Diplo opens up about modern dance music culture: “It’s a sinking ship, I’m sad that I’m part of it”
At this stage in his career, Thomas Wesley Pentz, better known as Diplo is very much a veteran of the dance music scene. With chart topping hits working with Skrillex for their Jack U project, or the anthems produced with Major Lazer, it’s safe to say the Diplo has earned his dues and as such, he deserves his opinion to be heard.
Sitting down with Billboard for an in depth interview after winning the publication’s coveted “Dance artist of the year” award, the DJ/Producer talked about the impact of his Major Lazer project after performing for an estimated 400,000 fans in Havana, Cuba, and playing in places normal American acts wouldn’t usually play. Speaking about a gig in Pakistan, the American said “People were in tears. I’m not like the Red Cross, but the kids in Pakistan and Cuba want this. It feels like I’m doing something that’s important — I’m helping them create something that wasn’t there before.”
Speaking up on current controversies in DJ culture at the minute, such as the issue of pre-recorded sets and acts providing more “entertainment” than actual DJing, the producer said The DJ world is the corniest f–ing group of people, We’re not celebrities, we’re not famous for any good reason. We’re just … really lame. Besides people like Dillon Francis, who makes fun of the whole thing, or Calvin Harris, it’s a sinking ship. It’s a really lame culture. I’m sad that I’m part of it, but I play the game.”
While Diplo had strong words on the current state of DJing, it’s important to remember that for many people, the “EDM” bubble is already starting to burst, taking a quick look at festival lineups shows a huge revival in house and techno acts, more so than ever before with many beginning to branch out as they get sick of the typical mainstream dance tracks being put out on a weekly basis. We can only look to the future and imagine a post “EDM” world of dance music, and with thousands flocking to different genres every day, it looks as though the future could be bright despite the sometimes embarrassing things happening in mainstream dance culture.