One of the hottest hands in electronic music production is getting even hotter. With releases spanning from “Icarus” to “Technicolor,” sparing few but quality efforts in between, Madeon found himself on pace to becoming one of the more gifted (and still improving) artists of his craft. Taking loyal listeners by surprise and throwing a curveball into the trajectory of his signature sound came the release of Lady Gaga’s Artpop, where his three credited productions each displayed new capabilities and facets of styling.
Recently speaking to MTV on the subject of his Artpop duties, Madeon opened up on his influences and preferences in line of his productions for the album and how he’ll be following that creative direction in the development of his debut artist album.
Through the prism of an electronic music fan, the term “crossover” often receives a negative connotation, and in many cases, that pessimism is fair. The Pitbulls of the world haven’t done any favors for EDM’s move into popular culture, and most public figures’ latching onto the trending genre do so with little respect for the music. In fact, these cases are oftentimes being mislabeled as crossovers — there is nothing being crossed-over, only stolen; the mistreatment of the source material normally results in a blatant mess. If anything, I’d call them clashovers. However, there are a select few artists that have integrated electronic elements into their music, making for a natural crossover. Most notably in today’s climate, that artist is Lady Gaga.
In a recent interview with MTV, “Clarity” producer Zedd, calls his collaboration with Lady Gaga “Aura” one of the “most interesting and unique electronic songs ever.” Featuring a wide range of styles, including arena rock guitars, electro drops and minimal kicks, “Aura” is definitely a strange crossroad of pop sensibilities, artistic expression and electronic aggression. The young producer, who also recently collaborated with Hayley Williams, hopes that “Aura” will be one of ARTPOP’s singles:
“I obviously, I would love for it to be a single, but there’s so many great songs on the album. She will make the right decision.”
Featured in the upcoming movie Machete Kills, the track has gotten an official lyric video that doubles as a trailer for Robert Rodriguez’s latest grindhouse gore fest. Is it really the most unique electronic song ever? You be the judge and watch the video after the break.
Dance music’s strongest supporter of feel-good vibes, Viceroy, takes on Lady Gaga’s “Applause” and does what he does best, transforming the mix into a colorful wave of blissful guitar strumming and percussive flairs. Bringing mellow riffage and shifty poolside rhythms to Gaga’s pop dance smash, the LA-based production talent preemptively shakes off the winter blues. The days may be getting shorter and the weather colder, but in Viceory’s world it’s “summertime, all the time.”
There seems to have been no mountain too high or landmark too bold for Madeon. From the early remnants of his remix for “Raise Your Weapon” and the infamous 39-song “Pop Culture” mix back in 2011, it became very apparent that the young French artist – a composer from the age of 11 who found epiphany in Daft Punk’s Alive 2007 tour – was not playing around. Just two-years down the line, you would be hard pressed to find a young talent with a steadier finger on the pulse of modern electronic music. Now hailed for cutting edge programming from across the musical spectrum and a healthy affliction with the Novation Launchpad, his name rings with far more resonance than that of an accidental breakout propelled forward by youth and good luck.
A live dance evangelist whose technical capabilities have taken the internet and global festival circuit alike by storm, his ability to match cutting edge experiences with a sparing yet eclectic discography of releases has not done the composer lesser known as Hugo Pierre Leclercq any discredit along the way. Since exploding upon the global industry, he’s produced and written for the likes of Two Door Cinema Club, Muse, Ellie Goulding and Lady Gaga, adding a recent return to the solo-trail through “Technicolor” to assert that amid the peaks of his genre-defying activity, Madeon is one of the most essential new forces to both make and break the rules of dance music’s 360-degree industry scope. With “Technicolor” finally upon us, Dancing Astronaut caught up with the composer-turned-button pusher to unravel the anatomy of a European breakout blazing the global trail on his own unique terms.
“We didn’t try to make an EDM album – but, at the same time, we didn’t try not to make an EDM album,” Zedd summed up his collaborative studio time with Lady Gaga. Going outside the box with the pop star for ARTPOP, he warned us that the forthcoming album will be “pretty fucking cool.” Without drawing any lines between pop and dance, Zedd described the resulting sound with an open-ended “whatever is dope is dope.” Fans got a first taste of the Queen of Pop’s newest demeanor last week when a duel-face track speculated as “Burqa / Aura” leaked with production from Infected Mushroom and Zedd himself.
Lady Gaga reacted furiously to the leak of the unmastered demo and in result pulled the trigger on her ARTPOP agenda, letting loose the album’s lead single today, one week ahead of schedule. “Applause” comes produced by Paul Blair, the man behind Born This Way who has since ventured into EDM as DJ White Shadow, with co-production from DJ Snake. Although not produced by Zedd, “Applause” features the unbounded electro energy he tried describing; an organic segue from mainstream pop to creative electronica. Expect Lady Gaga (along with her producers) to lead a new chapter of commercial dance success with ARTPOP slated for November 11th and “Applause” currently on its way to American radio stations.
Back in October, a Twitter thread nearly revealed one of the records Zedd had produced for Lady Gaga. Calvin told Gaga he was excited to hear the her work with Zedd, and following a shout out from the producer himself, Gaga responded; “Were all good [Zedd] miss you buddy been listening to **rq* all day.” The five-letter word could only be assumed as a track title with three hidden characters, but it seems to finally have been revealed as a demo from Lady Gaga’s forthcoming ARTPOP has leaked. The track is dubbed “Burqa,” revealing October’s cryptic tweet. The leaked tune reveals Zedd sticking to his artistry for Gaga’s newest work, a polished sound that would fit in with Clarity. But that’s only the half of it, literally….
While the demo is also rumored to be a duel record with a two-part title, it’s believed that Infected Mushroom are responsible for the second half known as “Aura.” Their contribution had been originally posted to SoundCloud one year ago without a name and could be found here.
Speculations around how much money DJs make aren’t uncommon, but they are often misleading. While Forbes dance music related coverage hasn’t always been accurate, their financial figures are more trustworthy. In one of their many celebrity lists the magazine has revealed Calvin Harris as their fourth top-earning celebrity under 30 with a cool $46 million. Harris is in good company, coming in just after three of the biggest household music names in the world: Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and Taylor Swift. This number could also serve as a barometer for guesstimating the annual incomes of other big names in the dance music industry.
Last August, Forbes released a list of The World’s Highest-Paid DJs, which you can see here.
Zedd continues to maintain his impressive trajectory with another career milestone, this time checking “score a movie” off his forever-shortening bucket list. Following up the incredible success of “Clarity,” as well as collaborating with Lady Gaga on her latest album, Zedd now finds himself lending his talents to a scene in the upcoming film The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. The film is due out on August 21st.
If Clarity was any evidence, Zedd is well primed for the intersection between pop music and electronic. After touring with Lady Gaga last spring, Zedd has formally hooked up with the megastar to help produce her forthcoming album ARTPOP. As dance music continues its rise into mainstream acceptance, Zedd’s collaboration with Gaga could represent the zenith of EDM’s advancement.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Zedd said of the studio collaboration: “I’m really, really excited for people to hear what we came up with. I just really can’t imagine they would not like it, to just say it straight up. I think the stuff we’ve made is pretty fucking cool.”