By Zachary Swickey
Diplo managed to drop many a gem during our convo with him on his first stop of the “AXE One Night Only Tour,” which has the producer/DJ invading seven college campuses around the states performing in intimate venues for absolutely free.
He already revealed his plans for a full-blown project with Snoop Dogg and his love for collaborator Santigold, but he also talked up his brand new book and the latest plansfor Major Lazer.
Diplo’s coffee table book, “128 Beats Per Minute: Diplo’s Visual Guide to Music, Culture, and Everything in Between,” hit stores last week and showcases the amazing seven year musical journey that’s taken him to 32 countries where he’s personally taken over 60,000 photos. We asked him what it was like to be accepted by a vast multitude of cultures.
“I owe a lot of it to the DJ culture growing. I’m one of the most eclectic DJs out there, so I’ve been able to meander through all these different scenes whether it’s in Asia, the UK, or my home in Philly or Mexico – wherever it is I’ve been lucky enough to appeal to a lot of people,” Diplo told MTV News. “Even though it’s always been kind of underground – there’s always an ’underground’ in every city and I’ve been able to tap into that and represent those kids that are into new music and art and fashion not just the music.”
He continued, “You’re not gonna see any giant raves in that book. You’re going to see how things are really like when you’re traveling – it’s not about playing for thousands of people, it’s about playing for the fans.”
“Because when you get to those big festivals it’s almost homogenous everywhere you go in the world, but you can tell when you go to Jamaica or China or when you go to Amsterdam in the book it feels like all those places, which I really appreciated.”
Read on for a Major Lazer update.
Meanwhile, Major Lazer, Diplo’s side project with producer and chum Switch, released a short snippet of a new song in an ad for their upcoming UK tour. The track includes guest vocals from Amber Coffman of the Dirty Projectors. So how did that collab come about?
“Amber has been working with me and my crew for a while. She sang on a record I did – well it was Rusko’s record ’Hold On.’ I got her to sing the hook on that. I wrote the record with Sia and Amber sang on it, and she f**king murdered that record. Still to this day, it’s one of our [Diplo’s label Mad Decent] best-selling records,” he gushed.
“It was a whole new world for her, but I loved her voice, and brought her out to Jamaica with her boyfriend, who is also in the band. He played guitar on it. It sort of seemed to make sense to do a reggae record with them – I don’t know why? But it did, and it’s awesome. It’s like the mellowest record on the album, but we’re [Major Lazer] going to release that first, I guess second after you consider ’Original Don’ a single. But I’m so proud of that record. I love how she sounds,” Diplo continued.
According to the Philly native, we won’t have to wait long to hear the rest of the song and even see a new official video. “We’re shooting a video next month with a French director, and it’s going to be filmed in Jamaica,” he said. “We’re releasing it in two weeks right before our [Major Lazer’s] UK tour with some remixes. It’ll be big I think.”