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Diplo calls DJ culture “cheesy” and “embarrassing” in explosive new interview

He also says he hates the EDM scene and thinks festivals are "not fun"...

Diplo has shared his thoughts on DJ culture, EDM and music festivals — including Ultra and Electric Daisy Carnival — in an explosive new interview with men’s style magazine GQ.

During the candid Q&A, the Mad Decent boss and Major Lazer frontman voiced his opinions on Miami’s Ultra Music Festival, an event he’s played multiple times in the past, saying: “I’m into Ultra. I grew up on it. They offered Major Lazer a headline slot on Friday night. I want to do more dance-music festivals this year, just to be involved. I skipped it the last three years — we kept away from the EDM scene, ’cause I hated it.”

Next up, he branded DJ culture as “cheesy” and mentioned he never really intended to become a superstar DJ, before going on to describe music festivals as “not fun”. “I mean, DJs in general, the culture’s really ugly. It’s cheesy. Corny. It’s embarrassing,” said Diplo. “You know, I never wanted to be part of the DJ world. I just fell into it.”

Fellow mega-festival Electric Daisy Carnival also found itself in the firing line, with Diplo mentioning he’s hoping to improve on the festival’s business model this year, saying: “I’m doing it again this year, because I’m trying to see if I can help steer the direction. Instead of complaining about it being cheesy, I’ll see if I can help make it better. EDM’s changing. Three years ago, they just paid everybody, because all the corporations and clubs wanted a piece of it. Now they realise only a few of us can make money for them. It’s a business. I’m just trying to be smart about it.”

He also mentioned that his Vegas residency simply “pays the bills” and although he used to hate Vegas he’s now changed his mind. "The whole tide of that music is turning towards what me and my crew are doing. So I'm not mad at Vegas,” he said. “And it's easy for me. It's only a 45-minute flight from Burbank. Rather than take a jet, I take Southwest Airlines. It's so cheap.”

On the music front, GQ documents Diplo’s love for Afro-pop artists like Davido and Burna Boy (alongside his long-standing relationships with acts Mark Ronson and Skrillex) during the candid interview, which was conducted throughout Diplo’s post-Coachella African tour. 

The DJ/producer briefly opens up about his new Viceland spoof series, ‘What Would Diplo Do’ — which sees Diplo's life satirized by Dawson's Creek actor James Van Der Beek — saying he found the show hard to watch. 

Read the full GQ interview with Diplo here. 

*Image courtesy of GQ