Martin Solveig [b. 1976; real name, Martin Picandet], a native of France, has created a career that combines the elements of producing, DJ’ing and performing quite unlike nearly anyone else in today’s world of popular music. Solveig’s historical influences included Prince, Lenny Kravitz and Stevie Wonder—a decidedly eclectic group—and the non-conformity of his taste has clearly increased his popular appeal. At the age of 21 he started his own record label, Mixture Stereophinic, where the first track his company released (“Heart of Africa”) sold ten thousand copies.
Solveig has since earned worldwide acclaim for the quality and technical merits of his music videos. He also hosts a weekly radio show from Paris, titled C’est la vie, which is available everywhere online—both live and as a podcast.
His success only continued to skyrocket after joining up with Dragonette [ca. 2005], an electro-pop trio from Canada currently comprised of Martina Sorbara (songwriter, vocals), Dan Kurtz (producer, bassist), and Joel Stouffer (drummer). The group signed a recording contract in 2005 with Mercury Records, shortly after the release of their self-titled EP. That deal caused them to relocate to London, and they toured extensively throughout the U.K. as well as back home in Canada. Their success in clubs and on stage did not translate to significant airplay, however, as several songs struggled to make it into the top 100 on the U.K. Singles Chart. Nonetheless, they enjoyed a Juno nomination in 2008 for Best New Group.
Dragonette had partnered with several house DJs in the past, but their pairing with Martin Solveig is what gave them a tremendous boost in popularity. Their greatest collaboration to date has been on the song, “Hello” , which also launched an incredibly well received music video produced, naturally, by Solveig. The song literally went on to significant commercial success, as South Africa’s landline provider, Telkom, selected the tune as background music for TV ads that announced the launch of their wireless division. On a personal note, in 2009 Solveig was named a Chevalier of Arts & Letters for his contribution to the arts, one of the highest accolades a French citizen can receive.