Last night (Wednesday, May 29), New York’s iconic Marquee nightclub was filled to the brim with globetrotters galore and sweatband-wearing raveratis, all there to see one man: house producer-DJ, Martin Solveig. Though he may joke about his newfound personae as ‘Super Solveig‘, Solveig certainly has some heroic qualities. As an EDM mainstay he brings uplifting music to the masses, making their daily troubles evaporate like sweat off the dance floor. VIBE sat down for a hello with Solveig moments before his Marquee show to discuss his longstanding career in EDM, which includes side projects in playing competitive tennis and directing films. –Jessica Wunsch
VIBE: Describe the sound you are creating right now. How does it differ from what you did in the past?
Martin Solveig: I’m playing with funky beats that kick ass and allow people to dance. I’ve been producing music for 15 years, and I’m moving a lot from where I was then to where I am now. You get influenced a lot by the music, the environment, and the political context around us.
According to your twitter, you are now working with Krewella in the studio, can you tell us more about what you guys are collaborating on?
We have a song that we put together; it’s actually just been finished. Here’s a VIBE exclusive, it’s called “Like We’re Lovers”. There’s a good pitch to the song. It’s also a little bit ironic, because with me it always must be a little bit ironic – I’m probably more like Krewella’s dad than lover for sure – but working with these two girls is incredible because their mentalities are perfect, and they are very talented. They’re up for experimenting, they’re spontaneous and they have a great vocal delivery.
Do you ever have time to play tennis or is that only in your music videos?
Next week I am playing Celebrity Roland Garros, which is very big for me – hopefully I can at least make it to the quarterfinals. It’s a big challenge for me, and I will be playing after a 12-hour flight from Los Angeles. But I will be fine; I’m not playing against any Djokovic.
I noticed you aren’t wearing your headband tonight, but just out of curiosity how many of them do you own?
A couple hundred, but tonight is a boutique show. I don’t know if you have had a chance to see ‘Deadmau5 – Unhooked’ where he played without his mouse helmet? Well, tonight is like ‘Martin Solveig…Unhooked’.
Do you have a favorite brand of athletic gear?
No, I don’t really, but I like the people from Nike. I’ve been working with them a little. I also like Lacoste, because they’re French.
You used to sing in a choir. How did you go from a classical background into performing and DJing at festivals and clubs?
That was an evolution of 25 years, so I guess you could say it took me that long to get from my starting point to where I am now. I still listen to classical music a lot, some of my favorites are classical. I went from listening to classical as a child while I had musical lessons and etc. to attending clubs and concerts when I was 16 and 17.
What influences your sound/music?
Films are my ultimate dream. I would love to direct a feature film in the future, and I have directed tons of my music videos. I love watching films, as I have a lot of time on my flights, so I guess you could say they are a big influence on my personality and music. Another major influence is all of the shit that has been going on in France this past year and all of southern Europe; all of the unemployment has really been hurting people. It has made me want to make feel good music for the younger generation, and sort of remedy what’s been happening in southern Europe.
What’s the biggest difference between the US club scene and the French club scene?
Oh, wow. There is nothing in common between the two, but lets put it this way, in the US everything is so professional and organized.
Do you have a favorite club that you like going back to in particular?
My favorite clubs are Zoo Club (London), XS (Las Vegas) and Batter (Denver).
Which artist has made the greatest impression on you so far in your career?
In terms of greatest impression, it doesn’t get better than being in touch with Madonna at some point in your career. Everyone who has crossed paths with her knows that she’s on another level. But my story with Dragonette is different story. We’re on a friendly basis, and I hope we keep collaborating. At this point, we are trying to write something together, not necessarily for us, but I love working with Martina.
Would you ever collaborate with hip-hop or R&B artist?
My first would have to be with Kyle, because he is in ‘Hey Now’. He’s certainly closer to an urban artist than any of the other people I’ve collaborated with in the past. There are some amazing examples of the fusion between urban and electronic music, like Major Lazer and everything that Diplo does, so I’m a hundred percent into this.
What do think the next subgenre of electronic music will be?
I couldn’t care less, because what I love is just good music for my ears and for my sets. It can come from anywhere and it could be any BPM, I don’t care, as long as it’s good.