Diplo sat down with NPR for an in-depth interview, covering a wide range of topics from his neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale where he grew up and his first forays in Djing and throwing parties in Philaldelphia to working with Madonna to creating his latest chart topping hit with Major Lazer, "Lean On" featuring MØ.
Diplo explains how he and other DJs and producers are in an extremely new and unique position in the industry today as he sums up the role that he can now play in the creation of modern music.
“People like me, DJs and producers, have a bigger say and a bigger voice then we ever have before... I’m like a musical creator/producer in the same vain as what Quincy Jones was or Pharrell, timberland were… but this year, people like me are able to go perform the records we play live, and i think that it gives me leverage to bring artists to me to producer records and kind of be in control of the way it sounds.”
He explains how his first meeting with Madonna was unlike anything he ever expected and how their single "Bitch, I'm Madonna" came about.
“Well, with Madonna it was really special for me because I became really close with her and friendly with her like I never would have expected… even when I first got the notion that Madonna wanted to meet and maybe do something, I was like, okay I'll do this because I want to get an Instagram picture with Madonna, at least…
I didn’t expect to even see her more than one afternoon. But with her, she’s already gotten more comfortable with me. And this song happened because we were getting a little drunk in the studio, and she’s like 'Whats the craziest thing you have on your computer right now… like what it is?” And it literally was this crazy noise, this buzzing sound, but she loved it…"
Diplo explains his vision behind the Madonna collab., and what it was like working with her.
"It does sound like a Diplo and Madonna song together, while other songs are kinda me trying to find the Madonna from the future or something. And this one’s kinda like, we just threw caution into the wind and made something as obnoxious as possible, which is kinda what her career’s always been like.”
“MØ was a fan of ours, I didn’t know who she was,” Diplo told NPR.
“She came to our show in Amsterdam and she introduced herself and she forced me and another guy in Major Lazer to go to her room to play music for her. She came to this city, I was like 'I'll give this girl a chance.' And I left her this record, the instrumental, and she wrote four songs in a week.”
He explains how he worked an iconic reggae sound into the song.
“The main thing of the beat is this reggae drum beat called a dembow… it’s like one beat that they used in reggae tone in dancehall records in the 90s for like 10 years, so we just put that in there and compressed it and made it sound very thick and rich.”
While Diplo explained that the Danish singer did not like this beat at all at first, he convinced her, saying "Trust me, this is going to be big."
Listen to the full interview below....