Martin Solveig Braces for Stardom With U.S. Release of 'Smash'

Madonna, A-Trak, Bloc Party on board with Parisian DJ

Martin Solveig
Carlos R. Alvarez/WireImage
August 16, 2012 2:05 PM ET

A year ago, Martin Solveig was just another très cool Parisian club DJ.  But after producing tracks for Madonna's recent rave-tastic comeback MDNA and then scoring a global hit of his own – the platinum electro-rock anthem "Hello," featuring Canadian neo-new-wavers Dragonette – he's become a megastar. In the past year alone, Solveig's gone from clubs to playing for tens of thousands at prestigious festivals like Coachella and Electric Daisy Carnival; he ranked at number 29 on DJ Mag's list of the world's top spinners and served as the official DJ at the recent MTV Movie Awards.

"The way I've been accepted is so crazy, it's overwhelming," he enthuses. "I've been DJing around the world for fifteen years, and it's never happened like this. Things have changed pretty drastically."

Solveig hopes to maintain that momentum when he unleashes the U.S. edition of his breakthrough album, Smash, which soufflés together everything from dubstep and alternative to French disco-house – and above all, skyscraper-sized hooks (for the latter, check out Solveig's latest chart-ascendant single, the Phoenix-meets-Daft Punk earworm "The Night Out").

"I have more of a pop influence than any other DJ," he admits. "I love listening to Britney Spears – no other DJ would do that. My music has always sat in the middle of electronic club and pop. You can feel the shock of different influences even in one song. I love crossing genres."

Smash – which arrives digitally in the U.S. on August 21st, with a CD release set for September 18th – features fresh remixes from dance-music A-listers such as A-Trak and Madeon alongside category-crushing collaborations with Dev and Bloc Party's Kele Okereke.

"I had to have different singers," Solveig notes. "Martina from Dragonette is the album's main character, but Dev is really funny and has her own style – mainstream pop, but very hype and L.A. Kele, meanwhile, is an amazing singer from a huge rock band, and the only male voice on the album other than mine. I play the track we made together ['Ready 2 Go'] in every set."

To support Smash's continuing volley, Solveig is set to open numerous dates on Madonna's world tour. In the meantime, don't miss the epic Zoolander-meets-Wes Anderson music videos for Smash, which have become a je ne sais quoi YouTube sensation thanks to Solveig's headband-rocking flair as the films' tennis-obsessed protagonist.

"Some DJs have costumes, so the sweatband is my costume," he explains. "I get called 'the other Michael Cera' a lot on Twitter." To paraphrase the title of an earlier Solveig hit, c'est la vie!

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

More Song Stories entries »