Hugo Pierre Leclercq is the newest child producer of electro-pop. Barely old enough to drive a car and going by the stage name Madeon, he went viral in summer 2011 with a mashup of 39 popular songs that garnered six million views within a few days. (The song was much augmented on youtube by Nathan J. Barnett’s wicked dance video, according to the humble opinion of this writer.) Since then, Madeon has played around with and been endorsed by high-ranking DJs like Martin Solveig, even appearing in the latter’s recent mockumentary video, “The Night Out”.
Born in 1994 in Nantes, France, Madeon started composing his own music at age 11. He won a production contest in 2010 by remixing “The Island” by Pendulum, but his worldwide fame came from last year’s mashup, also known as “Pop Culture”. It features songs by Daft Punk, Madonna, Britney Spears and many others, folded together in a catchy and motivating dance style. The composition of the song, with its stretched out bridges and build-ups, reveals a bit about this guy’s sensitivity to what makes people get down on the dance floor.
Filed under the genres of nu-disco, electropop and house, Madeon’s music possesses a youthful vibe and combines a lot of synthesized drones with hard 4/4 dance beats. Influenced by pop songs and electronic music gurus like Daft Punk, he often remixes tunes that have shown up on the billboard charts. Examples within the past two years include “Smile Like You Mean It” by The Killers, “Raise Your Weapon” by Deadmau5, and Solveig’s “The Night Out”.
The boy certainly has a feel for manipulating a regular rock/pop song and making it suddenly, deeply danceable. He adds a little sparkle to everything he remixes, and sometimes a nice tinge of disco.
Madeon’s own original tunes, though, are truthfully nothing to write home about. They’ve been disseminated and heard by hundreds of thousands of listeners, but they don’t offer a lot in the way of experimentalism. A little repetitive after a while, they rely too much on synthesizer tricks and not enough on pure musicality.
Using a Novation Launchpad, Ableton Live and FL Studio, Madeon started to make public appearances last year with his music, recently playing festivals in the US like Ultra Music Festival (Miami) and Coachella (California). Throughout the summer of 2012, he’ll be touring Europe and the UK as well as the US and even Montreal, Canada.
Right now, it seems like Madeon’s having fun mixing up current tunes and enjoying his new-found fame. In an interview last year (http://theworstguy.com/2011/05/29/madeon-interview/) he described his sound as attempting to incorporate “the detailed glitchy aspect of electro in a more melodic pop context”.
It’s really a puzzle whether Madeon’s success will continue in the future. A fellow can only create so many songs, especially still being in high school, so his releases are coming out one at a time. It’s slow, but hopefully sure. Simultaneously, he’s building his multimedia empire with a Facebook page and profiles on Soundcloud, Beatport, thedjlist and myspace.