Parisian Passion: An Interview with Martin Solveig

Though he grew up singing in the church choir and studying classical music, by age 13 French DJ Martin Solveig had his first pair of turntables and soon began showing off his skills to his friends. At 18 he further discovered the complexity of electronic music, and shortly thereafter was spinning at some of the most prestigious clubs in Paris. His first DJ sets inspired a passion for electronic music and an ambition to make a career in this fascinating, elusive little world. With the recent, and rather colourful, release of ‘Do It Right’ feat. Tkay Maidza, KALTBLUT had a quick chat with the talented Parisian producer.

KALTBLUT: How old were you when you first started to DJ? And then produce?
Martin: 13 I started to DJ with only one vinyl deck, I was playing the radio and scratching and beat-mixing over it. It was hardcore. I started to edit my tracks at age 18, produce around 19 with my family computer and the first music edition soft I had which was cool edit, it was so fun.

KALTBLUT: What was your initial approach to this scene at this time? Do you remember the first records you invested in?
Martin: Yes it was Deee Lite ‘Groove is in the heart’, I started to learn how to DJ like you start a rock band in a garage, for the fun, to pick girls and change the world.

KALTBLUT: How has the Parisian scene changed over the years? Or do you think it has hardly altered at all?
Martin: Its undeniable there’s a scene in Paris, an identity. People will argue there are more than one, its true but there are things that are Parisian, unique and verify in all the sub scenes. Parisians in general are posh, they have an alternative approach to music, they wanna be special and reject the mainstream for that reason. You have a bit of the same attitude in all the biggest cities in the world like Barcelona, London or New York. But London and New York are way bigger so there’s more diversity of behaviour and musical approach. Parisian also have a tendency to appreciate music with references to either rock or disco. The fact that they are totally into techno and deep house is a new thing now.

KALTBLUT: Were there any producers at this time that you looked up to? And was it these people that pushed you toward this career?
Martin: At the time it was Masters At Work, Armand Van Helden, then Daft Punk. Yes I remember coming back from a party at Le Palace with Mousse T saying to myself, one day it will be your turn.

KALTBLUT: Let’s talk about your latest track, ‘Do It Right’ with Tkay Maidza, how did you two get to know each other? Was a mutual decision to have her vocals on this specific track?
Martin: We met through each others music and the internet. I bumped into her first releases and got cut by her great energy. You can tell Tkay has a great energy and there’s so much you can do with her. I always like to mix up genres in my tracks. I knew we could do something special between Rap, House, dance music. We just agreed that we would meet up and try. We spent a couple of days in a studio in LA and had a lot of fun.

KALTBLUT: Any more vocal collaborations you can tell us about?
Martin: Yes I have a big one coming next. I’m so excited about it. Can’t tell you who though!

KALTBLUT: Tell us about your Ibiza residency, will this be taking up most of your summer?
Martin: I created My House at Pacha Ibiza last year based on what I consider my dream club night. Music is at the center of it, I work on a 3 hour set that evolves over night from big room house to deep and techno. It’s a real musical journey. The guests can be very different from one week to another. They bring diversity to the music direction from disco and funk (Mark Ronson), to techno (Second city, Boys Noize), to UK garage (Clean Bandit, Blonde) … The first part of the night belongs to my guests, they can do whatever they want, I love all of them and they bring their talent, their musical style. The second part of the night is mine and it makes a whole thing. Me and my team try to improve every detail night after night; visuals, dancers, production…

The unique Pacha Ibiza room, sound system and vibe makes a perfect home for this party. It’s the first time of my career I do a residency like this and I love the fact we’ve built something special. It’s the only party on the island where you can find underground acts such as Shadow Child & Nic Fanciulli and more pop artists like Diplo & Mark Ronson sharing a drink in the DJ booth. They’re from different musical worlds but they meet at My House and I’m super proud of that.

KALTBLUT: What’s your ultimate goal for the end of the year?
Martin: I’d like to release 3 more songs.

KALTBLUT: What is your secret killer track to get people moving?
Martin: Gesaffelstein ‘A Lost Era’

 ‘Do It Right’ feat. Tkay Maidza is out now
martin album