After a six-month delay, Major Lazer released its highly anticipated sophomore album, “Free The Universe” on April 16th. The album dropped between the group’s shows at this year’s Coachella, which Diplo says was perfect timing.
“It’s actually better that it took a little while now because I think the album is for the summer anyway. If it came out in November, it would have been on (its) way down by now. I think it’s more an album to start at Coachella and go through the summer.”
With "Busy Signal" currently on the radio, "Bubble Butt" featuring Bruno Mars, 2 Chains, and Tyga is slated to be the second single.
“Possible singles beyond that -- we have a record that people love with Vampire Weekend called 'Jessica,' which I think Radio 1 is playing in England now on their own. There's a record called "Scare Me" with Peaches and then there is another one with Wyclef called “Reach For The Stars” which would be great if the Olympics were this year but they’re not," says Diplo.
Diplo told us that as usual, he’s been busy working on a variety of projects. "I just did a bunch of records with Chris Brown – the next song he's got "X." I did a record with Sia. It’s big. We don't know who it’s for right now."
In addition, he’s producing a variety of dance artists. "Tinie Tempah, Rita Ora… these are all records that I cut. In addition, I’m working with Dillon Francis – helping him produce and A&R the record."
Diplo tells Billboard that the most rewarding project he’s been recently involved with is the Snoop Lion’s “Reincarnated.” “The fact that I did every song on there is a big deal for a producer. It’s something very different.”
“It’s weird though because it’s the most controversial record he’s ever done. He talks about guns and violence and crazy gangster stuff throughout this career and no one’s batted a lash but when he talks about positivity and writes peaceful songs it’s like the most controversial thing he’s ever done. It’s been fun to be a part of and I’m really proud of the records.”
In addition to "Ashtrays and Heartbreak" (featuring Miley Cyrus) and Snoop’s latest with Drake, "No Guns Allowed," Diplo says we can expect “Bob Marley-ish tunes” on the album. "It's definitely reggae music. Some of it is more up-tempo stuff. We’ve got like some bangers like ska records on there but it’s all reggae and Jamaican influenced for sure.
Next up for Major Lazer is a series of 13 block parties, which will take place in outdoor locations. "We're calling them the Mad Decent Block Parties. They’ll be in July – September," says Diplo, who is keeping the location a secret. “I know where they are going to take place but we’re going to announce it in about a week. But definitely places we’ve already been – Philly, New York, L.A., and then a bunch more. They are 8 hours – all acts on Mad Decent plus some other acts. We’ll be announcing some rappers and other DJs. Same line up at each one – similar but not the same for sure. There are a couple of core acts that will be on some, like Major Lazer will be on a bunch but every city will be a little different.”