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Frequently catching airwaves, Diplo stays busy broadcasting his BBC 1xtra program, Diplo & Friends, and Major Lazer’s recurring Beats 1 show, Lazer Sound. This week, however, the experiential producer sits down with Zane Lowe for a candid interview on Beats 1. Topics discussed include the fate of Major Lazer’s new music, their brand new collaboration with Nicki Minaj and PartyNextDoor, landing a TV show with Vice and the future of Jack Ü. Here are the 7 things you need to know…
Diplo and Skrillex likely ending the Jack Ü project
The two-headed monster known as Jack Ü may be coming to a close. After its commercial and critically acclaimed run, which passed through pop culture as it transcended genres, Diplo reveals that he and Skrillex have no plans to release new music together.
“I think right now I’m just trying to make Major Lazer. Last year I kind of did everything and I wore myself really thin trying to do all those projects but this year it’s all about getting the Major Lazer stuff out. We have a lot of records we wrote together me and Skillex but I don’t think its time to put those out now. Just trying to concentrate on this Major Lazer material.”
Major Lazer’s next single will be “Run Up” featuring Nicki Minaj and PartyNextDoor
With a certified hit record in the books, Major Lazer will take another step with their next single. Serving as the follow-up to last year’s “Cold Water” with Justin Bieber, their new single “Run Up” is due next with features from Nicki Minaj and PartyNextDoor.
“This record got kinda like an Afro Beat kinda vibe to it. Something like Nigerian or from South Africa. It started out like kind of a reggae record, we just built it up and it’s an infectious dance song… I tried to get Nicki to do records with us for a couple years now. We happened to find the right one that made sense for her. She’s inspiring man, it’s crazy. I’ve never had an artist be so disciplined on cutting a song like this. She wrote sixteen different verses for this song.”
The future is uncertain for Music Is The Weapon
Since Major Lazer’s 2015 album Peace Is The Mission, the wait has been on for its follow up album to be titled Music Is The Weapon. Revealed today, however, Diplo’s outlook on music consumption in relation to full length albums may alter the fate of the record’s anticipated release.
“It’s crazy when people come see our concerts and I just feel like we want to concentrate on a song. Every time we put a song out we want people to know this is the song. We have over thirty songs so at any point it’d be easy to just drop the album but I’m not sure people digest our music like that anymore. They don’t listen to our album as much as they listen to a song or watch our videos.”
James Van Der Beek will star as Diplo in new Vice TV show
After doing a show promotion with actor James Van Der Beek portraying an exaggerated Diplo, the two shopped the footage and landed a green light for a series backed by Spike Jonze to air on Vice this March.
“We did a promo for one of our parties and it was so funny, James being me and it was an exaggerated version of me you know because even on the internet I’m exaggerated in the culture for fun. Being tongue and cheek about it. I didn’t mean it to necessarily be about me but it just became the character. We shopped it over to Spike Jonze and he actually liked the idea so he green lit it for Vice. We’re gonna try and shoot some stuff and make it as funny as possible. It comes out in March.”
Diplo has been working with Travis Scott, Migos and LA’s hip-hop community
Asked about his recent work, Diplo points to time between January and March when he’s able to put in time in the studio. He shares his affinity for the trending hip-hop landscape and its culture in Los Angeles, and that he’s been involved in new music with the likes of Travis Scott, Migos and others.
“It’s cool right now there’s a lot of rappers in LA. A lot of young guys like Travis Scott again, Migos, MadeinTYO, Lil Uzi Vert, just doing records like that. And of course just writing. I’m not trying to go out there and find all the pop stars to work with, we’ve always worked with our friends. Even with ‘Cold Water’ and Justin Bieber we had done a lot of music together for the last couple years.”
New music from MØ is on the way
When asked who he was in the studio with last night, Diplo breaks some news to the delight of MØ fans.
“Just working with MØ doing something for her for our album, finishing up production on that track doing something different. You know we produce our records until like the day before they’re due. We write our records early. It takes like four or five months to actually produce them. So I have like sixteen versions of one record — totally different sounds.”
Diplo will tour less, focus on producing more in 2017
Known for his unrelenting touring, having been circling the globe with Major Lazer, on his own solo shows, and previous Jack Ü run — Diplo enlightens Zane on his intention to slow down in effort to focus on new music.
“I wanna sit back and tour a lot less. That’d be the goal but I think I never expected for Major Lazer to do such big numbers when it comes to releasing music. I thought it was an agony until two years ago. It’s just the music landscape changed a little bit to where people are interested in this kinda of music.”
Listen to Diplo’s full interview with Zane Lowe now: