Don Diablo dropped his new album “FORΞVΞR”
Don Diablo is definitely one of the most important artists on worldwide dance/electronic scene since many years. His continuous growth and development of everything he did (and he’s doing), not just directly with music, it’s probably the main reason that brings Don Diablo into EDM Olympus. Don Pepijn Schipper launched his new album “FORΞVΞR”, another gemstone that follow up “FUTURE”. We got the opportunity to talk with Don Diablo about the album, the power of music and Hexagonians community, Blockchain and NFTs and more but just after a funny meeting with Siri.
And that’s all we talked about
- Your album is titled “FORΞVΞR“, available from September 10th on all platforms. Why the choice of this word and which collaborations and style news can we find in it?
The idea for the title for album FORΞVΞR came from the concept of my thought about “What actually is forever?”, “What last forever?”, “Nothing really last forever?” and at the same time we live in an era where everything last forever because everything is digital, everything is made in a way that could potentially last forever. Everything except human beings, right? I wanna to play right with that idea and create something that at least for me it’s something to be proud for the rest of my life, but also it’s a term used a lot when people passed away. And to me that really always hit me in the stomach because the knowledge and the fact that one day you’ll no longer be here. Something that always take place around in my head and the idea of having an album called Don Diablo FORΞVΞR, to me is also a way to create something. That may potentially be my last album or not. I have no idea. You never know what’s gonna happen in life, you know? I’m a big thinker, so I think of things in advance. And musically from me I had an album almost done, I changed up in the end because of the pandemic. Because I do know things last forever: once you putted out you cannot undo it. So ended up, I really restarted the album. I think I’m really not releasing 10 songs that I’ve already played live, but I want to make something better. I wanna to improve myself because it gonna last forever.
- You are one of the most authentic artists in the modern dance/electronic scene, and that influences your strong connection with your Hexagonians, among the most united EDM communities. How do you manage to be 100% yourself, with no filters and what do you think is the winning weapon of your fans?
I think you hit the nail on the head right? I think really by staying yourself how you built such a tight group of people coming together. For me its’ really always been about honesty, and I don’t really see Hexagonians as fans. I see them as a group of people coming together and that cannot find a way to find their place on this planet. For me have always sorted like an outcast. I’ve always struggled with both physical and mental issues and i think music has been my escape. And for me has been amazing that I found a community, a way to express myself and help other people through my music. But in a way that also help me, we help each other because they give me a certain sense of value and I think I can never be underestimated. I think that’s also where the clothing came from, because the same with clothing gives a sense of self value to put something on you feel comfortable in. Or something that connect you to someone else on the other hand of the planet. A lots of Hexagonians they go to my concert alone because they might not have friends. But they know when they go to that show that they will find someone want to connect with.
All of my records, if you listen to the album, they’re all very honest stories. Records like “Into The Unknown”, that’s basely me in my house letting you know how I feel about being alone for such a long time. Having all this uncertainty, insecurity. But at the same time “Thousand Faces” is about me losing my father. All this songs really have a story the people can relate to, if you dive to it a little deeper. For me Lyrics is as important as the music and production. Because I think lot of EDM is really focused on the techno compartment really about: “How can i create the sound?”, “What genre is it?”, “Please make what you made before”. But for me as an artist it’s more about how can i tell my story, my life story. Again this is FORΞVΞR. Like I’m gonna be gone one day and i want you to listen to my music and i wanna to inspire you and I want hopefully may even help you. Grow bigger, be inspired or maybe feel a little more secure.
- How do you think the blockchain is changing the music industry with NFTs, rights & royalties platforms and which are your next projects in this area?
