At the South by Southwest music festival in March, MTV News sat down with producer Diplo to talk about his work on M.I.A.’s upcoming /\/\/\Y/\ album (this was before he called it “a turd” ), and, at the end of the chat — almost in passing — he mentioned an upcoming EP by his [artist id="3180801"]Major Lazer[/artist] project that featured a remix by none other than [artist id="1123"]Radiohead[/artist]‘s [artist id="1452174"]Thom Yorke[/artist].
It sounded pretty rad, but there was one problem: According to a label rep who was standing off-camera, the EP would probably never see the light of day, due to — as she put it — “clearance issues.” This was news to practically everyone, Diplo included.
“There’s an EP that comes out next month, I think — is it coming out?” he said, stopping to ask the rep. “Oh, it’s not cleared? Oh, well, we have like five records, there’s a record with Collie Buddz, Thom Yorke did a remix for us. … I mixed it down; it’s pretty crazy. … It’ll get out, somehow.”
Turns out, he wasn’t kidding. After months of waiting, the Major Lazer EP, called Lazers Never Die, will hit stores on July 20. So, we decided now was a pretty good time to revisit our chat with Dip, in which he told the story behind the collaboration with Yorke.
“He came to our party in London in August, the Carnival party — the Notting Hill Carnival — it’s one of the biggest Caribbean parties in the world, 1.5 million people there, dancing to disco, dub music, everything, and Thom Yorke was at our party. He got in, was moshing basically the whole party, like going crazy for Major Lazer,” Diplo laughed. “I met him and we traded some information, and he asked to do a remix for Major Lazer. … And of all the tracks he could’ve remixed, he picked ‘Jump Up,’ which is this jumping, crazy, hype record. And I was like, ‘All right, you sure?’ And he’s like, ‘Yeah, we can do that one.’
“And he did it, I mixed it down a little bit and put it on our EP,” he continued. “It’s pretty good. It sounds like what you would expect. It sounds like a Thom Yorke remix. It sounds something like ‘Idioteque’ off the Kid A record. I’m a huge Radiohead fan. … What they do kind of influences our music so heavily. I feel like sometimes, Radiohead maybe has a mistake in the studio, and they build with it. They clean it up and make something out of it. And that’s what we kind of do. I feel like most of the stuff I do is an accident.”
And that includes spilling the beans on the Die EP, though, even back in March, Dip seemed confident that eventually, fans would be able to hear it. Even if he had to take matters into his own hands.
“People will find it,” he laughed, winking at the publicist. “If it doesn’t come out soon, you’ll find it.”
Who would you like to see do a remix with Major Lazer? Share your ideas in the comments