For Hugo Leclercq (known by his stage name of Madeon), it has never been just about the music. Hidden messages, a ‘trilogy’ of music videos and the opportunity to remix his songs are just some of the ways that the French DJ has encouraged fans to get creative. At 22, the producer from Nantes is leading the way for a new kind of electronic dance music – one that is more interactive and transcendent.
Madeon’s debut album Adventure was the blank canvas for the artist to build an immersive new world for his listeners and it certainly lived up to its name. A mixture of trickling synth pop combined with more emotive, sustained melodies to form a record with the perfect balance of ‘happy’ and ‘sad’ songs. Leclercq always manages to achieve this euphoric and humbling sense of intimacy in his music, but this isn’t the only way in which the DJ achieves this.
Take his live shows, for example. In an industry haunted by the assumption that DJs ‘just press play’ when they do live gigs, Hugo dispels the myth with his set design. In past performances, the artist displayed the illuminated Novation launchpads in front of the audience, showing that he was making such incredible sounds right there on the spot.
That’s not the only way in which Leclercq interacts with his listeners. After the release of his first album, ‘Madeon’s Adventure Machine’ invited fans to build their own remixes using samples from the record. Two years later, the artist tweeted a link to the original vocals for his tracks Pay No Mind and You’re On for aspiring DJs to mess around with.
The French artist’s most recent venture, however, saw him hook up with friend and fellow DJ Porter Robinson for a new single, Shelter, and a list of live shows. The track led to the two producers combine their creative talents to make another atmospheric song, and when the pair performed side-by-side on stage, they fused their archive of songs together to create brand new and exciting mashups. With both artists boasting euphoric debut albums, when the two joined forces, it was no doubt an emotive experience for those fortunate enough to see them.
Whether it’s collaborations with other DJs or how he connects with his fans, there’s no doubt that Madeon has the power to inspire everyone he meets, and that we should keep an eye on his unique sound for years to come.