In an exclusive interview with AOL Music, the highly sought-after producer names his favorite collaboration ever, reveals that most of his hits were "accidents" and admits that his young children call their 43-year-old superstar father "David Guetta," instead of "Dad."
What's the concept behind 'Where Them Girls At'?
Well basically, the idea is that I'm a little bit of a crazy, lonely scientist on a rooftop creating bubbles that I'm spreading to the world. And those bubbles are making people happy and crazy, and that's basically the idea of music. That's what happens. The bubbles come to town and when people touch it they start to feel the music inside of them, and start dancing and go crazy.
Is that how you hope people will respond to your new music?
Well yeah, that's what I do [laughs]!
Before the single 'Where Them Girls At' was officially released, it was leaked online and you decided to hire an investigator from the Pentagon to get to the bottom of it. You've had songs of yours leak before, why was this instance so serious for you?
Well, I was really mad. Sometimes some people download music for free, and it doesn't make me mad, honestly. I think the real fans are still going to buy the album, so it's not something that makes me mad. But this time, it was a cappella and someone made music around it and put my name on it. And that was really terrible for me, because the record was not finished, it sounded really bad and they were using my name on something that was not even mine. And I'm just trying to avoid this in the future. Of course, I need to get organized more.
It's the bad side of the internet. The amazing side is that I have like 21 million fans on Facebook and I have an amazing direct connection with my fans. It's really incredible and actually when we released the record -- even though we didn't have a video ready, we didn't have radio plays, we didn't have any promotional campaign in place -- we still got to No. 1 in like 12 countries and top three in the US, just out of the fan base and Facebook and Twitter. I cannot complain about the Internet.
You worked with a lot of big stars on this album and in the past, but what has been the highpoint for you as far as collaborations go on this album?
Well it's a little bit difficult to choose one, because I have will.i.am, Akon, Nicki Minaj, Taio Cruz, Ludacris, Lil Wayne, Jennifer Hudson, Timbaland. All those people are really, really amazing. 50 Cent, it's really crazy, they're all geniuses, you know?
It's difficult to choose, but I have to say that when it comes to performing vocals, one of the most impressive sessions was with Usher, who was really like, "Wow!" I was really thrilled by the way that he was performing the song. And hey, I understood I learned some things that day.
What has been the most memorable, or craziest experience from working with all these artists?
What I can say is that when I'm with will.i.am or Akon, because they're good friends and also producers, it's always a party and crazy. It's not work, it's a party in the studio. We dance, we invite people. It's always really, really crazy and I love that. It's a really good time. It's a little different because they're also producers, so we come from the same place.
Do you approach the artists you want to work with, or are they approaching you at this point?
On my previous album, I didn't have a name in America, so obviously I could not call anyone, because they would probably not pick up the phone. Then what happened was, the first person that approached me was by accident. It was Kelly Rowland. I was in a club and she proposed that we sing and write a song, and we did 'When Love Takes Over.'
In the same week I received a text message from will.i.am asking me to make some beats for Black Eyed Peas, and we did 'I Gotta Feeling.' So, it was kind of a good introduction and he started to play the song for a lot of people. So there was a crazy hype around me and all these artists started to call me. And after the success of my previous album, I am actually able to call them and they will pick up the phone now.
Have you ever turned any artists down who wanted to work with you, or have you ever been turned down by anyone you've approached?
It's not really about turning down, because sometimes it's just a matter of schedule. Like, at the beginning I was saying yes to everyone and then I was like, "Oh my god. I cannot deliver!" It was impossible because of the schedule, you know?
So now, I'm being a little more careful when I say yes. Because first, all those amazing artists were asking me and I was so flattered, so I was like "Yeah, yeah, of course! Oh yeah, I love you! I love you, too!" And then I was finding myself in some crazy situations. So sometimes I can't, and very often I don't, have enough time to do it. It doesn't mean that I don't like the artist. And it's the same, sometimes I would love to have this person, but he's not available at the moment.
To be honest, most of my songs are kind of accidents. Like, we were playing in the same festival and instead of going to the bar to have a drink, we go into the studio and make a hit record.
How is electronic dance music culture different in Europe than here in the US, where it's only now starting to become mainstream?
The thing is that before, dance music had no attention in America. It was like really, completely underrated. It was strange for me, because in Europe, for already 10 years, that music was very strong -- and not only in the clubs. So, it was kind of surprising for me and I'm glad about what we've done with Akon and the Peas and Kid Cudi -- all those records are getting really big in the US. It changed the game and it kind of became the new standard of pop music. The main difference is that everything was about hip-hop or rock, and now things are really changing in the US.
Do you make your music with your different audiences -- Europe vs. US -- in mind?
I always want to be free when I make music, so I don't even think of an audience, to be honest. I just want to make the best songs possible and after I say, "Yeah, this could work in the US probably," because now I've spent a little more time in your country and I love it and I understand it a little more. But, I don't do it with a purpose. I make music for fun. I'm getting paid to have fun and I'm trying to keep it this way, so I don't say to myself "OK, today we're going to target this kind of person." I never want to make decisions like this.
Do your kids like your music?
Oh yeah! My kids are very young -- 7 and 3 years old -- and it's really funny, because when they ask to listen to my music they say, "Oh, play some David Guetta!" They don't say, "Play your music." It's like I'm a different person as an artist and as a dad. It's really interesting.
Watch David Guetta's 'Where Them Girls At' Feat. Nicki Minaj and Flo Rida