Hugo Pierre Leclercq is one helluva inspiring character, even when not taking on his chosen role as EDM revolutionary Madeon. Last weekend at Summer Set Music Festival his hour set was one for the ages, and a flawless execution of his skills as a musician and DJ. Opening with ‘Technicolor‘ it was a beautiful display of everything the prodigious musician has been up to and accomplished over the last 3 years.
He sat down with GQ Magazine to answer a few questions about his journey. The GQ&A gives a warming hint at the incredibly young and developing life of Frenchman Madeon.
Read the full interview with GQ Magazine here: Madeon Q&A!
GQ: Do you always wear a blazer?
Madeon: Always. I want to be like a TV show character that dresses the same every day so they are instantly recognisable. Although, I did always wonder why DJs wear graphic shirts and jeans all time, but now I know it’s because it’s so annoying to carry a blazer around all day. I always have a backup blazer, but it doesn’t fit as well. I cannot find clothes that fit me – I have to get everything custom made.
Describe the basement you work in.
It’s actually quite cosy and small. There’s a computer, keyboards, books, CDs. There’s like a “Beatles sanctuary” where I put my collection of all the stuff I get from fans on tour. It feels small though because it is so full. The door leads out into the garden, which is great, because when I see the sun rising up it’s a sign saying, “You should probably go to bed now. This studio session ends now.” I don’t like people entering the room, I don’t want them unplugging things.
Do you feel part of a French scene?
I don’t feel like a French artist or part of the French music scene. We have a lot of great taste and we make lots of elegant music, but that results in snobbery and exclusivity. That has its advantages as well as its downsides. But you know, I’ve played a bunch of UK festivals and love it. The UK is really fascinating, especially the radio. There is such a wide range of music being playing that would never make it even on the night time playlist on French radio. It’s really quite exceptional. In the charts you have really cool singles, as well as the UK is the king of novelty songs.
Will you leave Nantes soon and move?
My heart says New York, but my pragmatic side says London as it’s where most of the work happens. I’m still making my mind up. I’m touring so much that I’m never at home, so moving out is not a priority. I like Nantes, but seeing the world through touring makes you want to go further. That’s the sad thing about touring: you get to see all these amazing places, but you only stay for a few hours. I’ve been to Costa Rica, Tokyo, China… but I’ve only seen the airport and the hotel room.But you still enjoy touring obviously?
I still love touring because it’s instant gratification. Every night you get a crowd, you get this little challenge and you get a cool interaction with the audience. A studio session is more of a psychological pressure. Touring is easy. It’s notphysically easy, but it’s not as much pressure.
Do you ever worry, at a young age, peaking too early?
Culturally, we have an obsession with youth, especially in the media. I try my best not to overexploit it. I’ve spent a lot of time refusing to do any any photos or any interviews that would mention my age. For a while, I was really protective of it. Of course, once you do festivals, you can’t really hide it anymore. I didn’t want the story to take over too much. Now that I’m 19, it’s a bit more underwhelming. But back when I was 16, it was the headline. I wanted the first story about me to be my music, and the second to be about me as a person. As a potential fan, if you’re presented with the story first, rather than the music, it may create a bad experience. With such pressure at a young age, I feel I have been relatively prepared. I’m not from a musical family, but I anticipated it: I studied stories and careers and prepared myself for the downfalls of a career. I’m realistic and ambitious of what lies ahead.
What’s the strangest gift you’ve got from a fan?
Some fans in Washington DC gave me a bunch of stuff in a gift bag. One of the items was a homemade plush of a squirrel dressed like me, wearing a blazer and it was called “Hugo Le Squirrel.” It’s now in the basement, of course.
Madeon has carved his name into the history of EDM whether or not his age comes into the conversation; it is truly an inspiration to see someone so young be so inspired by the music and vision of the future.
Photo Credit : Trevor Jaques