INTERVIEW: Dave Audé on New Single “Never Forget” and Remixing MadonnaMarch 17, 2012 5 Comments
One of the best remixers/producers working in dance music today, I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed by Dave Audé. His re-dos for pop artists, from Cher to Nicole Scherzinger, are reliably the best on any package, while his original productions for artists like Jessica Sutta and Luciana are equally stellar. Quantity all too often trumps quality in clubland, but Audé admirably manages to be both prolific and maintain a high bar for his output.
Audé scored four spots on my Top Remixes of 2011, and though 2012 is less than three months old, he looks poised to do as well or better when I survey the year that was again this December. His latest contender, “Never Forget,” featuring t.A.T.u.’s Lena Katina, was released this week on his label, Audacious Records. I always enjoyed the now-defunct Russian duo more in remixed form — all thanks to Audé’s reworks of “All The Things She Said,” “All About Us” and “Not Gonna Get Us” — and “Never Forget” continues that very fine t.A.T.u. tradition.
The occasion afforded me the opportunity to interview Audé. Time constraints conspired against a phone chat, so he graciously agreed to be grilled via email. Besides his new single with Lena Katina, I had to ask about another production that’s getting him a lot of attention — his remix of Madonna’s “Girl Gone Wild.”
POPSERVATIONS: Lena Katina originally released “Never Forget” as a single last year, though it didn’t make much of a ripple outside of her native Russia. How did the idea to remix the song come about, with a full release on your label?
DAVE AUDÉ: Lena’s management sent me the song a few months back and asked if I’d remix it. The tempo was too slow, so I suggested that we completely re-do the song production and release it as my next single. We recorded all new vocals and the end result was great.
I think that releasing it as a ‘Dave Audé featuring Lena Katina’ song gave the release a better head start than releasing as a Lena Katina record. Lena was here [in L.A.] just last week and she’s a pleasure to work with.
How did you select the other remixers for “Never Forget” (Loud Manners, Sharooz, Jeremy Word)? As the ‘label guy’ in that situation, are you after certain sounds to complement your own, to round out the package? Do you reach out to fellow DJ friends and contacts?
Both. I really like what Loud Manners did for Wynter Gordon [Hear here], so I thought it would be a great fit for this record. I knew Sharooz would give me something techno-ish that would round out the package nicely, and I knew Jeremy’s mix wouldn’t sound like anything else.
Jeremy is really coming along these days. He’s a good friend of mine and I’m happy to give him a mix and let him do whatever he wants.
While remixing some of music’s heaviest hitters is nothing new for you, I have to ask about one of your latest superstar remixes, Madonna’s “Girl Gone Wild.” Did you feel any additional pressure, having been ‘given the keys’? What was your goal, sound-wise, for the remix?
I worked on two remixes for Madonna years ago, “Music” and “Don’t Tell Me,” but neither saw a proper release, so it’s cool that I’ve been ‘given the keys’ again! I heard “Girl Gone Wild” and immediately fell in love with it. My goal was to produce a non-fluffy mix that rocked and I feel I nailed it!
It doesn’t really get any bigger than Madonna, does it — The Queen of Pop and a club music legend. Of all of her remixes, do you have a favorite?
My unreleased mix of “Music.” LOL, sorry, it is!
Your remix of “Girl Gone Wild” has gotten a great reaction, with some suggesting it should be the official single version. One even said he’s replacing the album version with yours when MDNA comes out.
Wow, I appreciate that. My version is different than the original. It’s probably too banging to be an album cut.
I do think the album cut could have sonically been mixed better, but that is simply my opinion and my taste. The fact that I hear things differently probably helps me produce records. Anyway, thanks for suggesting that!
What’s your approach when doing a remix of an existing track like “Girl Gone Wild”? I imagine the process is different than when you’re creating something completely from scratch, like your productions with Jessica Sutta, for example. (Amazing, by the way.)
Thank you. My approach is really the same, except in this case I have the vocal so there’s somewhere to start from. Remixing and producing these days are exactly the same, there’s no difference really, it’s all producing.
Having done remixes for so many (Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Yoko Ono, Katy Perry, and most recently, Madonna, Coldplay, and Adam Lambert), while also working on your own label productions, your weekly SiriusXM radio show, and DJing around the world, your career seems to get only bigger and bigger. What’s the best part of what you do for a living?
The best part of my career is that I truly love the challenge every day of making great music. I really don’t feel I’ve made my best stuff and I’m learning more every day. Technology is exciting and it’s so much fun to hear what today’s producers are coming up with.
Is there any artist you haven’t worked with or yet remixed that’s on your wish list? There don’t seem to be many you’ve missed!
Honestly, I can’t think of any off the top of my head, maybe Akon?
What’s up next for Audacious Records?
New single featuring Isha Coco, “Something For The Weekend” — out this summer!
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CHART GEEK ALERT: Since 1997, Dave Audé’s remixes have reached #1 on the Billboard Dance Club Play chart an impressive 77 times, most recently with Neon Hitch’s “Fuck U Betta.” Among artists, Madonna holds the record, scoring her 41st chart-topper next week with “Give Me All Your Luvin’.” It’s a near certainty that Audé’s remix of “Girl Gone Wild” will notch another #1 for both.