I think the blockchain in general is changing the world. It’s not specifically changing the music industry. It is, but it is generally changing the world. It will change the whole entertainment industry. But also business, medical possibilities: you know, your medical records will be on the blockchain in the future; your administration will be on the blockchain. It’s a new very form of thinking very transparent, very stable, and it gives the power back to the people. For the music it can be the same. The reason why I’ve started my HEXAGON label was to put other producers, musicians, vocalist in a position where they will still have 50% ownership of their music and feel part of a platform. Where they are heard, where they can experiment and also giving new talent a chance to be heard. But I think the blockchain will even make record label unnecessary at some point. You will literally be directly communicating with a possible fan base. But in the end you’ll still need a curators, to put music in front of you. So I think that would never go away. Label will still exist for certain people that are not discovered yet. Same when I create arts: it still needs galleries, museums for people to come together, some of collective places. But the power would be given back much more to artist and allow to the middle man, people from making music all over the backs of producers, creatives in general, would be cut out, be forced look for a new job, or maybe get creative themselves or what I think that’s the main thing for me that the power will go back to those who creates. And I’m very excited about.
But for me personally when it comes to NFTs, I mostly be focused on the art side. My music is a part of it, but it’s exciting for me because it allows for all new movements, the whole idea of art is is changed. Usually you would go to a museum to see a sculpture, or paintings. But now I’m already in talks with several museums, my work which is audio visual it’s tech, and has as concept around. People are now opened to the idea of what art is, before music has always seen as a lower art, there’s art that is supposed to be in a museum, but when you layer audio or video there isn’t specifically art. When you layer paint that is seen as art. But layering something that isn’t tangible has never been seen. And I think that’s changing, there’s a whole digital revolution, and it’s changing the world. Its’ faster and harder than we can actually see, and I’m really really happy to play a role.
- How much has the pandemic affected your style and how your concept of music evolved in these years of compulsory lockdown?
You’re always kind of influenced by the things who happen around you, so if you’re constantly playing in busy clubs and crazy eaves, your music will be influenced by this. (Pandemic) gives me the opportunity to think out of the box. I think all of the music still have energy. You can dance to the music, but it’s not specifically MainStage type of music. My music has always been different by that, but I think this is even more sort of an album that I can play out if I want to, but it’s more mature. I had more time to spend on it, more time to write, more time to do all the things I’ve never did. For me it’s really about growing, if you listen “Hot Air Balloon” or “Stay Awake” or “FORΞVΞR” I’m more personal than ever I guess. They’re telling stories by themselves. I think that is maybe more mature as a musician, as a writer beyond just as a producer. I think that’s thanks to the pandemic. And is really why I wanted to revisit the album and make it as good as I could. But as an EDM producer you get the question like “What is this song about?” and “Where did it came from?”. But take like a song like “From The Deep” as actually with mysterious act called “Enigma”, that’s actually I group I cooperated as a child. And finding that CD during the pandemic was crazy.
As a child it was one of the first thing I sampled, actually found the cd during the pandemic, I started when I was 13 and never finished it, because I was never able to clear the sample and now I just had the time, just spent 2 weeks in my house not going outside, just experimenting, with sounds and ideas, finishing a remix that I started when I was 13. That I would have never found if it was not for the pandemic.
And I think moment like that for me that really finishes the album or if you listen “INFINITΞ FUTURΞ”, a little interlude in the album, which is part of my first NFT. I found the recording, the last recording of me speaking to my father before he passed away, so it’s a very short piece of audio, it’s at the end of that’s song and I would have never found that if it was not for the pandemic. A lot of fans were a little bit angry because it took longer to make this audio, but also felt like I needed to make something that would be more personal, that I would be more or proud of, that would sound more progressive, newer sound newer idea. And I know people always wants you to sound like the way you sounded before but as a creator you want to grow. You always want to keep that familiarity so that people still feel like it’s don diablo, but at the same time you are mature, you do want definitely something more than you give before. I was able to do that thanks to the pandemic.
We’re expressing all our pleasure to talk with Don Diablo, but we can also say that we hope to see him playing live soon. We’re pretty sure that Don Diablo already reached his up mentioned own goals, but also that a figure like him won’t stop to try to build something better every time and grow again as man and artist. FORΞVΞR