In a new interview with Time, the Major Lazer maestro previewed his upcoming music with Justin Bieber, Tinashe, Sean Paul and the K-pop superstar. He revealed CL’s new material leans more hip-hop than her work with her girl group, the fierce quartet 2NE1, which was heard in the buzz track “Doctor Pepper” — a Diplo-produced posse cut that hit No. 1 on the Billboard + Twitter Trending 140 chart after its insane music video dropped.
But the “Lean On” beatmaker adds that there are two songs he worked on that more so reflect CL’s pop side. The first, “Birthday,” is half-delivered in Korean, while the other, “One,” is described by Diplo as a “real pop, teenage-graduation kind of fun, kid record.”
Diplo picked up on the struggle of labeling K-pop as one overarching genre, which seems to translate to CL’s upcoming music. “K-pop is a weird term because K-pop has everything — rap records, it’s very pop-sounding, there are really boy-band sounding records. It’s going to be [labeled] K-pop because she’s doing it, so it’s going to be coming from another place and there’s going to be Korean lyrics. But for the most part it’s eclectic. She’s very rap-leaning, she’s very fashion forward. She’s like the Nicki Minaj of that world.”
He also gave insight to CL’s buzz-gaining strategy, essentially doing away the idea of the 24-year-old’s supposed “American debut” — an overused term in K-pop industry. “I think CL’s doing it the right way because she’s coming through an underground channel,” he added. “As opposed to just coming with one big record, do talk shows, and then people forget about her. She’s developing and gaining fans from the ground up.”
Ahead of dropping a full-length album (that will include other collaborators like Skrillex), CL will release an EP via Diplo’s Mad Decent label this fall. The Diplo material is expected to appear on the full-length.