INTERVIEW: Madeon’s first performance at Bangkok’s 808 Festival

We interview Madeon right before his performance on Day 1 of this year’s 808 Festival.

Currently touring on his Good Faith Forever tour in support of his second album released in 2019, Madeon makes his return to Thailand for Bangkok’s 808 Festival. We caught up with him to talk more about his live set.

AsiaLive365: Hi Madeon, good to meet you. I’m Nicky, reporting for AsiaLive365.

Madeon: Hi, thanks for having me!

AL365: You’re performing at 808 Festival for the first time here. I believe it’s your first time in Bangkok?

Madeon: I’ve been to Thailand before in 2017 for Maya Music Festival in Pattaya. So yeah, it’s been a while.

AL365: So how does it feel to be back?

Madeon: It feels incredible. I’ve been expecting it, I’ve been waiting for it. I’ve spent a couple of days exploring around in Bangkok. I’ve had a beautiful, awesome time. I’m in the spirit, I’m ready for today.

AL365: For this event, you’re doing a live set. What can we expect from this live set?

Madeon: It’s very special for me. I’ve had live shows where I’ve played synthesizers, and I sing, and it’s very visual. It’s the perfect Madeon experience, I think. It really captures everything that I’ve cared about. I’ve worked on it with my team for years.

Since I don’t come to Thailand very often, I wanted to make sure that I’ve brought something that is really, really true to what I’m passionate about. It’s not a DJ set, it’s a visual live electronic experience.

AL365: There’s that key word that you like to say. There’s so much visual art in your music. How do you come up with your visuals?

Madeon: It always starts with collecting ideas and references over time, and it can come from various different sources. I try to take a lot of inspiration from things I’ve seen in my childhood in France. Movies. Sometimes when I fall asleep, in my dreams, there’s images.

We make all the visuals with my team. We all do illustrations, all of five of us in my house. We exchange ideas, draw and create images that we cherish that people have never seen in a live show.

AL365: I’ve been listening to your music since you began, and throughout the years, your music has become synonymous with the video game and anime community. Would you say that this was the direction you always wanted to take your music?

Madeon: I think its funny because I started making music when I was super young. I was 11 or 12, and at that age, you can’t really go to clubs. So for me, electronic music, the way I would hear it, would be online and in video games, in TV. Anything but dancefloors. It’s kinda natural for those things to intertwine. I like that now my music found its way in video games, and the cycle continues.

So I think, it’s a natural thing for me from that generation of producers that consider electronic music to be music you can listen to at home. Somewhere between pop and dance.

AL365: A lot of interviews, you said you don’t see yourself as a DJ and more of a producer?

Madeon: I think of myself as more of a songwriter and producer than a DJ. That’s what’s really cool about the transition with the last album, I sing in almost every song, I wrote all of it. It’s more personal, it’s more true to my life.

On my first album, there were a lot of features. It was really cool, but then it made it less of a direct connection between my life and the music because it went through somebody else’s voice and writing. All the music that I love tends to be embodied by a single person with their point of view, their voice, and their story. And I wanted to have the same sense of coherence and directness.

I love DJing too. I think it’s really fun, it helps me engage and understand music in a different way but it really comes second. The live show I’m doing tonight is more closely connected to what I do in the studio. It feels more true to the vision.

AL365: You’ve collaborated with many artists such as Lady Gaga. Did you expect that you would be collaborating with numerous global pop stars?

Madeon: You never expect that. It was such a dream because I’ve been a fan when she first came onto the scene and I was really young. The fact that I got to work with her, and I was 17-18 years old, and she was so incredibly talented and kind. So that was a very formative experience for me. Then we got to reunite a few years later when I helped a little bit on a song called ‘911’ on the last album. I never expected that.

I also got to work with artists that were early in their career but were blowing up, and getting contribute to their explosion. It’s so fun. I’ve been doing a few songs with R&B singer Keshi. Those have been super fun sessions. I think helping other people’s visions come to life is really rewarding.

AL365: Will we expect another future Lady Gaga collaboration?

Madeon: If she asks me, I would be very honored, but I mean just the little work that I’ve done so far, I’m already so thrilled about. I’m a fan forever, I think she’s one of the best pop legends ever.

AL365: What’s in store for you in 2023?

Madeon: I’m still touring this live show a little bit more, but it’s going to be the end of that chapter for me of the Good Faith era. There’s gonna be a couple of new singles including an unreleased song that I’m going to be singing tonight that’s finally gonna come out early next year.

I want to finish this Good Faith Forever live show on a high note by doing fewer but meaningful shows. I’ll be spending a lot of time in the studio working on the next thing. I already have a pretty clear idea of what I wanna do next, but it takes so long, so you always have to be a little bit ahead.

It’s gonna be a year of closing a chapter, hopefully on a high, and getting ready to open a new one.

AL365: To all the people attending 808 Festival tonight, give me three words to describe your set.

Madeon: Sincere. Visual – the production tonight is so incredible. Such a wide screen and we worked pretty hard to take advantage of the awesome production tonight so hopefully you’re gonna see images. Fun – at the end of the day, that’s when music shines. Loaded with emotions while keeping it fun.

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