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INTERVIEW: Martin Solveig in Dubai



As one of the best-known DJs in the world, Martin Solveig’s life is one big tour. He shot to fame with his now disco classic, “Hello”, and in 2012 his talents were recognised by Madonna, who asked him to collaborate on her studio album, MDNA.

These days the Frenchman is best known for his quirky hits and incredible live sets. Ahead of his upcoming gig at Pacha Dubai’s closing  on June 12, we spoke to him about music, movies and why Madonna made him quit smoking.

Hi Martin, thanks for answering our questions! Apart from playing at Pacha, what else will you be up to while you’re in Dubai?
Hey there! Apparently there’s an attraction that simulates the drop of your body from a plane. I’m going to do that.

You’ve worked with some pretty big names. We bet it was exciting collaborating with Madonna. What was she like to work with?
She is really incredible. It was a cool experience to work with such a legendary artist who has accomplished so much throughout their career. We got along very well.

In the ShortList office, we’ve decided that almost every big DJ is French, Dutch or Swedish. Jokes aside, why do you think Europe launches so many DJ careers?
I think it’s mainly because electronic music is something that you grow up with in Europe. People love the dance music and nightclub culture. It’s in our blood. Now it’s all online and I’m pretty sure we’ll starting seeing talents emerging from Asia, India …

You’re famous for your quirky videos, and “Intoxicated” is a prime example. Do you come up with the concepts?
Actually I didn’t for Intoxicated. For the first time in years I wanted a fresh look on things so worked with French duo Paul & Martin, and tried to not interfere too much. But I couldn’t help it so I wrote the treatment/concept for “+1” which is about to drop.

We know that you’re a bit of a movie buff. What’s the best film you’ve seen lately?
American Sniper, The Imitation Game… These days I watch movies in plane cause I travel a lot but I’ll be back in the theater where cinema belongs after summer.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I quit smoking because of Madonna – she hated that I was smoking in the studio!

You’re probably best known for “Hello”. We read that your inspiration behind the song was The Beatles “Hello Goodbye”. Has Paul McCartney heard your music?
I don’t know, you’d have to ask him. I don’t consider living in the same world of my heroes like Paul McCartney, Bjork, or even Daft Punk. They are my teachers, my inspirations.


Looking at your tour schedule makes us tired. How do you survive the long flights and late nights?
Makes me tired too! I have a trick. I try to sleep almost always at the same time no matter the time zone. I sleep before my shows when I’m east coast US for example.

Which track best defines where your love of music stems from?
Well I used to play classical music, so that is where it all began for me. My passsion for music is too wide to fit in one track. Right now it’s jamie xx, loud places, Rihanna, BBHMM, Shamir’s album, Ratchet and loads of electronic music that you can find in my Spotify playlist, My House.

What’s your go-to floor filler? 
My new track “+1”. It really gets the crowd going.

What’s your sound of the future?
I would say watch out for Shamir Bailey. His first album Ratchet is very promising. Also Curbi! He’s 16 years old and he’s already had a Buzz Chart Number 1 with his track “Discharge”.

DJ Martin Solveig at Pacha Ibiza Dubai

Where: Pacha Ibiza Dubai, Madinat Jumeirah

When: Jun 12 – Jun 13
Start: 22:00


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