Plenty of DJs have conquered the nightlife scene, but only a select few have managed to break out beyond clubs and rule the pop charts. French DJ David Guetta, however, is poised to do in this decade what Fatboy Slim did in the '90s: become a bonafide rock star. Just like Fatboy, Guetta is an artist so charismatic he makes people forget his primary role is to twiddle knobs.
Guetta's new album, "One Love," will be released Aug. 25 on Astralwerks and features collaborations with Kelly Rowland, Will.i.am, Estelle, Kid Cudi, Akon and Ne-Yo. With the success of the first single, "When Love Takes Over," a track with Rowland that's already blazing up the charts, Guetta is what dance—and, arguably, hip-hop—has been waiting for. And instead of phoning in his vocals for a quirky one-off, A-list collaborators have been the ones calling him.
"A lot of those huge monster American artists had asked me to produce tracks for them," Guetta says. "I said, 'OK, but you've got to be on my album too.' And they said yes."
Guetta produced the Black Eyed Peas' current No. 1 single "I Gotta Feeling"— which led to Will.i.am's "I Wanna Go Crazy" and "On the Dancefloor" on "One Love." Ne-Yo happened to drop by one of Guetta's sessions with Rowland, and they ended up recording "Choose." Rowland says she plans on having Guetta produce much of her next solo album.
"Pop artists have always dabbled in the electronic world, but this is a bold statement of these two coming together and fusing," Astralwerks GM Glenn Mendlinger says.
"The current sound with urban and pop is just kind of dancing in circles, and nothing is going anywhere," Rowland says. "I was really kind of bored, like, 'We need a pick-me-up.' David knows his dance world like the back of his hand; he knows what works on a dancefloor. I feel like Lady GaGa has done a great job with that this year, and well, I don't want her to be the only one."
Guetta and Rowland performed "When Love Takes Over" on the July 9 airing of Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance," and other TV appearances are in the works. Bravo also licensed the track for a two-month campaign backing the network's house advertising.
An iTunes countdown promotion will make a new "One Love" track available each of the three weeks preceding the album's release, and Guetta will tour extensively in the fall, both as a headliner at traditional venues and as a DJ in nightclubs.