Posts tagged Don Diablo
#NewMusicFriday Guide - 04/15/2016

I wish I could explain to you how my big beautiful brain works when it comes to digging around to finding music. Just be thankful that I'm not afraid to waste a few hours of my day muttering, "This looks interesting! Why not give this a whirl?" before putting random things in my ears. This was a bit of a slow week in terms of new releases. I'm assuming because of Record Store Day that they opted to keep the awesome on the light side of things for the week. 

Don Diablo feat. Dave Thomas Jr. - "Silence" 

On the heels of the announcement that his label , Hexagon, has joined the Spinnin Records family, the homey Don Diablo dropped his latest track, "Silence" featuring Dave Thomas Jr on vocals (no relation to the Wendy's franchise, lol). It's been awhile since Diablo released something this downtempo. If his tracks are normally referred to as "bangers", then this song is most definitely a "stunner".  Oh yeah, go read my interview with him. It's very good if you want to get to know someone really dang awesome. 

Logan Takahashi - NoGeo

If the name Logan Takahashi sounds familiar, it's because he's one half of Teengirl Fantasy. It may also be because I included "Reckr" on this week's diSKOAver weekly playlist. Anyway, I happened to stumble across a preview of the album on Hype Machine last week. This record is very lovely and suits being on Ghostly International based on its subtle elegance. Just play the damn record already. 

Ours - "Stronger" (from the Transformers Roll Out Soundtrack

After their last full length, Mercy...Dancing For The Death Of An Imaginary Enemy was released in 2008, I kinda fell off with Ours. I enjoyed Jimmy Gnecco's solo record The Heart a good bit, despite not hitting up any of his Rockwood shows that I've seen in emails in the past year. Speaking of emails, I didn't know that this was going to be on the Transformers Roll Out Soundtrack until I got one about 2 hours ago. It's funny that this is coming to me 2 days after I geeked out spotting him at The Kills show at Warsaw.

Anyway, hi everyone. Jimmy Gnecco has a voice that should make him a household name. This is a good song. I know he's got some shows coming up at Rockwood soon. Sounds like I've got some advanced plans to make. 

Larkin Poe - Reskinned

Yay for Larkin Poe release day! Their single, "Trouble In Mind", was well received amongst those following along the diSKOAver weekly playlist. I haven't spent a ton of time with the record to tell you which songs are my favorite, but if you liked "Trouble In Mind", you aren't going to be let down in the very least. 

Mock Orange - "High Octane" 

If you are an aging emo kid like me, your brain is skimming over the name of this band and is going, "Wait, like that Mock Orange?" Yes, that Mock Orange. As a #teen I REALLY REALLY liked The Record Play. It would appear that with all of the constant reuniting happening that bands we loved a decade ago are feeling a little brave and are coming out of hibernation to see if the internet will help them relocate their old fanbases. I am not upset in the least about this with regards to Mock Orange. "High Octane" is super great and will get you all aboard the hype train for their upcoming album, Put The Kid On The Sleepy Horse, which is out on May 20th. ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT NEW MOCK ORANGE? I'm excited. 

Black Plastic - Black Plastic

Okay so I am going to do more reconnaissance after I wrap up this post, but this was a case of "awesome by association" because Kevin Grady aka Black Plastic is on Cleopatra, which is the same label as VOWWS. I'd actually be curious to hear what those kids would do if they all got together to work on things. Regardless, this has this twinge of industrial that sort of fills the void that Binary left when they broke up. I want to listen to this more before I give it a final verdict, but so far so awesome, you know?  

#skoaradio 10/24/2015 liner notes
artist rendition of my convo with Alex from Kingswood after I shut the mic off

artist rendition of my convo with Alex from Kingswood after I shut the mic off

Hey fam!

Things refuse to slow down in SKOA HQ, but I'm not complaining! I wrapped up CMJ with a day in Aussie Heaven where we interviewed KINGSWOOD prior to watching them totally kill it. I can't believe how much fun I had. Kinda wish it had never ended tbh. Oh well. Time to prep for Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival, which is coming up super fast. I've got a couple of new tracks on this week's show. As always would love to hear your thoughts so @ me bb if you liked what you heard!

