Guetta Reckons That Staying Underground "killed Dance Music"

A revealing interview with David Guetta appeared in the Observer a time back…

The Frenchman opined that the dance scene’s unwillingness to embrace its full commercial potential “killed dance music for so many years”.

Guetta said: “That spirit of wanting to keep this only for ourselves, and anything that’s successful is bad. That culture that goes in a cycle where everybody loves someone and they’re all talking about him, and then in one second, because he’s successful, ‘Ah, fuck him, he’s bullshit!’ What? But you were saying the same guy was a genius last year, now he’s the worst person?”

Something tells us he’s a little peeved that people have been hating on him for churning out mindless club bangers.

He also reckons that the dance music underground is dead and that bedroom producers have the ability to blow up more quickly than ever before.

“It was a subculture, it was a lifestyle, it was all of these things. But these days, it’s not really working like this any more. It took me 20 years to do what I did. Avicii, last year, no one knew who he was. Now he’s the biggest thing on the planet. You understand? It’s totally different.”

Worth a read then, if only to get a rare glimpse of what one of dance music’s biggest stars really thinks.

Quoted from Mixmag:

I know there is a huge anti-guetta sentiment on the web producer forums… He is commercial, he’s found success.

I like him…

Infact… I can’t listen to Usher or Akon unless its produced by Guetta. Let’s be real: All of todays music stars; Usher, Bieber, Perry, Gaga, etc, etc, have good producers ( us guys ) and no talent!

And he’s right… Deadmouse blew up very quickly. Avviccie? ( spelling wtf ) He is everywhere now. However, some of that is plain luck. Sometimes people who are artists… Will struggle for 20 years, if they ever make it, anyways…

It isn’t success that people hate, it is short-lived success from filling the world with weak music. Guetta seems alright the couple times I’ve heard him, it’s just tough business- how much do you make music for yourself and how much do you do it to please others, sell records, fill venues? No easy answer.

I have a theory about this, and the theory is: Media, marketing, population, tastes and likes, are so fragmented, that mass market success, and mainstream, has gotten all the more, “commercialized.”

Hopefully that makes sense. Sometimes its difficult for me to put my thoughts into words. So basically… When media was not so fragmented, and it was expensive to make art, ** movies and records, the studios and record companies worked totally differently… ( we all know this )

Now that everything is so fragmented… Only the easiest, most sugary coated, bubble gummy commercial stuff can get cut through this noise.

Its all about having an image… and the image is, “sex, and party, and fun, fun, fun.”

Sometimes I am reading these web forums, and thinking, “wow… these guys think that everybody in the world is going to know or care about what great music is.”

But in reality… The vast majority of people in the world are not enlightened. Are not educated. Do not work each day to better themselves. Do not have any idea who Bach, or Handel, or even Pink Floyd are at this point. These are the people who want to, “slam pussy and drink crystal. have justin bieber as their boyfriend. think katey perry is a massive talent. put time into thinking a bentley is something of real value”

And yeah… it is, “weak music.” but because of the ultra fragmentation of media… Its the only stuff that will continue to break through.

Just a theory

Ps… The image used to be art, and the artist. you know? like when Kansas wrote a song, and it was titled, “dust in the wind.” As media has gotten more fragmented the intellectual is underground, and the mainstream is, “sex, party, fun, fun, boyfriend, bentley,” as it ever was. What can you do?

I think David Guetta is utter shit. Just my two cents.


Let people consume shit music just like they consume McDonalds. Couldn’t care less about todays soulless pop world.


I was thinking about writing about Owl City and Deadmau5 but instead I’d rather ask of being underground killed punk or metal? All point of view of course, but I think electronic is the same; I’m surprised that certain kinds of trance and IDM just won’t go away.

Electronic music remains largely underground not because it does not want to be commercial, it is because it can’t become commercial. Common people are not interested in it.

