MTV Meets 20 Year Old Madeon
We meet the producer who has opened for Lady Gaga and produced for Ellie Goulding...
Madeon is a prodigy. The master of his universe, he lives and breathes the music that has seen him go from Youtube superstar to producer for pop acts like Lady Gaga and Ellie Goulding. Now, the 20 year old French producer is about to release his first album, Adventure. We caught up with him to find out what to expect from his hugely anticipated debut.
MTV: Your debut album, Adventure is coming out soon. How did you come to finally make it?
Madeon: I wanted to wait until I had something that needed to be expressed in album format. To me, that was to conclude the experience of my teenage years. I felt I was changing as a musician and as a person, I wanted to capture where I was at.
You’ve played some mad live shows, but do you find it difficult to express what you truly mean in the music by just playing with buttons in front of an audience?
I feel like the question of playing a dance music show live is a bit forced, because it’s studio music first. Rock music is live music first, it just happens to be recorded in a studio. Finding ways to make it relevant is always such an on going process of invention. One of the main things for me is for people to see what I’m doing and to see that I’m controlling the music. I felt like it wasn’t meaningful to play songs as closely as possible to how the sound on recording- I like to be flexible with what I play, and alternate the way things sound every night.
Do you have any stand out moments from making ‘Adventure’?
The greatest moments are those when you don’t finish the day, when you work until you pass out. You'll work on this song and you can’t stop, and then it’s 11am the next day, and you’re falling asleep. Then you wake up there and you press play on it. It’s like a gift, it’s so exciting. It rarely happens, which is when it can be painful.
Can you give an example of a time when it was particularly difficult?
One of my favourite methods is when I wake up in the morning and lock myself in the studio. I start a clock for 24 hours, and don’t leave until it’s finished. After about 12 hours you start to reach a more vulnerable place. There’s always something special that happens at the 16th hour, you feel like you can’t take it any more, and you hate yourself. Sometimes this is the feeling you need to write something different. You’re just in that emotional, vulnerable place.
You've got some great collaborations on Adventure- 'Pay No Mind' features Passion Pit for example. How did that happen?
Pay No Mind came about in an interesting way. I was touring a lot, and I put some speakers in my room- I planned to make music until they kicked me out of the hotel. It was then that I wrote a really early version of the track; I was trying to see what would fit, what would make sense. In the end it came together.
How about the other collaborators on the record? Who was the best to work with?
I’m not just being nice, but everyone I worked with was really great. I remember talking to Dan from Bastille right before they blew up in the US, and I ended up chasing him around. We rented a studio right in the middle of the US, we recorded there and finished it in Ibiza.
You must spend a lot of time talking to these people in a virtual space- sending tracks back and forth via email. What’s it like to work in this way?
I’m a very online person. I grew up online. There are a lot of people I spent a lot of time talking with online, real friends who I met years later. There’s something very precious about what the Internet provides. It’s better to have a physical laugh rather than sending emails back and forth. The most precious moment is the original spark of inspiration, and when it’s with someone else and it’s shared, and you’re two in a room, it’s so much more magical.
How about personal taste, what do you listen to aside from the music you make?
If a big pop star has put out a record I have to listen to it. It’s a noble pursuit to make music that’s relatable, because sometimes people think it’s tacky making music to please everyone. I disagree; I think it’s beautiful. The Charli XCX album is fantastic; it feels so old, but then also 2025. She’s on ‘Adventure’, but secretly. We worked on a track right before Boom Clap, on a song called OK. I chopped up her vocals on it, though I didn’t want it to be featuring Charli, but that would be a lie, people would be expecting her on it. You’ll have to see if you can recognise her voice.