Formulaic Freedom: Challenging The Dance World’s Biggest Names
If you aren’t already aware, Don Diablo went up against the best in the business in his native homeland – and won. It might have been some years back, but the Dutchman saw to it that Armin and Tiesto had to accept second and third place in the local GKA Awards in a pole of Most Popular DJ – as voted by the fans. It all reaffirmed his desire to pursue a life in music, from what could only be described as, ‘interesting’ circumstances!
So what’s been happening in his life? "Too much to mention in one interview" says Diablo. "I am looking forward to coming along on the Future Music Festival Tour in March, to say the least! Australia feels like a second home to me! I’m still mixing up my style and still just trying to make music from the heart and play the music that I love. So in theory I end up working in the studio with rappers like Example, but also producing music for singer/songwriters and bands when the occasion arises. In my DJ sets I try to find a balance between electro breaks, punk funk, dubstep and D&B, mixed up with a bundle of my homemade edits and remixes. It all depends on how much the crowd can take basically, how far they are willing to go, I believe it’s a team effort of ”giving and taking!’"
Indeed, his new single Animale, which features Dragonette on vocals, was already quite a big hit overseas and it’s due for a worldwide release in March. "This is the first official single of my forthcoming debut artist album, which will also feature collaborations with Example, Rox and the recently deceased singer of Ou Est Le Swimming Pool, with whom I had just finished a track a few days before his suicide. The song we did is called Shadows and it sends shivers down my spine every time I listen to it. I also just did a single with Diplo, which can be heard in his current Blackberry campaign, we are working on a vocal version for this."
Musically, we talk about his love of production, for which he believes its all one-step at a time. "I guess the formula is that there is no formula. I get away with a lot. A lot of people are confused by this, which is not always a good thing, but it has also given me a lot of freedom. Sometimes I think a little bit more direction or clarity couldn’t hurt, but when I’m in the studio it’s just too hard to channel my creativity into one sound. Add to that I always work alone in the studio, so there’s nobody there to keep me in line either! But I just love to explore new territories. Recording a very gentle song for a soundtrack or singing on a record myself gives me a whole different form of excitement compared to when I’m making a banging electro record, but they are both equally appreciated. All of these elements put together, make me who I am!"
"Otherwise, I’m influenced and inspired by people who have a strong opinion and try to get the most out of themselves – they inspire me; this doesn’t even necessarily have to be in the artistic field. My motivation comes from within; there are all these voices in my head whispering all of these ideas. I just want them to be silent so I try to obey them as much as possible! As for the show, just expect to get back what you give, together we will have to create a night to remember, I can’t do it by myself, but as always I will definitely bring as much energy and good music as I can to make this happen!"
Don Diablo [NED] plays the Future Music Festival with The Chemical Brothers [UK], MGMT [US], Ke$ha [US] and more on Sunday March 13 at the Flemington Racecourse.