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Issue 61 New Music: Madeon

It’s hard not to be more than a little envious of Hugo Leclercq, AKA bombastic pop producer Madeon. At eighteen, he’s already created mini-mixes for Annie Mac, reached the UK Top 40 on three separate occasions this year, and been announced as the tour support for Lady Gaga’s 2013 North American tour. It’s an impressive pedigree, for sure; hell, at that age I was content with playing an acoustic set once a week at my local and maybe getting bought a pint if Lady Luck was feeling especially generous.

It would be unfair to put chance as a factor in Madeon’s meteoric rise to notoriety; his current acclaim is something for which the young Frenchman has worked extremely hard from a young age. Kissing goodbye to the time-consuming shackles of full-time education, Leclercq quickly chose to immerse himself in music. “I realised at the age of fourteen that what I wanted most in life was to make music professionally, which I’m afraid was at the expense of academic assiduity,” he tells me; though he’s also quick to admit that his “dreams and expectations were much lower than what’s been happening lately.”

It’s a romantic and age-old story: that of the musician who drops his other commitments and focuses fully on his nascent art. What gives Leclercq’s tale extra resonance though, is just how 21st century it feels – the schoolboy who escapes his academic imprisonment, scours the internet for new music outside of the conservative French charts, and succeeds beyond his wildest dreams.

His 2012 singles – particularly ‘The City’ and ‘Finale’ – feel imbued with this escapist outlook on life, a feeling with which Leclercq finds it hugely flattering to be associated. “It’s a wonderful compliment as escapism is an appealing emotion. I think I have this youthful trait of wishing to make big, richly produced music,” he gushes.

Keeping his lips firmly sealed regarding what the future holds outside of his aforementioned tour with Gaga, Leclercq only confirms the vaguest of details on the subject of an upcoming debut album. “I really want to capture the music that excites me at the moment,” he explains, “so I hope to release it next year, ideally.” While we’ll have to wait for more details on Madeon’s premiere full-length, further assaults on the mainstream charts feel almost certain. “My music is not really optimised for clubs; I use the tools of electronic music to write pop songs,” he admits. It’s a winning formula, indeed.

-Alex Cull

Also in Notion Magazine Issue 61.

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