Diplo and Why the DJ Culture is a “Sinking Ship”

In a recent interview with Billboard magazine, the 37-year old EDM superstar, Diplo gets real about what DJ culture is really like- it may be what you least expected.


No idea why this mastermind behind so many tracks, but most importantly, Bieber’s most recent album Purpose alongside Skrillex, is looking down on his electronic dance world, but the artist had things to say. He offered Billboard a critical perspective if the DJ world that he and his peers revolve around.

“The DJ world is the corniest fucking 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.”

As he sees it, the “Lean-On” producer is excited and thrilled to be doing what he loves most as a career, and he’s afraid to even stop for just a moment in case it means saying goodbye to it all. So, instead, he works like a dog to do the best that he can, even if the lifestyle isn’t his of preference.

New York Times: Diplo
New York Times: Diplo

He’s touring and performing with Major Lazer and Jack U, hosting radio shows on BBC Radio 1 and Apple Music, and is still trying to have a social life. He’s a busy dude, to say the least. After working with many renown artists today, he has most recently worked with Beyoncé on her new album LEMONADE. This is his most prized collaboration. He mentions that is such a big deal for him to be working with Queen Bey, “she’s one of the only artists who can culminate a body of work so concisely.”

Nevertheless, Diplo knows how to carry the music, and is certainly beginning to build his empire over all ranges of music. From Beyoncé to Justin Bieber to Major Lazer to Brazilian baile funk to Bollywood to trap and to tropical house and more, this man is pushing the boundaries of EDM.
Just two nights ago, the American DJ had an impromptu afterparty in Shanghai, then yesterday he was in Los Angeles, where he settled for a little bit to be with his two sons, Lockett, 5, and Lazer, 1 (great names). He then attempted to catch up on some work. He continued to discuss his on-going To-Do list and life struggles: “I lost my passport, did a charity event for some kids with cancer at my home studio, had a meeting with [his label] Mad Decent about merch,” he says sleepily. “Then I took the red-eye here. I really need to do some yoga.” (Also, Happy Father’s Day Diplo! Look at the tweet below of the happy daddy with his kids and a sweet caption about what it takes to be a dad.)


There’s no doubt that this artist has the talent and what it takes to continue riding this wave of fame. However, is he running himself ragged that at some point he’ll crash? He’ll falter? He’ll need to take a breather from the DJ culture that is a “sinking ship?” In 2015, two of his songs dominated peoples’ playlists and the sound waves and speakers. while sounding like nothing that had ever come before. He knows and senses what it takes to make people move, which is talent all of its own.


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