David Guetta explains his ‘midlife crisis’ while creating ‘Listen’ and the cycle of sounds in EDM
Lately, the realm of electronic music has come to pair David Guetta’s image with humor: many recall a bizarre YouTube clip that showed the French DJ “spaced-out” during his performance at Tomorrowland, a clip that began to gain traction on the internet soon after the festival. As unexplainable as his onstage behavior may have been at the time, David Guetta seems to be dealing with issues far deeper than the surface jokes may suggest. In a recent interview with Belfast Telegraph, he shed some revealing light on his current position:
For many years, my life was synonymous with party. When you’re into that, you never settle down. Right now, I’m in a midlife crisis. I’m questioning everything: my music, what’s important to me. These were things I thought were important that are less so now.
Perhaps tied to his recent divorce with wife of 22 years, he explains in a separate interview with Irish Times that his latest album Listen is a deviation away from his expected pop music boom and instead, a more emotional, song-based breakdown of what Guetta hopes will be the future direction of EDM as a whole. “When I was making Listen, I was worried. I didn’t believe in myself, and I was doubting myself every minute. When I did Nothing But the Beat, I knew my sound, and I knew how to make it.” he explains. “I made a choice to go into something I didn’t fully understand [when making Listen.] I didn’t have the recipe, so there was a lot of experimentation involved. I spent months not being able to come up with any interesting ideas, and that was very scary.” Listen, which released on November 24th, features a mixture of fellow collaborators both new and old including Nicki Minaj, Sia, and new partners like John Legend and The Script.
Despite the fact that some of his tracks still retain a familiar, radio-ready quality (“Hey Mama” with Nicki Minaj and Afrojack), David Guetta believes that the end of ‘EDM’ is close on the horizon.
I feel like we’re at the end of the cycle. The sounds have become so hard, and sometimes it’s not very melodic. The hard stuff was exciting at the time, but it isn’t sustainable. I think it’s reaching a limit, and it’s why deep house came back so strong […] I think EDM is still going to be strong, but in a different way.
Similar to other fellow producers like Seth Troxler and Pete Tong, Guetta, a producer active since the early 90’s and considered one of the pioneering figures for electronic music’s widespread popularity in the US, sees a coming rejuvenation for what most have come to know as EDM. In hopes of jumping on early to a softer, more musically melodic interpretation of the electronic genre, David Guetta’s latest album Listen hopes to be just that.