Dillon Francis: Five Questions with the 'Stressed' Dance Man

Dean Hammer
Dillon Francis

Francis is trying to wrap up his new album. Also, he's "holy now."

Dillon Francis is not only one of the most creative producers in dance music, he’s also delightfully strange. Billboard sat down with the ever-entertaining Francis in advance of the release of his new single “Messages” — which he accidentally “forgot to play” during his Ultra Weekend 1 set.

You are known for your hilarious social media presence. How and when did you take on this web-centric persona?

After posting a lot of cats on Instagram and just saying weird shit on Twitter. Basically, what Twitter is to me is a classroom, and I was always the class clown. I would always speak out and say stupid shit and just joke around as much as possible. I am into the Internet, but I never thought it would be part of my branding.

In that vein, how did the “Awesome Shit” section of your website get its start?

It was just me and my manager saying that we should have weird, stupid shit that people wouldn’t actually buy, but to just have it on the website. So we just riffed back and forth like, “Alright, a bag of outdated cables, remix a Blink-182 song.” They can send me to the army for $750,000. I kind of want to raise that one to a mill’, maybe two.

“Messages,” featuring Simon Lord, will be released on Mad Decent March 26.

How did you get opportunity to remix Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie?”

They sent a message to my management. It was just after it came out and I was like, “Fuck, I love this song, it’s amazing.” My manager was like, “Do you want to remix it?” I was like, “Of course I want to remix it. It’s Justin Timberlake.” I can’t believe Pitchfork posted it. They’re like the scary nerds [in school] that you know are going to be making lots of money.

What’s going on with your album?

I’m still working on my album. It sucks, so I can’t put it out. I want to be established as a person who can put together a cohesive album, but it’s turning out to be way harder to get vocals that I like than I thought. It’s way harder to make songs that are for an album, because I don’t want to make an electronic dance music album – that’s what singles are for. I want to make an actual album that someone can be like, “I can listen through this.” I’m one stressed piece of shit.

How do you feel about sharing a name with the new Pope?

The Pope being named after me is the best thing ever. I’m holy now. Drop the faith!