If there’s one thing Diplo‘s not, it’s idle. The globetrotting mega producer is seemingly always engaging in new projects—he just dropped an album with his supergroup LSD, and he’s been unstoppable lately with a relentless stream of new music (anyone heard that “Old Town Road” remix?). For his latest piece of content, the “Win Win” producer released the new video for his single with Octavian, “New Shapes.”
The visual evokes a sense of confusion and disarray as Octavian lethargically slides from a couch in a smoke-filled room to grimy warehouse party. Angelo Dominic Sesto served as the director for the cut with PRETTYBIRD serving as executive producer.
This song came out as a part of Diplo’s EuropaEP, a six-track release that featured a different European artist on each. Octavian is a French-British rapper who was born in London. Recently he has ascended through the ranks after working with artists like Skepta, A$AP Ferg, and others.
Is Diplo a robot? If working on Silk City, LSD, and Major Lazer isn’t enough, he’s out in studios all over the world doing A&R work for his label, Mad Decent by scouting premier undiscovered talent from areas with underrepresented artists. From the aforementioned endeavors, Thomas Wesley Pentz Jr is using his solo Diplo project. Today, he dropped his new Europa EP, a followup to 2018’s California, to celebrate collaborations with rappers from France, Britain, Germany, The Netherlands, and Algeria.
In this album, Diplo takes a more backseat approach, allowing the fresh talent to take center stage. French-British rapper, Octavian, from London glides along lush synths on “New Shapes,” while Dutch rappers Bizzey—former member of Yellow Claw—and Ramiks bounce with sitars and a soca beat on “Dip Raar.” “Baui Coupé” showcases German rapper, Bausa, with a catchy hook, and Soolking from Algeria does sits back with floating trap vocals on “Oh Maria.” “Mira Mira” features Manchester up-and-coming urban-jazz artist IAMDDB while “Boom Bye Bye” featuring Niska received high praise at the project’s first release.
March 2018 saw Diplo deliver California, a seven-track effort that emanated the warmth of the EP’s namesake state. Diplo’s first solo production since 2013’s Revolution, the collaboratively diverse EP coalesced the likes of Lil Yachty, Goldlink, MØ, and more for an effervescent showing that continues to fizz with sonic personality, even as Diplo announces the imminent arrival of California followup, Europa.
Poised for a Feb. 22 debut, Europa will transport four Diplo originals from the electronic chameleon’s studio to listeners’ speakers. Diplo diffused some of Europa‘s sound two preliminary singles from the six-track, European inspired EP, “Boom Bye Bye” with Niska,” and most recently, “New Shapes” with UK hip-hop entity, Octavian. The remaining four cuts will call upon the talents of Soolking, IAMDDB, Bizzey & Ramiks, and Bausa. Diplo has continually proven his musical craft to be the antithesis to creative pigeonholing, and as such, fans can expect Europa to be a project that only further exemplifies Diplo’s commitment to conceptual and artistic versatility.
From his 2018 collaboration with the rising afrobeat artist Burna Boy to his earliest Major Lazer work, Diplo‘s penchant for finding emerging international talent is no secret. Continuing this trend, the superstar DJ and producer has just released “New Shapes,” a track featuring the UK-based hip hop artist, Octavian.
Working with Mura Masa and receiving a remix from Ross From Friends in 2018, Octavian is no stranger to working alongside electronic production. He brings his subdued bars to a chilled out beat, with intricate yet subtle percussion encasing the chorus. A heartfelt offering from the two artists, the airy vibe is a departure from both of their signature styles. His second international collaboration this year, Diplo’s pursuit of artists from across the pond shows no sign of stopping any time soon.
Mura Masa releases his first track, “Move Me,” since his critically acclaimed 2017 self-titled debut album. The groovy new tune comes together with contributions from emerging London-based rhymer, Octavian, proctoring a sexy casual vibe blurring grime, dancehall, and R&B. The swinging, soca rhythm mixed with the driving bass line and twinkling melodies create a perfect bed for Octavian’s sprawled vocals. Mura Masa builds another characteristically unique combination of a snares and reverbed piano, continuing to show off his increasingly inventive sound designs.
Undoubtedly gunning for lofty chart placement on “Move Me,” Mura Masa continues to explore the boundaries and intersections of a range of different genres, while still managing to concept widely appealing pop hits. Reach for this one at a pool party, on the dance floor, or really anywhere all summer long.
Canadian electronic/hip-hop experimentalist Ryan Hemsworth released his second weekly bootleg this April, of which lead up to his upcoming US tour dates. This week’s heavily sped up bootleg of Octavian’s “Hands” follows last week’s subtle, daze-inducing take on Z Money’s “Two 16s.”
In his uptempo “Hands” rendition, Hemsworth paints a sample-ridden night sky, within which he features a twinkling melody accompanied by vast varieties of obscure, swiftly looping vocals.
Hemsworth will kick off his jam-packed spring schedule in late April, starting in DC and making his way through major cities like LA, San Diego, Denver, and finally Chicago in mid-May.