Don Diablo holds fast at No.6 and once again claims the Highest Future House gong for his efforts. When he graced the cover of our North American magazine last year, we found out how Don’s life has been one of major ups and downs. When he was very young, doctors told his parents that young Don wouldn’t live past the age of 10. As he got older and music became his clear career path, Don was repeatedly messed about and screwed over by shady figures in the industry. And then, several years ago, his father died. Don was ready to give up, but the words of encouragement his dad gave him the last time they spoke inspired Don to carry on and do him proud.
Taking control of his own destiny, Don now sits at the head of a dance music empire: he’s not only a DJ and producer, but also runs his HEXAGON label, which has its own events and management divisions, and signature clothing line.
And he hasn’t let 2020 slow him down either. When we ask what Don has been getting up to, he gives us a huge list of projects in response (and we suspect there’s a whole load more he’s keeping under wraps for now too). Don finished off renovating his amazing house — formerly a church — and filmed an MTV Cribs special there. He also live-streamed sets from home, including from his bedroom, Star Wars-themed swimming pool and… err… toilet. He designed and released a new line for his Hexagon fashion brand, launched a Hexagon comic book series, and is in the process of co-writing a book set to be released next year.
Don also created an art installation for the city of Amsterdam and became the musical director for a play which highlighted the mental health issues faced by many musicians. And fans will be happy to know he’s finally on the cusp of finishing his third album, ‘FOREVER’. Oh yeah, and on top of all that, he’s also now an amateur magician. Not bad for a year that’s seemingly tried to stop musicians from progressing at every turn.
What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown?
“More quality time with close family and friends. More time to work on my physical and mental health. More time than ever to work and experiment in the studio, as well as the possibility to properly explore other creative passions next to creating music.”
What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene?
“Communication, honesty and self-reflection would be a good start.”
What industry changes are you personally pushing for to make the dance music scene more inclusive?
“With my HEXAGON label and radio show we try to actively support unknown artists from all around the globe with very diverse backgrounds as much as possible.”
What’s the greatest dance music track of all time?
“Moby ‘Feeling So Real’.”