motivation was always to share my passion with more people. And for so many years I did not understand why we are not as big as hip-hop or rock. I think my music keeps the roots of electronic music but at the same time is more melodic. This is why it touches people. If the song is emotional, it will touch people regardless of where they are coming from and that is what I am trying to do. If you look at hip-hop history, some artists really crossed over because they were not only rapping but came with a chorus that could touch anyone. And that's what I think I done with dance music.

But those pioneering hip-hop artists had to withstand a backlash for taking the genre towards commercial territory. How did you deal with the backlash you received with your success?

There are always going to be people that will want to keep the music in the basement. But for me it doesn't make sense. I have been there! I played the raves and underground clubs  but I think this music is not new music. I been playing house music since 1988 so it has to evolve. There is still great place for new underground DJ who wants to keep it like this but what makes the scene so exciting is the fact the music can cross over. It makes our scene both more interesting as well as being underground.

David Guetta's Nothing But The Beat is out now through EMI.