Hey Mister DJ
By Gregory Miller
You produced the Black Eyed Peas' mega-hit of the summer 'I Gotta Feeling.' What made you decide to do the cameo in the video?
Well, they just asked me, and I had so much fun! [I'm] very good friends now with Will. We actually -- our deal is kind of done. I produced the tracks for his album, he gave me the voice for my album but we still make music together. We don't even know why! [Laughs] We just do it. No, like right now, we can't be in the studio together, but we still send each other files. I will make a beat, and he'll make a voice on top of it and send it to me. I would add something, work on it. But just for fun! It's just amazing that we still make music [as] friends. I think it's really cool.
So from that massive list of collaborators on the album, did you have a favorite?
Well, of course, it was amazing to work with all those guys. And they all come from different backgrounds, so it's interesting. I have to say that Chris Willis is still one of my favorite artists on the planet -- he's amazing. We have a genuine connection when we're together -- it's really magic. But of course, it was very impressive to work with all those guys. Like Kelly [Rowland], we're very good friends. And she's an amazing singer. Ne-Yo was the most impressive songwriter I've seen in my life. The story with Ne-Yo was that I played him 'When Love Takes Over' in my studio in Paris. He came with Kelly. He wanted to hear something else because he was like, 'Wow! I loved it so much. Do you have another beat?' I just had a beat I'd started -- it was like an eight-minute version. He said, 'No, let it roll, let it roll.' After the end, the song was written. He was like, 'Turn on the mic, I'm ready.'
All of them really. Akon? Amazing. Will.i.am? Amazing. All of the artists at this level, it was apparent they were having so much fun working with me. Dance music is so much more free than what they are used to doing. I think that the vibe in the studio every time was like a party, and they were really happy about it. You know, I was like, 'You want to do only a chorus? We don't need a verse. It doesn't matter.' And they're like, 'What? That's crazy!' And we'd do it. So this freedom and happiness really translates in the album. We were happy making it, so I'm sure that people are going to be happy listening to it.
So how come we never hear the man in the DJ booth sing?
Because I'm a catastrophe. [Laughs.]
I'm the worst singer on the planet. It's embarrassing. When I'm in the studio, I'm working with the best people on the planet, and [when] I have to ask them for some notes, and I have to sing -- it's so embarrassing.
Do you have a favorite song on One Love?
Well, it's very hard. I cannot choose. You know, they've asked me to put 12 songs on the album. That's what the record company needs. And I couldn't! I've tried, I've tried, I've tried. I had to keep the 15 songs. Everywhere [else] in the world there are 15 songs, but in America, there's like a rule, I don't know why, it's complicated, and I had to. It was horrible. It was like the worst moment for me. So, to give you one song, that's impossible!
You've already noted that your first job was at a gay club. Have your gay fans been a big part of your career?
They made my career! The first 10 years when I was a DJ in my country, I was working in gay clubs. Actually, it's really funny -- I bumped into Peter Rauhofer the other day at the airport. We were talking about it because I used to book him. And he was like, 'I want to take to take you on a circuit tour with me again.' And I was like, 'I don't know if the gay crowd still knows me, it's been such a long time.' He was like, 'You're crazy! That would be so much fun!' And I thought that was a cool idea, so I might do it sometime. But you know, when I began with house music, in Paris, it was only possible to play house music in gay clubs. So that's what happened.
Finally, let's pretend for a minute that you're not happily married to a beautiful woman with children. Who's your dream man?
[Laughs] My dream man? It's hard to say! I guess it would be a singer. We could make some music, because I would not be very good for sex with a guy! At least we could be in the studio doing some stuff [Laughs].
David Guetta's new album, One Love, is available now.