Diplo isn’t a huge fan of his song with Beyonce, either
STATS: Diplo, of all these different scenes that you have championed and taken inspiration from–you said Brazil was a big moment for you, a turning point, but there’s been tons of others, kuduro etc.–that you have taken inspiration from and tried to a shine light on. How do you look at that in practical terms?
DIPLO: The most important thing for me in my career right now, to help these other genres that I’m promoting, is to stay relevant. On a level where I can produce artists in America like Usher and Chris Brown, that’s what makes people even interested in what I’m doing on a mainstream level. And if I can do that, I can do other things on the side–like run Mad Decent, which is pretty much a money pit. I don’t know if you know any of my indie labels, but we put in probably $40,000 a year just in the artists I want to promote. But I can take a couple gigs in the week and then put that into Mad Decent. For me it’s more important to have this label running, because without it, I’m just another DJ doing anything. It’s like a dime a dozen out there.
Sometimes I make records I don’t even like. I’m working on some pop artists, like I’m not even that excited about the Beyoncé record. I didn’t have full control of those records, but this is stuff that helps me parlay into different things. I’m on a path that I want to take advantage of, so I can also go this direction if I want to, but I can’t control what the audience wants to hear. I don’t get gigs doing kuduro or baile funk. But I will have those guys play at our Mad Decent parties, or I will have them release records on Mad Decent, or even give away their records, and put their mixtapes up, whatever it takes, because I have the access to do that.
But if I just did that as a full time job, I’d be broke as fuck. I’d be homeless, no one would even check my website. But I still find it very important to work with people and develop shit like that. For instance, Heaps Decent, where I was the administrator of this program–I wish I could do more things like that in America.*
I find it both ironic and amusing that he wasn’t too into his record with Beyonce, and that he didn’t have much creative control. If you’ve listened to his original song, and her version, then you’d know that the instrumentals sound essentially interchangeable.
This particular excerpt was also interesting to me because I think a lot of people falsely assume that every facet of the music industry is profitable, and that obviously isn’t the case, as illustrated by Diplo. He kind of makes me feel a little better about my 9-5 job…
*Bolded emphasis, my own.
Read the entire interview here.
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