See you next week!




#skoaradio 10/03/2015 liner notes
If you don't like music you can't sit with us.

If you don't like music you can't sit with us.

It's chill af in NYC today. Literally. Like I'm having a hard time getting out of bed because I like my feet not being popsicles. I am writing this whilst I am still in bed. That said, the chill means that all the glorious fall albums are under way and CMJ is quickly approaching. I've also been on a steady streak of shows lately, which I will get up ASAP for you to see and be jealous of me. I'm also working to backdate all the show notes I kept saying I was upping and then rage quit because as you can see below these posts are intense as hell, you guys. OH WELL IT'S WORTH IT BECAUSE I LOVE DOING THIS!

Enjoy this weeks jams and be sure to grab the Spotify playlist below if you want to keep this mix around. As always, I'd love to hear from you so feel free to drop me a tweet and let me know what you thought of this week's show.



Topics discussed!

Vinyl Is Making More Money Than Ad-Supported Streaming

While US Apple Music Trials Are Ending, China Is Ushering In New Users

#skoaradio 08/22/2015
Really feeling this weeks show, you guys.

Really feeling this weeks show, you guys.

Things have been a whirlwind at SKOA HQ so show notes have been a little neglected the past couple of weeks. DON'T WORRY I plan on backdating some posts so y'all have the hookup though! Super excited about the new jams from Peaches, CHVRCHES, and Jacuzzi Boys from this week's show so feel free to drop me a line to let me know what you thought of those!

Until next week, fam!



Some Kind of Awesome Radio - 07/11/2015
Typing up all the show notes this week for once because I love you, fam.&nbsp;

Typing up all the show notes this week for once because I love you, fam. 

YES! I'M ACTUALLY DOING SHOW NOTES FOR THIS WEEK! #sorrynotsorry but like I said in this week's episode I've been dealing with a bit of blogger burnout and even though doing the show is very therapeutic for me when you see how thorough I intend to be moving forward you will understand why I put this off for as long as I could. Again, I really appreciate those of you who listen and never get the promised show notes. NO MORE BROKEN PROMISES! Just quality #content in addition to a bunch of other new things in the works right now. 

Hope you enjoyed this weeks show! Feel free to drop a comment here or hit me up on Twitter. I'd love to hear what you thought of this week's picks!

Until next week!



BONUS JUST FOR YOU FAM! I'm also making playlists on Spotify for every single show. NO SHUFFLE THO BECAUSE THAT'S CHEATING! Additionally, as the shows become available on iTunes I will update each post with a link to the show for your listening pleasure. Enjoy! 

[Interview] Don Diablo Talks Anarchy, Family, The First Song He Ever Made
Don Diablo @ Pier of Fear 11/1/2014. Image credit: Sprout Dr

Don Diablo @ Pier of Fear 11/1/2014. Image credit: Sprout Dr

At the end of the day the annual DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs list is just that: a list. Granted, it's a fairly good indication of the DJs and producers that are probably worthy of your eardrums as well as your dollars, but like every facet of the music business, lists like this also get muddied up with the DJs du jour that vanish from the scene maybe a year after the list is published. We’re currently in a bit of a crisis in music where the overall sentiment is that we aren’t going to have any “career musicians” to replace the ones who we will eventually lose. Who will be our next Radiohead, Beck, Rolling Stones, Beatles, Bjork, Led Zepplin, etc.? At the current rate that we’re going, it feels like we’re all going to have to accept that these flavors of the week who are fighting for their 15 minutes are as much a standard part of the new music business model as our fairly newly crowned singles dominated sales model, or the reluctant acceptance of streaming for that matter.

When it comes to Dutch producer/DJ Don Diablo, this is not the case. He’s nothing remotely close to a fad. He is an artist that has put in the time to hone his craft, extend his family to include his ever growing fanbase, and gain the respect of the music community breaking all the rules every step of the way. Amidst the never ending swarm of momentary musicians that will come and go, we’ll at the very least have one powerhouse of a DJ that we will all happily grow old with.

Don Diablo and Steve Aoki in his "Back To Life" music video. 

