French DJ/producer David Guetta’s new single, “Where Them Girls At?” became an instant hit since being released online earlier this month. Featuring Nicki Minaj and Flo Rida, the up-tempo dance song immediately topped iTunes and international charts, building on David’s already stellar hit-making resumé (“Sexy Bitch” featuring Akon, “Memories” featuring Kid Cudi).

We recently talked with the trio responsible for “Where Them Girls At?” to learn more about marrying dance music and hip-hop, using music as a universal language and how they feel about the overwhelming response the record has received. —Calvin Stovall You’ve been leaving your mark on urban music lately. What’s your background in hip-hop and how long have you’ve been into it?

David Guetta: Well, actually I’ve been a hip-hop DJ, but that was like 20 years ago. And then I’ve been doing electro and house music and dance pretty much all my life. But I always liked hip-hop and always been a fan of the music… I’ve had the opportunity to try to mix them both together. That’s really want I wanted to do with my last album — to mix the electronic culture from Europe with urban culture from America… I’m really happy because, when I was DJing, it was feeling like it was two communities that were almost enemies. I would DJ and play electronic music and then sometimes I would listen to some hip-hop at home, but it was really impossible to imagine that the urban sound would be heard so much. And I think it’s wonderful that everybody is together. Doesn’t matter if you’re Black or White or where you’re coming from — people just want to have a good time and party and dance.

How did the three of you hook up for “Where Them Girls At?”

Guetta: Flo Rida’s record company contacted me first because they wanted me to produce a record for his album. Then one day we met and there was this mash-up that was being between one of my records and (one of his). The combination was so crazy and I said, 'this is what we should do.' We made “The Club Can’t Handle Me” together, and then we made “Where Them Girls At?” That was like a year ago.

Flo Rida: It was a process of me being in L.A. working on “The Club Can’t Handle Me” and then [David Guetta] had another track that he wanted me to do. It was “Where Them Girls At?” When I heard it I was like, “this is gonna be a smash.” He decided that we should get Nicki on the record and I recall being in LA All-Star Weekend and she told me, 'I gotta check it out.'

Guetta: I’m a huge, huge fan of Nicki Minaj. I’d been chasing her and finally we’re in the studio together and I played her the record and she was like, ‘Wow, that’s a monster.’ And she really killed it. She killed that record.

Flo and Nicki, were you two fans of David’s before recording this song with him?

Nicki Minaj: Once he told me all the records he was behind, I knew that I was a fan. I didn’t know that those songs all over the radio were his, that he produced those records. So I didn’t know him by name, but I knew of his work. When I finally got to meet him in Paris, he told me, “Oh, I did this, I did that.” And I went on iTunes and bought his album and was like, “Woah, (these) are some of my favorite songs.” I knew I definitely wanted to work with him after that, after (knowing) what his history was.

Flo Rida: Oh yeah, I’ve known about (David) for ‘bout like three years now. I actually got a chance to meet him with another young lady I did a record with — she goes by the name of Wynter Gordon — I did the “Sugar” record with (her). We were actually in London together and she introduced me to him. She was just like David has been saying he wanted to meet me and everything.


A lot of artists are leaning towards David’s style of music these days. What do you think of the electro/house music craze going on in hip-hop right now?

Nicki Minaj: I feel that it’s the universal music. The fact that this record went number one in ten countries on iTunes shows that music is a new language — It’s not English, it’s not French, it’s not Spanish, it’s its own language. When you have people that don’t even speak English but they’re in the club and they know every word... the music is just about a feeling. And that’s what I’m realizing. We should be giving people a particular feeling. It’s not even so much about exactly what you’re saying anymore. I think when it comes to that kind of music — dance music — it really shows music doesn’t really have any barriers.

Flo Rida: I’ve always been a fan of guys like OutKast and everything. They're always going against the grain and prior to me having the success I have, I always tried different production and things like that. So, to work with David is just like a breath of fresh air for me. I’m definitely a big fan of the work — just the whole following. For me to be able to cross different barriers and do different music, I’m just very happy to be a part of it.

Nicki, when David first played you the song, how did you know it was the right one?

Nicki Minaj: It seemed very, very catchy. It seemed fun. It made me feel like there were girls laying out by the beach, by the pool, with beach balls and convertibles and palm trees. When a song gives you a visual 15, 25 seconds into hearing it, it’s a smash. And I just knew this was gonna be a big record… we’re shooting the video I believe on the 17th of May.

How do you feel about the response the song has gotten thus far?

Guetta: It’s number one everywhere in the world and I think without any promotion. The American audience really loves it. It shows the sort of power of the community. And it comes from a trio — it comes for the people. It’s amazing… There was no radio playing up-tempo music in America. And now, everything sounds very much like “Sexy Bitch,” really to be honest. So, I’m very happy. I’m honored.