When it comes to making EDM music, many producers typically take one of two paths: they either make a banging dance floor hit that will smash at the clubs or go for a chart-topping, pop-infused anthem. David Guetta is one of the few producers who can do both—and do both well.
This year represents the perfect example of Guetta's ability to work in both worlds. First, he released the four-track "New Rave" EP with MORTEN, a grouping of instrumentals designed to throw down both in the clubs and at outdoor festivals. Now, Guetta is back with his new song "Let's Love" with Sia.
But according to Guetta, producing the latter type of music hasn't always come easily. Coming into the music world as a DJ, he learned later how to best work with songwriters when making more vocal-driven songs.
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"Honestly, at the beginning for me, it was just about the drums and the bass line. I really didn't care about chords and all of this when I started," Guetta told EDM.com. "And then, with experience, I realized that what inspires songwriters is more the chord progression than the beat. Like, none of this really matters to people that write. What matters is the actual music."
While working with Sia on "Let's Love," Guetta followed the second model, first sending her a chord progression and a little bit of melody. She didn't even know what the drop was going to look like for "Let's Love" when she wrote the lyrics, he added. Guetta prefers working in this collaborative way, he said, because songwriters end up being more creative.
"I feel like when I work with artists, if I play them the full production, they tend to always speak about the same topics. Just logically, they're like, 'I saw you on the dance floor' and stuff like this," Guetta said. "When you just write a ballad, there are so many things you can speak about. And then it's my job as a producer to turn this into a pop record, or, I don't know, a techno or EDM record. That's how I do it."
Based on Guetta's successful history of making chart-topping and award-winning pop singles, the Grammy Award-winning artist has come a long way since first learning how to work with chord progressions. He's obviously mastered moving between the worlds of electronic instrumentals and vocal-driven songs, and listeners can certainly expect to listen to more of both in the future.