"It is incredibly exciting ... to be part of this huge football tournament in my home country," said superstar house DJ and producer David Guetta as it was announced that he would be responsible for the musical identity of UEFA EURO 2016 – everything from in-stadia audio and global broadcast sequences to the tournament's official anthem.
Guetta will give a free concert at the Champ Mars in Paris - with the iconic Eiffel Tower as the backdrop - on the eve of the tournament, 9 June 2016, and will also be performing at the opening and closing ceremonies at the Stade de France, on 10 June and 10 July.
Born in Paris, Guetta has been filling dancefloors since he was a teenager. "I started to DJ even before house music," he said, "I was playing funk and disco, new wave. I was like one of the most indie DJs, but absolutely no one knew the name of the DJ in a club. The concept didn't exist of a famous DJ.
"When I started, all dance music was underground. If you were going to play house, you had to be underground because it wasn't the type of music that was crossing over. My evolution also came with the evolution of the scene in general."
Guetta put out his first records as a performer and producer in the 1990s, his profile gradually increasing with a sequence of albums in the 2000s, with his audiences expanding from ones that would fill dancefloors to ones that would fill stadiums after a series of huge international hits: Love Is Gone, When Love Takes Over (featuring Kelly Rowland), Gettin' Over You (featuring Fergie), Sweat (featuring Snoop Dogg), Turn Me On (featuring Nicki Minaj), Titanium (featuring Sia) and Dangerous (featuring Sam Martin). Current album Listen hit No1 on iTunes in 75 countries.
His work on the Black Eyed Peas' massive 2009 success I Gotta Feeling intensified demand for Guetta as a producer, the likes of Rihanna, Ariana Grande and Ne Yo all benefiting from his skills.
His packed CV is a fair reflection of Guetta's all-encompassing obsession. "I don't do anything other than touring or making music," he said. "A lot of people might think this is strange, but music is my passion. I don't watch TV. What I do is I wake up in my hotel room and I start to produce. Then in the evening I get on a plane and I keep on producing. And then I arrive at a hotel, I have dinner and then I go perform."
Working on the UEFA EURO 2016 project offers Guetta another opportunity to entertain a massive global audience, and to innovate – something which is in his musical DNA. "The challenge as a producer is not only to make hit records," he said. "It's also being creative and having the ability to reinvent myself, in terms of style and sound."
Filling stadiums has become almost routine for Guetta, who is used to performing in front of huge crowds in clubs, and regularly entertains 50,000+ at festivals around the world. However, creating music to enrapture millions at UEFA EURO 2016 is another big assignment and Guetta – who listens to Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder on his rare days off – is aiming high when it comes to the kind of sporting anthem he is aspiring to conjure.
It is a big ask, but Guetta has the will to succeed, saying: "Music and football go hand in hand when it comes to celebration and enjoyment and I want to help to make this EURO the biggest and most memorable yet.
"I'm planning something big for the official song of UEFA EURO 2016."
Find out more at the UEFA EURO 2016 draw: Saturday 18.00CET #ThisOnesForYou"
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