So in a way Guetta is right: staying underground does not help the music because no-one really wants to write music that no-one wants to listen to apart from a few other writers. But it remains underground obviously not because producers think that being rich and famous is a bad thing, but because they do not see any demand for it, that is why it is not commercial.

In my view, Guetta is total garbage. The only reason he’s been successful is because he’s teamed up with various ultra commercial r’n’b and rap artists (who also totally suck). Obviously they don’t suck commercially, but musically I don’t find any of them interesting. As for Guetta’s argument, I think it’s the other way round.

Owl City is fucking shit too. And this has nothing to do with an underground/commercial dichotomy, and I am not trying to be hip or cool. Some music is just vapid and horrible and such is the case with Guetta and his many, many forebears in the realm of Eurotrance, Europop and Eurodance. Fuck it forever.

There is a difference between promoting stuff commercially or simply enjoying the happy few.
Commercial music is majorily about proper promotion. You can make every piece of shit a number #1 success if you promote it properly enough.
A dutch comedian artist demonstrated that fact on one of his television shows by creating some crap tune and promoted it to death on the whole Dutch national radio and television broadcasts and he succeeded in only a few weeks (His hit was called “one-day fly”).

It’s not about how many people want to listen to it, but about the agency that has the biggest amount of money to promote the stuff very widely and using icons to create the sheep effect (using people that have a high popularity to set the production as trending so that their fans/followers/slaves/whatevernonselfesteemthinkerkind will do the same).

Quality music has various aspects and usually, this is not mainstream music, because mainstream music ought to be simple, repeative and pretty much having a high indoctrinating effect so that people frankly must buy that stuff.
Mainstream music is all about psychology. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t good stuff at all among mainstream music, but you can definately notice when you are dealing with shit. Unfortunately, some mainstream artists don’t know about these facts (the poor sheep).

This is the Owl City and deadmau5 comment I didn’t make, and it is not meant as a defense or apology for either of them- I can tell that they have the same “starting points” as any other musician, it’s the end result (and a lot of deliberate decisions on the way to it) that makes them so saccharine.

Owl City made this:

deadmau5 made this:

Ever listen the music of someone who has a very long career, where there is a period of some insane hit(s) that make him famous enough to have heard of him in the first place, but all this other music that has way more risk and insight that either causes the fans from the hit period to bail or wasn’t refined enough to allow the hit to happen in the first place, depending on when the hit happened? I think the above could do that if they want- make some really interesting stuff that ends record contracts, empties dance floors, scares money away…

Though what I really mean is, take to Guetta’s comments the same way you take to his music. We all have our reasons for making the music we make.

Is it an example of a good track, or a bad track? It really is just one 64 row pattern playing all over.

Neither, it’s just something that is clearly nothing like “Fireflies.”

I’m an american and i reckon this article is making this guy out to be waaaaay more famous here than he is. maybe he is heavily utilized as a pop producer. maybe that means he’s famous with the pop divisions of some record labels. so? it happens to people all the time. maybe a lot of people attend events he is at lately. probably heavily promoted so people hera about it and people just went to attend an event (some generic event, any ‘party’ event, 'cause, like, they wanted to party?)

i can’t tell you how many times people have come up to me in the last 2-5 years talking about they just bought this album by deadmouse/skrillex. the article would make sense if one of those guys were in this guys stead. or years before that, daft punk, ya know? i have never heard this guys name actually pass someones lips. they just don’t know how to pronounce his name?.. i don’t think so… maybe i saw him on mtv, i don’t know. maybe i thought he was a new vj? prob the typical experience.

some guy from somewhere says ‘party’ and people say ‘yay!’… what do you expect? believe it or not, afrika bambaataa and cybotron are still way higher on the fame meter than this guy.

it’s like this article is trying to say that some chick you see in a bunch of commercials on tv for a year or 2 is more ‘famous’ than rita hayworth or something. i really don’t get it.

Sorry guys for interrupting you but who’s David Guetta? If he’s famous then how come I’ve never heard of that guy before? :D