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razzmatazz

Dancing, club class

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The world's No. 1 DJ David Guetta is ready to spin his way through India.

Held single-handedly responsible for changing the way America listens to and perceives electronic dance music, David Guetta doesn't have time to soak in the praise. The No. 1 DJ in the world - anointed by none other than DJ Mag - is too busy flying to different global hotspots in his private jet to play to crowds of 20, 000 and more on an almost nightly basis.

Making the four-to-the-floor beat the norm, Guetta's sound - melodic pop with big hooks - has captured charts and hearts the world over. The 44-year-old French producer and DJ, born to a Moroccan Jewish father and Belgian mother, first shot into the limelight in 2007 when the single Love is gone from his third album Pop Life charted on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached No. 1 on the American Dance Chart. The big hit, though, took some time coming. In July 2008, Guetta unleashed his collaboration with the hit-a-minute R&B singer Akon, Sexy Bitch. The beat and the big hook made the song, which had one verse repeated throughout, a firm dance-floor favourite in clubs worldwide. Soon, Guetta had become the most sought-after producer to work with.

Where many others had failed, Guetta succeeded. "My mission was always to create a bigger platform for electronic music, " says the ever-smiling Guetta, who recently performed at the Grammys where he nominated for the eighth time. "When I listen to the radio in the US, every song sounds like Sexy Bitch. The urban dance thing has become huge. Now I have to push it because my sound has become so popular. It's a challenge, but I like that. "

Even though he plays at the best and craziest music festivals around the world, Guetta still loves playing at small clubs, just like when he was 17 and starting out. "I like to play stadiums of course, but I like to balance the big shows with more intimate club gigs where I can play more new sounds and see the whites of peoples' eyes. I love that intimacy and connection. I really take inspiration from clubs;how people react to a beat, how they dance. I just think of making people dance - that's my first priority, " he repeats. He's constantly chopping and changing, trying out new stuff every night. "If I see that people love it, I think that might be a direction I could take in the future. "

For all the accolades, brickbats have also come Guetta's way, the main charge being that he's making house music too commercial, too clubby. He shoots right back: "My personal goal was for EDM (electronic dance music) to be as big and respected as hip-hop or rock and we've done that. "

But some of the criticism seems to have registered, as is evident in his latest effort. The doubledisc Nothing But The Beat features not only the who's who of the American music industry but also ten techy, dirty, but clever instrumentals that will please his old fans. "I didn't want people who've been following me for years to feel left out, " he says. "I feel like if I lose my original fans, it's over. Without those people that inspire me, I'm just another pop producer. "

There are no less than 17 collaborators on the album, ranging from hip-hop royalty like Snoop Dogg, Ludacris and Timbaland to game-changing talents like rapper Nicki Minaj, singer Dev, and R&B superstars like Usher and Chris Brown. Big on beats and energy and just as powerful when it comes to the vocals, Nothing But The Beat is a smorgasbord of sound that cements Guetta's position as the best at what he does. "The great thing about this album, which I'm so proud of, is that it bridges the divide between electronic music in Europe and urban music from America, " he points out.

His first ever show in India - the first-time an artist sitting atop the charts is making an appearance in the country - will feature all of the razzmatazz that one sees abroad. Organisers, Only Much Louder, got The Prodigy down last year and are all geared up for the biggest name in dance music today. The 49 x 23 foot LED screen will be the biggest ever at a live concert in India and is the same one that has travelled with Guetta to some of the craziest international festivals such as Tomorrow Land (2010) and Ultra Music Festival (2011).
Get set for the night of your life.

Guetta will be playing a full festival set at the Eristoff Invasion Festival in Delhi, Pune and Bangalore from March 9-11.

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