The year was 2011. American audiences were high on the rush of pulsing BPMs. But still we craved more. We demanded it, and in Miami, LIV was our answer, dealing out some of the dopest beats on the market. Always on the lookout for the hottest rising stars, it booked a strange, funky French fellow named Martin Solveig. He'd hardly been to the States, let alone as a superstar DJ. The experience was one he'd never forget.
"The first time I came into the room, I remember thinking, 'Wow, it is a really, really big
He'd been a fixture of the French scene for years, but "Hello," his collaboration with indie darlings Dragonette, broke his disco-influenced Francophone sound on an international level. It was his first but far from his last worldwide hit.
He made a huge splash in 2011 with "The Night Out," a catchy tune made even bigger by its star-studded music video. Last year, he followed strong with "Intoxicated" and "+1," nabbing headlining sets at TomorrowWorld, EDC Vegas, Mad Decent Block Party, and more. He's been all over the world, playing to some of the biggest crowds on the planet, but he's always made time for the first big room he ever saw.
"The funny thing is, the last time I came to LIV, I went into the room, and I said, 'Wow, this is incredibly small,'" he laughs, "which is absolutely not a bad thing. I've had the chance to play extremely big arenas and stadiums. I got used to a much larger number of people, but LIV always keeps its size. And I would say my music is kind of going back to more intimate spaces."
In 2016, Solveig plans to spend a lot more time in the studio than on the road.
"What's really great about LIV is, of course, that it's a community — that we've managed to create a story together," he says. "I'm going to do
His Miami connection reaches into the studio as well. When he comes to Miami to visit LIV, he's made sure to carve out some time to hop in the studio with GTA, the L.A.-based duo born and raised in Miami who helped craft Solveig's infectious jam "Intoxicated." He said working with them was a "dream," and he's very much looking forward to seeing what they can do in 2016.
"We are extremely complementary in our approach," he says. "I have very much a melodic approach. They have more of a sound approach to music, and to make a really good track these days, you need both interesting melodies and also a crazy sound. I think we complete each other very well."
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What that work will beget, Solveig can't say.
"I feel, after 20 years of making music, my approach is more personal and is less directly inspired by stuff that has already existed," he says. "Everyone is always very much inspired by things that you listen to every day, but I'm trying to step aside from that and make a sound that feels very original and personal to me. That's my challenge."