Musicians and longtime friends Porter Robinson and Madeon each made a name for themselves as solo artists and producers-producers who redefined electronic music from the inside out, expanding the genre from the festival stage to the pop charts and bringing electronic music into the global mainstream.
So when the idea of working together started to come to life, they knew they wanted the creative process to take place in the studio together instead of online; “Both Porter and I started working with people in-person when we started making our respective albums and appreciated how much more collaborative you can get,” Madeon explains of their decision to work together. “Our intent was to make music that would reflect our friendship.”
The two decamped to Madeon’s studio in Nantes, France and the result, “Shelter” is an ode to family ties as much as it’s a pop song that epitomizes their own friendship.
“I see enthusiasm and inspiration as the most important currency you can have when you’re making music,” Porter adds. “It’s this weird sensation of being drunk on your own confidence and excitement that leads to so many creative breakthroughs. That effect was really exaggerated when we were working together.”
“Shelter” comes at a serendipitous time for the two young artists as each enjoys a break from touring in support of their critically acclaimed debut solo albums, Porter’s Worlds and Madeon’s Adventure.
Having first met on an internet message board a decade ago as young Daft Punk fans who wanted to produce music, Porter and Madeon have pursued distinct but coincidentally parallel careers to become electronic music creators of their own.
Porter first caught the ears of tastemakers in 2010 with his track “Say My Name.” An EP on Skrillex’s OWSLA label followed and he signed to the venerated Astralwerks in 2013 when he was all of 21. The next year he released his debut artist album, Worlds, an expansive LP that included the songs “Divinity” (as heard in Google’s “Year in Search” commercial) and the landmark “Sea of Voices.” Worlds debuted in Billboard’s Top 20 and prompted the launch of the Worlds Tour, an interactive live show as ambitious at the album it was named for.
Meanwhile, Madeon (given name: Hugo Leclercq) first came to global attention with his game-changing video and track “Pop Culture” in 2011. Early last year, he released his highly-anticipated debut album, Adventure, which spawned the singles “You’re On,” co-written with Jimmy Napes (Sam Smith, Disclosure), and “Home.” Having sharpened his live skills as an opener for Lady Gaga and with sets at Coachella and Lollapalooza, Madeon launched two tours in support of Adventure: Adventure Live and the Pixel Empire Tour.
Both Porter and Madeon still live in their hometowns (Chapel Hill, North Carolina and Nantes, France, respectively), they are meticulous in their craft, they still love Daft Punk, and they have ravenous fans who follow their moves online and frequently offer tributes in a variety of media. While this collaboration is a first for the two young producers, they have played a pivotal role in each other’s work over the past decade of their young careers, providing feedback—sometimes brutally honest—about each other’s solo work. This laid the groundwork for a successful partnership. According to Madeon, “what was always special is that we would be very detailed in our feedback and would dedicate as much attention to each other’s work as we would our own.”
While “Shelter” provides enough technical proficiencies for other producers to dig into, the track doesn’t dwell on Madeon and Porter’s production commonalities. Instead, its lyrical and melodic magic takes center stage. The single - a brilliant collaboration of shimmering, humanity-infused electronic pop - sees the duo taking a hands-on approach to the songwriting process with Madeon stepping into the role of lead vocalist.
To write the track, Porter flew to Madeon’s home in France and the two wrote together in real-time, face-to-face, taking a decidedly old-school approach to the collaboration, inspiring and challenging one-another along the way. The resulting single and the forthcoming joint North American tour captures both artists as they enter a new phase of their respective careers.
To support the release Porter and Madeon kick off a joint tour that will see the two share the stage for a collaborative live performance.The live show will combine the best of their individual catalogues into one interactive performance that fuses emotion, live instrumentation, visual artistry and cutting edge technology. Fans will get to hear old favorites, newly re-worked cuts from Worlds and Adventure, a few surprises, and of course a life-affirming live delivery of “Shelter.”