Diplo: ”People don’t know exactly what I do, they just know I’m ‘cool.’”
It’s true! Instant quotables, street cred wisdom, radical honesty, and trash-talking aplenty to be had in our chat with Diplo here. A sampling:
GQ: When someone asks you what you do, what do you tell them?
Diplo: I’d say I’m just a creative person, I like to make stuff. Music, art, film, but the best way to reach people no matter what is doing shows, where there are a thousand kids in a different city every night. I’m a distributor of different things, whether it’s the stuff we do on our label or stuff I produce. I’m a cultural distributor, I guess.
GQ: How do you find the time to make music?
Diplo: Today I was trying to sleep, it was a tiny jet that took us from San Francisco to Kansas, but I usually work on the planes. I get rough ideas. With a good Bloody Mary I can watch whatever Miley Cyrus movie is on the plane, work a little, and get inspired that way. I’m home a lot. I spend most time rushing out ideas, like when you put an idea together, it’s the tip of the iceberg, the rest of the iceberg is mixing it and delivering it, you know? There are so many iceberg tips, for every ten thousand tips, I have a hundred icebergs. Big, giant icebergs, you know? You gotta weed out what works, what goes which way, and just kinda wrap it up.
GQ: You’re probably one of the most famous people in the industry that doesn’t sing or rap.
Diplo: A lot of producers get famous because they decide to be superstars for their own reasons, but I’m inspired by Timbaland and Pharrell and Swizz Beatz ‘cause they’re doing things that are so different. I like how they’re introducing ideas I never would have thought of. The same way I love Radiohead. We’re in a different world where we aren’t selling as many records as we used to, but everything I do has gotta be a part of the brand, a part of the Internet presence, the art side of things, you work really hard being just everywhere. The new tool is doing everything. Putting out everything you can. What Lil B does, he puts out thousands of songs. It’s not about the quality, but it got him famous because you can’t get away from him. They were so obsessed with his honesty and his outright craziness, you know? It’s not even about quality. You just gotta do everything you can.