What were you doing when you were 19? College? Internship? Working part time as a barista? Hugo Pierre Leclercq, Madeon to you kids in the know, is already touring the world playing in front of thousands of people (please allow yourself a moment while you cry crouched in a foetal position). Having worked with Lady Gaga on her album and playing in major festivals such as Ultra Music Festival, Coachella, and Lollapalooza, the meteoric rise of this French young’un seems limitless. JUICE speaks with the French house prodigy on his basement beginnings and his place in the French dance scene.
Off with the generic question first: How did you get started?
Well, I started making music by myself when I was 11, and I just got really into it. I spent a lot of time honing my craft, and when I was about 15, 16 I started entering remix competitions. I won one by Pendulum – and that was how I started getting exposure. Also, I once did a remix for this band called Yelle, They heard it and wanted me to open for them in Paris and I was like, sure! But actually I had never DJed in my life [at the time], I was 15 then and I’d never seen a DJ play (laughs). I barely knew what a DJ does on stage and the show was in 2 months so I had to figure it out. I got myself a launch pad and started working from there. The rest is history.
Wow, that sounds amazing. Even now you’re still so young, how’s it like touring so much?
It’s really fun and I love going around the world being exposed to different situations and cultures. I played a couple of shows in Japan, Korea, and China, which were all fantastic. It’s a really exciting experience but also very tiring due to the traveling and sleepless nights. It’s true I do miss my family and friends so I try to come home as often as possible,
Cool, can you tell us a bit about ‘Technicolor’?
It was a special track for me because it was more than epic journey for me. I wanted to combine dance and club music with modernity and structure as well as a story element to it in the 6-minute-long track. I tried to structure it in an unusual way [in order] to be able to tell stories through the music.
You gained international acclaimed before you’re even established in France. Do you feel part of the French music scene?
Actually I feel like I’m more part of the international scene. I travel to Australia and America a lot! I don’t play in France very often. I travel around the world more than I stay here in France, which is cool because I prefer to see all these different countries and cultures more.
Interesting! Is it true you used to work in your basement?
(Laughs) It’s true, the basement used to be my dad’s work room but when I was 12 I begged to use that room to make music. I got myself an old keyboard and a cheap computer – and that’s how I started getting involved in music. In fact, I still work there! I worked on the Lady Gaga album from there!
Dang, we know of bedroom producers, but not basement! What are your upcoming projects?
Right now I’m focusing on my own album, which should come out on the end of 2014. Also, I would like to work with all kinds of artistes, I’ve worked with Lady Gaga, and now I’d like to work with some hip hop artistes as well as rock bands. For instance I’m a big fan of Jay Z or Kanye West and working with them would be a dream!
Madeon is set to play at Heineken Thirst 2013 tomorrow night.