Diplo: 6 Tips for Starting a Party
No one embodies the 21st-century dance party like Diplo, whether he's cooking up hits with Skrillex in Jack Ü or making whimsical dancehall with Major Lazer. "People lose their minds," Diplo says of Major Lazer's gigs. "At one show, we had naked girls climbing speaker boxes." This summer, he'll serve as ringleader at his hip-hop/EDM festival, the Mad Decent Block Party, which tours the U.S. through October. Here, he shares his pro tips for setting it off.
Play to Win
When I'm DJ'ing in Vegas, I might be on for four hours, but when Major Lazer play a big festival, we might only get an hour. When we're onstage, it's a competition. If we're not the headliner, we try to beat every band. Our shows are like a Zumba class. We're gonna make you dance and participate.
Always Steal From the Best
We stole all of our original gimmicks from the Flaming Lips, no lie. I used to roll out into the crowd inside a huge empty ball. We stole that from them. Wayne Coyne actually texted me where to buy the ball. It's boring when it's just one guy up there with a thousand video projectors. A rock & roll band has to rehearse. There's so much more care in a show like that.
Keep the Visuals Tasteful
When you're a DJ and you're doing just one thing with your hands, you have to have crazy videos and lights. But make it a little more tasteful. Our lighting programmer takes ideas from Broadway, and I'm also into artists like Kendrick Lamar and Travis Scott, where it's almost like clip art that gives the flavor of the songs. Ours is more fast-paced to fit the music.
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