Interview: Diplo

Beyonce might have conquered half the world but Diplo definitely has the rest of it. A year after his Malaysian debut, production genius and DJ extraordinaire, Wesley Pentz (better known as Diplo) revisited KL for the second time around, delivering a vivacious set recently at Mist Club. Despite his hectic schedule, we managed to squeeze in a five minute interview, prior to his gig, to chat about new upcoming projects, Major Lazer’s involvement with Beyonce and that thing called dubstep.

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Is there anything you’d like to see or try this time around?
The last time I was here I had a couple days off and had a lot of fun in KL. I went to a monkey temple (Batu Caves), I saw the Petronas Twin Towers and got lost there at the same time and I even checked out the suburbs so I think I’ve seen pretty much everything I should have.

Well that’s more than what most visiting artists, and some Malaysians, do. Could you give us a rundown on what’s been happening lately?
I’ve been working really hard trying to finish the new Major Lazer album, touring a lot and preparing a lot of upcoming Mad Decent releases that will be out in the next couple of months. There’s going to be a new label compilation, the new Major Lazer album, a new Rusko single, releases from band POPO and Bosco Delrey and a new compilation called Moombahton. There’s a lot of crazy stuff happening now man.

A new Major Lazer album? Any teasers you’d like to share with us?
We’re just finishing it up now and we’ve got a lot of guest artistes featured in it. We’re down to the final bits of mixing it and if it doesn’t finish soon, I’m going to give up. We made a lot of records in the album and we haven’t really decided which ones will go in. We collaborated with a large list of artistes like Sean Paul, Beenie Man, Vampire Weekend, Dirty Projectors and No Doubt.

It sounds epic! How did Major Lazer and Beyonce get together?
One of the writers for ‘Girls (Who Run The World)’ wanted to use it in the record so we came in and also helped produce some of the records for them. We also produced another track for Beyonce’s new album. It’s really crazy that all of this happened during the last seven months. Her album comes out this month so we’ll get to see how well it will do. I don’t think people are going to expect that kind of sound from her; it’s very cutting edge.

A lot of us think it sounds better as ‘Pon De Floor’, what do you think?
That’s great because it means they are true Major Lazer fans but I don’t really care who uses ‘Pon De Floor’. It’s just great that we get to be involved in such a big record like this. I’m a big fan of Beyonce and I love everything about her so of course I’m not going to tell her that she can’t use my song in her record.

Are you going to drop a lot of dubstep like you did last year?
I hope so! I like to play a lot of new stuff that are different. Typically, a lot of people tend to play house and electro in big clubs. Nobody really plays dubstep and a lot of people tell me I shouldn’t either but I don’t really care on the kind of reaction people will display. I don’t want to play records that the audience are comfortable with all the time. I want to play new stuff because that’s what Mad Decent is all about. You’re not going to hear a Swedish House Mafia track in my set for sure.

What is it about dubstep that is so appealing right now?
Dubstep is so huge especially in America because it hits a nerve because the music is something like Korn’s. It’s taking over where metal left off. It’s loud, obnoxious and easy for the kids to get into. I like different dubstep for different reasons. I don’t like it because it’s cool and trendy but more because I work with most of the artistes.

How do you maintain a consistency within Mad Decent?
I see the people in Mad Decent as a crew rather than employees. We’re not a brand but more like a family. You can see how tight we are when we’re together like when we have our Block Parties.

Blood is thicker than business!
For sure!

Keep up with Diplo on his Twitter.