David Guetta on Returning to Electric Daisy Carnival and the State of EDM

David Guetta Promo Arms Spread
Rick Guest

Get those glow sticks ready, EDM fans, because Electric Daisy Carnival returns to Las Vegas in just one month.

Hitting the stage once again is electronic dance music pioneer David Guetta, who recently signed on for a 2012 residency with the Wynn in Sin City. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter at a recent taping for MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew, the France native contemplates how to top last year’s headline-making festival. 

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When first asked about the upcoming festival, Guetta’s eyes light up like a kid on Christmas morning. “Oh my God! Electric Daisy was unbelievable!” he gushes. “I don’t know what’s going to happen this year, really, because last year was really impressive.”

“Each year I’m like, ‘Okay, I cannot top this,’ and it’s happening again and again,” Guetta says of his festival sets, which most recently included two weekends at Coachella. “It’s getting harder to top it, because last year was really crazy.”

This year, EDC will expand to include shows in New York City (May 18-20) and Puerto Rico (Aug. 18). Joining Guetta in the desert next month are Avicii, Bassnectar, Afrojack, will.i.am, Calvin Harris, Dirty South, Steve Aoki, Kaskade, Moby, Benny Benassi, Blue Man Group and many, many more.

Speaking about the recent explosion of club music on the pop scene, Guetta references a give-and-take dynamic between U.S. and European consumers and artists.

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“I think America was late on dance music for a long time. But when you guys do something, you do it big,” he says. “I think this is just the beginning, but it’s going to be huge.”

“It’s interesting because that music was born in Chicago with house music and Detroit with techno, and we took it in Europe and turned it into something trendy and cool, crossing-over and playing it on the radio,” Guetta explains. “I think I created that bridge between European culture and American culture. American artists have embraced it so much and the American public has embraced it so much, adding so much into it too with the talent of all those amazing artists, and now it’s coming back to Europe with that new flavor.”

He adds: “It’s going back and forth between America and Europe and it’s always getting better and better and better. I think this is wonderful for music and for the world. It’s just a beautiful moment that you see the rise of a new genre, really.”

While genre purists may criticize Guetta for expanding into the realm of radio and pop culture, he insists that the underground movement remains alive while he is bringing that art form to an entirely new audience.

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“I think people in that community were a little bit afraid. You know a lot of people are always afraid of changes,” he explains. “And when it’s getting bigger, obviously the challenge is to be able to keep yourself rooted. I’m trying to, as much as it’s crossing over, still be sincere and speak to my original fans, even though I’m speaking to more people now.”

“That’s the challenge of this music right now, but I think it’s happening, because as much as there are some big names that are crossing over,” he continues, “there’s also really healthy underground scene. And it’s the fact that we are all part of this movement that makes it what it is and so big and so exciting right now.”

E-mail: Sophie.Schillaci@thr.com
Twitter: @SophieSchillaci