10 moments that defined Don Diablo | DJMag.com Skip to main content

10 moments that defined Don Diablo

Both in and outside of the DJ booth...

Landing his first record deal at the age of 15, Don Diablo has been entertaining dancers across the globe for over two decades. From his days as an electro-hop DJ to his current role as leader in the future house movement, Diablo has worked alongside some of the most respected names in EDM plus remixed pop music’s most impressive talents.

2017 has been a massive year for Diablo. He came in at No. 11 in this year's DJ Mag Top 100 DJs poll and also scooped the award for Highest Future House alongside acts like Claptone (Highest House) and Carl Cox (Highest Techno).

Out of all Don's magicial moments over his long and successful career, we've whittled them down to just 10 stand-out events — here's the 10 moments that defined Don Diablo. 

1. Swedish House Mafia premieres ‘Starlight’
Diablo and Matt Nash’s ‘Starlight’ probably wouldn’t have taken over clubland in 2014, if it weren't for their pals the Swedish House Mafia. The Swedes premiered ‘Starlight’ and its massive bassline during one of their farewell shows, plus Axwell would go onto sign the tune under his Axtone label.  “It definitely made a big impact on my career,” admits Diablo.

2. Getting political at EDC Vegas 2016
During his set at EDC Las Vegas in 2016, Diablo trolled soon-to-be President Donald Trump from behind the DJ booth. Mid-set, Diablo dropped the song ‘Donald Trump Makes Me Want To Smoke Crack’. Directly after playing the song, Diablo urged Americans to vote and worked into his next song with an inspirational excerpt from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.

3. Don Diablo gets "massively disrespected" by Ultra Music Festival, cancels future dates
Diablo was a regular fixture of Ultra Music Festival’s international events during the first half of 2017, but that relationship soon soured following June’s UMF Singapore event. According to Diablo, he and his team were left “massively disrespected” by a series of texts that arrived while they were in transit (admittedly late) to their appearance. Additionally, he was threatened by management that there’d be no financial compensation for that night’s gig despite playing the last 30 minutes of the scheduled slot. In response, Diablo decided to forgo all scheduled UMF appearances.

4. Sharing projects with Benny Benassi and Ferry Corsten
All the way back in 2008, when Diablo was promoted as an “electro-hop” artist, Diablo, Benassi, and Corsten were tapped to lead a remix pack of Public Enemy’s massive ‘Bring the Noise/Give it Up’. The opportunity arrived less than a year after inking a deal with Sony.  

5. Diablo's label Hexagon launches with No. 1 hit
In 2015, Diablo launched his own record label, Hexagon. The imprint saw instant success with the release of a collaborative remix of British producer Alex Adair’s hit 'Make Me Feel Better' that stayed on No. 1 on the dance charts for multiple weeks.

6. Raising awareness for the worldwide HIV epidemic
Diablo’s excellence cannot be contained to the DJ booth alone. In the mid-2000s, Diablo joined the Dance4Life coalition to rise awareness of the HIV and AIDS epidemic in Africa. MTV would go onto shoot a documentary about Diablo and his support of the UN sponsored event.

7. Diablo launches Sellout Sessions
12 years ago, the Dutch DJ created a new concept and record label dubbed Sellout Sessions. Having found success in the early 2000s blending various styles, the mix series served as a platform for Diablo to release his eclectic selections. Sellout Sessions 01 arrived with early break-through tracks ‘Blow’ and ‘Wet Smoke'.

8. Hitting the charts with Dragonette
Don Diablo paired up with Canada’s Dragonette in 2010 to complete the spirited electro-punk romper ‘Animale’. The single would eventually make it to No. 33 on the Dutch Top 40 chart. The remix album includes edits by the likes of Datsik, Oliver, and The Prototypes.

9. Honouring his late father with a charitable bracelet
Following the death of his father from cancer, Diablo worked with Electric Family on a custom charitable bracelet. 100% of proceeds went to support Fuck Cancer, an organization raising awareness and educating the masses about early cancer detection. He’d partner again with Fuck Cancer for a charitable tee.

10. He produced the theme track for 'Batman: Arkham Origins’
Back in 2013, Diablo partnered with Spinnin’ Records and Warner Brothers Entertainment to produce and release the theme for Batman video game 'Arkham Origins'. The partnership allowed Diablo to cultivate a fanbase within the casual dance music audience.

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