"Better Than Yesterday" -- a party-anthem collab between Will.i.am and Dutch house star Sidney Samson on Spinnin' Records, already rocking festival crowds worldwide -- is premiering today via a lyric video on Billboard.
Like many dance-pop love stories, this one starts at Ibiza nightclub Pacha, during one of David Guetta's raucous "Fuck Me I'm Famous" party in the summer of 2010.
Guetta had invited Samson to party with him that night, celebrating the DJ/producer's remix of Guetta's "Gettin' Over You," the fifth single off One Love, the album that had made the French DJ an international pop star. Samson, a former hip-hop DJ, was then playing 30 EDM gigs a month in his native Holland ("I'm telling you, it's possible"), and thought that that would be the extent of his career.
"I always thought the music I made would stay in Holland," he says.
Also in the crowd that night: will.i.am, who had met Guetta for first time in Pacha's sweat-packed main room the year before. The two had forged an artistic alliance that would birth mega-hits like "I Gotta Feeling." Will recognized Samson's name from his single "Riverside," an inventive hip-hop-meets-Dutch-house cut that was building buzz all over the world. The two exchanged emails, and when Samson visited L.A. for a four-day vacation later that year, Will agreed to meet him in the studio.
They worked on a hip-hop beat that would become a project for Will and Lil Wayne (yet to be released). Then Samson broke out another track. "I played him a bit of the song, and he just picked up the mic," says Samson. "In two hours he sang the topline. It was unbelievable."
Label red tape kept the track tied up for over a year -- "It was difficult to clear the vocal," says Samson -- but "Better Than Yesterday" will finally get released later this month.
For Samson, it's one more in a list of dreams comes true. "Get It Started," his production for Pitbull featuring Shakira, is currently No. 89 on the Hot 100; and one of his two tracks for Far East Movement's next album, "Change Your Life" featuring Flo Rida, will be its first single.
"I started out playing hip-hop and R&B, and now I have the chance to make music - dance music - with my heroes from back in the day, and that is so cool," he says. "It's like heaven on earth."
But Samson says that that doesn't mean he'll stop making straight-up dancefloor bangers for his own digital-only dance label, RockTheHouze. "[With "Better Than Yesterday"], I was trying to make a pop dance song, like a radio kind of song, and on the other side I release real club songs for the people who know me for that certain sound. I'm always going to release songs like that; I'm never going to switch over to pop, mainstream, commercial music. I love to do it, but I don't need everyone to love me all the time. If they love one song, that's enough."