Diplo gets candid about quarantine, his new song and the state of hip-hop in Apple Music interview
Diplo (real name Wesley Pentz) recently sat down with Apple Music‘s Zane Lowe via FaceTime to discuss all the happenings in the world and music during an odd time, especially for performers.
After dozens of the world’s biggest festivals, famous nightclubs, and events across the globe have been canceled due to travel restrictions and bans on large gatherings due to the coronavirus, Pentz got candid about how life as a world-renowned DJ/producer looks in a global pandemic.
“I haven’t been home this long since I was 24-years-old. This is three weeks at my house and I’ve seen parts of my house I never knew existed. I’ve been in closets. I was like, “Where did this come from?” I was like, “Who’s this person that lives here?” I was like, “I never even seen you before.” There was like… It’s a weird place this house and I might have to sell it when this over”
Pentz also added that he’s using this time to finish up a Major Lazer album that’s been in the works as well as learning how to play the guitar.
“…I’ve been like playing a lot of guitar and learning that, which is I would never ever, ever do that, unless it’s like literally someone made me do it. That’s what was happening right now. Like I never… It’s just not in my thing to learn something new anymore. I’m too old. I feel like I have to be forced into doing it and that’s literally what’s happening. I’m forced into doing this, which is awesome, because I need it.”
Diplo also shares his thoughts on hip-hop and how the use of hip-hop comes into play with his performances.
“They don’t give hip hop like a real chance to listen anymore. People just kind of let hip hop replace itself over and over again. We expect it to come so fast, which also makes a lot of rappers kind of like lazy. When I was first getting to hip hop, people spent a year putting their album together, a year touring it, and now it’s just single after single, kind of TikTok based, or whatever … It takes me some time, but I never rule anything out. I never put like a judgment on a project, because of whatever I feel, whatever the scene is, I always listen to things very democratically like you do. Because we’re DJs, we’re musicians, and that’s our job to like really translate. I might be in my own mind, but when it comes to DJing, I’m steered by what music works.”
Recently, Major Lazer released a song called ‘Lay Your Head On Me’ that features Mumford and Sons frontman, Marcus Mumford. Pentz shares how the idea of collaborating with Mumford came about,
“I think when you put Major Lazer and Mumford and Sons or Marcus Mumford on paper, you’re like, “What the hell are you guys going to do? What the hell could this be?” But that’s what makes it awesome, because it’s just about two guys who love to make music, two groups that are great at making music and we’re going to come up with something. We’re going to come up with something that works for us and I don’t think it could have been a better fusion of sounds. In fact, when I teased him in the studio with me playing guitar a little bit when we were working on the demo, I have never seen so much interaction on my Instagram. Mr. Easy was like, “Oh my God, I love Marcus Mumford,” or some models were like, “I love Marcus Mumford.” Rappers were like, “Wow, that guy’s great.”
While Diplo remains arguably one of the most influential producers of all time, he shared how influenced he was by Pearl Jam and how ‘Vs.’ was one of the first albums he ever bought.
“That album had hits man… “Even Flow”, “Alive”… I remember the b-sides. I was such a fan of that Pearl Jam sound.I was like obsessed with him, his voice and the videos were crazy. No, but he took rock into a different world.”
Even though festivals and shows may be at a halt in the meantime, Diplo has been live-streaming every night via his YouTube channel to compensate for missed time.
Click here for Diplo’s YouTube channel.