You know it's going to be a big deal when three major artists used to dominating the charts join forces. Heck, half of the songs in the Top Ten on any given week get there this way (hence Chris Brown's enduring career).
So, of course when David Guetta (whose done megatracks with everyone from Rihanna to the Black Eyed Peas and Kelly Rowland) tapped the great Nicki Minaj and Flo Rida to join him on his latest Top Ten smash, "Where Them Girls At?" you knew it was about to go off.
I recently caught up with Guetta and Minaj to find out how this all came came together. Here's what went down:
US: How did you come across each other, find out about each other, and how did you come to collaborate on the song?
DG: I was a big fan of Nicki Minaj so I was following her work. I thought she had an incredible flow and voice. When I checked her out I was impressed and I wanted to work with her. It was hard finding the time because we are both busy but we made it happen and I am so glad. I hope we work some more together.
NM: I had been a fan of his big dance records- of course I heard them in the car, in the club, everywhere. I had no idea that this man was behind any of these dope records. So when he said 'oh that was me,' I was instantly a fan because I was like 'woah, you are a creative genius dude.' He seems like the type of dude you want to party with and he’s very inviting so I fell for him the first day I met him. He had been trying to work with me when I was finishing up Pink Friday so I told him I’d meet him another time. When I went to Paris, he was there too and asked if I could come by the studio. I wanted to do a solo song. but he wanted me on a Flo Rida record and I said 'no I'm not interested' because I’ve been doing so many features. After he played the Flo Rida song I changed my opinion in 5.2 seconds and I was like 'oh I am doing this song.' It was just a feel good record. It sounded big and it felt great. And next thing you know, I was back home in LA recording, 'Where Them Girls At.' I changed the hook so it was from a female standpoint and I wrote my verse and the bridge and he loved it. I was just being crazy in the studio because if felt good. We might have a couple more surprises up our sleeves.
US: You both are collaborating with big time musicians. How did your relationship with these artists start and how did it evolve?
DG: The Black Eyed Peas and I have an amazing relationship, were like a family. I met Will in a club in Ibiza but he didn’t know who I was. He said he came up to the DJ booth because that is where the hot girls were. One year after he called me not realizing I was the same guy. He loved my music and asked if I would make some beats for the Black Eyed Peas album. I was very surprised because no one from that world came to see me except Usher. Since that day we haven't stopped making music together. We always keep in touch and help each other out. We've done some concerts together. Sometimes we just call each other just to play a beat that is really crazy.
NM: I did a remix for Britney Spears to 'Til The World Ends' but I met her a few weeks ago at a gay club. Gay club's have more energy, so when Britney walked in the room, there was a roar over the entire crowd. It was special for us to meet and take pictures there because this is our diehard fan base. She said, 'oh thank you for doing this' and I was like 'oh, no thank you for having me.' We can’t wait to get out on the road. It’s going to be super duper exciting. The club was loud so we didn’t have an hour-long business conversation. We danced and had fun and in the blink of an eye, it was all over. Khloe Kardashian was there too looking stunning! She’s skinnier than me, so I don’t understand because her weight is clearly not an issue. I saw her and I was like 'whoa! she looks really, really good!’
Us: What are you most excited about, being on the road with her?
NM: I’m honored to be out with Britney. She’s freakin’ paved the way for pop culture. I’m excited. We are in talks to hit the stage together but that is up to her. I would love to of course. If we do something on tour, it will probably be the remix. I’m sure there are so many things I’m going to learn just by watching her. Next year, I’ll be headlining my own tour so this is my time to be a student and to learn and to absorb all of this information and then take that knowledge and create an amazing Pink Friday tour at the top of 2012.
US: So how do you go about getting all of these people to collaborate with you?
DG: Those guys they called me and asked me to produce but after this I received a bunch of calls from people in the industry. The only person I chased was Nicki Minaj and I'm happy I did it because really she killed that record, the "Where Dem Girls At." She is huge in America but in Europe I think there is more work that needs to be done so she is as known as she should be. She will be a huge star in Europe. This is only the beginning of her career.
Us: It was rumored that you wanted to hold back on doing the collaborations for a while and just focus on your own solo stuff. Was this an exception to that?
NM: When I said that I knew there was almost no way I could hold that promise. Especially because I’m on Young Money and my teammates are always putting out albums. Of course I’m not going to not get on a Wayne album or a Drake album. I’m being more selective. I’ve been turning a lot down because I want to make my work very powerful so they stand out.
Us: Do you have any other collaborations coming up?
DG: I would make the album that I am making right now. it is really crazy.
NM: I’ll be on Tha Carter IV with Wayne and I’m sure I’ll have something on Drake’s Take Care album. As of right now, there is one more but I’m going to keep it a secret. It’s with a lady, who I’m a big fan of. I’m focusing on my single, "Super Bass." I would love to collaborate with Beyonce, She’s really defined what a female entertainer is for my generation. I’m very content with the ones I’ve done. I'm good.
Us: Are you shocked by how much you have dominated the charts in the last few years or was this always the plan?
DG: It was not planned. I've been making music for more than ten years and I've been a DJ for twenty years so I feel the spirit to mix. While working with the Black Eyed Peas I was able to create something fresh and new. I am still making tracks and playing my DJ set and I am still growing musically. I want to make songs that can touch the people from my community and others because the songs are so emotional that they touch people regardless of their style.
Us: How do you feel about being influential and a role model for your fans?
NM: I feel so blessed and I am humbled by it. When I go places and see girls dressed like me, it’s exciting but it’s a shock because I didn’t know I was going to touch so many people. Fans are like family. I did a meet and great on the Wayne tour and these kids have life-changing stories to tell me and who knew? It’s more than them dressing up like me, they’re really connected to me on an emotional level as well. They’ve just become a part of my life and it’s amazing. I’m thankful for them.