One of the most veteran names in the dance music industry, Don Diablo just released his third studio album FUTURE, his first after a decade. The Dutch DJ, who was recently in our part of the world for Ultra Singapore 2017, tells AUGUSTMAN about the new album.
This is your first album in a decade after Life is a Festival. What made you decide to release another album FUTURE 10 years later?
These last few years have been quite a journey. I had to fight many demons on a personal level and rediscover myself as an artist in the process. I never thought I would end up where I am today, but on my journey I have learned and experienced many things that I have subconsciously used while working on this album.
FUTURE features sixteen tracks that all have their own story. I wanted this to be a motivational record that sonically showcases new ideas on a production level, ranging from Future House to Future Pop and everything in between. I feel blessed to have worked with some of the most incredible new voices out there like James Newman, Nina Nesbitt, Betty Who, Calum Scott and many others.
To me they represent the future and their talent is a very important part of this album. Besides this I also provided my own vocals to three of the songs on FUTURE, which definitely makes this album one of the most personal things I have done in a long time.
It feels like you’re trying to send a message about the state of society and the world with your album FUTURE. What is that message?
I have been getting so many letters from young fans that literally feel lost in this world. When they tell me my music gives them comfort and shines a light in a dark tunnel inside their head, it makes everything I do worthwhile.
Sometimes it feels like the outside world wants you to act a certain way, look a certain way and this can put a lot of pressure on your shoulders. Others may appear to be better looking and more successful, which can create dark clouds in your head.
The lead single off the album ‘Everybody’s Somebody’ deals with this theme, it’s an anthem for those who are searching for their identity and the statement is simple: everybody’s somebody, nobody’s nobody. Life is not about what others expect you to be, or what you feel you might never achieve, it’s about accepting who YOU truly are and being proud of your own personal achievements.
What do you want to say to the future generation?
Dreams come in many different forms. Some are small, some are bigger but they are in essence all worth the fight and all equal in the way that they should only have one goal: to find happiness inside. This seems like an easy task but true happiness is not easy to find nowadays, because we keep changing our expectations and there are so many outside influences.
When I lost my father five years ago, it really opened my eyes. I can’t make everyone happy but I can try to make myself and the people around me happy, just like my dad did all of his life.
Stay focused, work hard, make mistakes and learn from those mistakes, stay patient and do everything with a smile, always kill them with kindness that will get you much further in life then anything else.
Will we have to wait another 10 years for your fourth album?
Absolutely not! I am as inspired as I have ever been so be prepared, this is only the beginning.
What are your thoughts about the state of the electronic music scene now?
It’s as big as it’s ever been, which also means there are a lot of events, artistes and songs out there. Not all of them are of the same quality but I am a strong believer of the fact that anything unique will always stand out and survive in the end. A lot of people are copying each right now, but in that sense the electronic music scene is like the real world. We have to keep pushing things forward to keep things exciting.
Who are the artistes you would love to collaborate with whom you haven’t collaborated with?
I’d love to work with a range of artistes! Varying from vocalists like The Weeknd and Francis & The Lights to producers like Flume and Daft Punk.
I understand that you have a degree in journalism. If you weren’t a musician, what do you think you would be doing for a living?
I’d probably be a film director. I also have a film company and produce all my own music videos, which allows me to channel my creativity in a totally different way. Besides that, my HEXAGON clothing line is really taking off, so I’d definitely be doing something in fashion on the side.
Listen to Don Diablo’s new album FUTURE here