It's taken nearly a year for French DJ/producer Martin Solveig's single, "Hello," to gain traction in America. But now both he and Canadian electro-pop band Dragonette -- which is featured on the song -- are enjoying their first appearance on the Billboard Hot 100.
Video: "Hello," Martin Solveig and Dragonette
"Hello" was released in fall 2010 and quickly reaped success in Europe, where Solveig's profile is considerably larger. However, it would take another six months or so for the song to find a U.S. audience-thanks in part to two key TV placements: a Trident commercial and promos for the upcoming Fox fall comedy "New Girl," starring Zooey Deschanel.
After four weeks at No. 1 on the Dance Airplay chart, "Hello" reaches a new peak on the Hot 100, moving 54-46 this week. The track is the second single from Solveig's fourth studio album, "Smash," which will be released stateside through Big Beat/Atlantic in September.
The official short, high-definition version of the "Hello" video, co-written and directed by Solveig, has accumulated nearly 30 million views on YouTube. Shot live at the Roland Garros French Tennis Open in Paris in front of 12,000 spectators, the clip features Solveig as a frustrated tennis player constantly on the cusp of greatness and smitten with a girl who's unavailable.
"The story in the song focuses on the character of the girl," Solveig says, "who just came to say 'hello' and nothing else."
The forthcoming "Smash" recalls the core of Solveig's earlier DJ work while also drawing inspiration from current electronic trends. In addition to Dragonette, the album boasts collaborations with Dev, Sunday Girl and Kele.
"I was very lucky to collaborate with different, talented singers," Solveig says. "They're all younger, relatively underground or unknown artists with good skills and good vibes."Thanks to the success of "Hello," Solveig hints that a few big names have contacted him about possible future production collaborations-undoubtedly a career-building next step for someone who's been regarded primarily as a DJ.
"Of course, I can't say who," Solveig says with a laugh. "I can only tell you that there could be some pretty crazy things coming."