Of course when he’s at the age (which is 90, for you kids at home) that he portrays in his music video for, “Back To Life”, who knows what Diablo will be doing? As we chatted backstage early November at Pier of Fear in New York City moments before his set, he confessed that music wasn’t his first love, but that filmmaking was. “[It’s] weird, right?” he chuckled, “We’re here at a huge rave tonight and this wasn’t even my dream!” His musical beginnings stemmed from the need to find the perfect song for a film that he had been working on with his friends. Since his search left him empty handed, instead of settling for second best, he took matters into his own hands and made music of his own. Although the song would eventually be what got him signed and releasing records at the ripe age of 14, he'll be the first to admit that the song was far from a masterpiece. “It was horrible!” he noted, “It sounded really bad. The production was horrible. I guess there were some ideas in there. A lot of it was based on samples.”

Now at age 34, Diablo has been creating music for 20 years. Things have certainly changed in the way music, especially electronic music, was made since then. “[Back then] it was a time where you really had to invest in making music,” he noted, “You had to buy equipment, learn how to work the machines. It’s different than nowadays.” Despite overcoming the technological hurdles, being a seasoned electronic music veteran who’s not exactly an old timer can have its disadvantages. “Some people think I’m really old.” he chuckled, “They think I’m an old fat German guy because they know records from me from like 15 years ago.”

Having a professional career that began in his early teenage years has made what he considers to be the status quo is pretty mind blowing. “My reality is pretty distorted.” he explained, “I have a pretty weird life in that sense. […] I just grew up living in hotels and planes and doing whatever the hell I want. Sleeping in. Not sleeping. I don’t have a weekend. I don’t have a week. I just do what I feel and I have no boss to account to.”

They think I’m an old fat German guy because they know records from me from like 15 years ago.
— Don Diablo

This unruly upbringing would have a profound impact on his approach to his creative process, which he is constantly hinting at very subtly by utilizing the anarchy symbol in his logo. This intentional little detail is his statement to both his fans and musical colleagues alike. “Anarchy means no rules so you don’t have to obey existing expectations or rules,” he explained, “For me, it means that you don’t have to make music in one genre. You don’t just have to be a DJ. [...] I try to break free of the rules and just come up with a different idea and in that sense to me it’s like anarchy.”

This credo of his is seen throughout his work everywhere you look. Most DJs aren't known for directing their own music videos, contributing lyrics or vocals for their songs, genre hopping, or designing their own clothes in addition to a handful of other things. They also most likely wouldn't choose to enlist their mother and grandmother for a photoshoot to encourage fans to vote for them in the Top 100 DJs list over hiring a publicist for a huge press blitz, but again, Diablo dances to the beat of his own machinedrum and no one elses. “I’ve literally been trying to destroy my musical career for years,” he said, “But every time I get more inspired and I get more ideas.” He never allows himself to get burnt out on making music or any of his other disciplines. “[...]When I’m not inspired with making music I get into other stuff,” he elaborated, “I start editing a video or coming up with concepts with videos. [...] You can do other things that are still creative and a part of you being an artist. So that’s how I found a nice little balance for myself so I can be creative 100% of the time.”

Since he’s always working on something, when the time comes for a song to come together, it can happen faster than you'd imagine. “I think the best songs I’ve done, I’ve done in one day,” he divulged, “Like let’s say, 'Anytime'. I finished it in 3 hours. It’s just boom boom boom. Obviously I already had the idea there for a long time. I created all the separate elements and had them in a folder. [...] The actual production only took a few hours.”

I’ve literally been trying to destroy my musical career for years, but every time I get more inspired and I get more ideas.
— Don Diablo

However unconventional his methods seem to be, they’re most definitely working in his favor. This past October for the first time ever he made his debut entry on the Top 100 DJs list at number 82. While it comes as no surprise to longtime fans like myself, as usual artists are their biggest critics, "I’ll be very honest," he confessed, "Most of my life I’ve been feeling pretty disappointed in myself. Like, I’ve never really been proud of anything that I’ve done. I felt like my life was a big failure, you know?" Those of us on the outside looking in can see his gradual climb, but Diablo hadn't noticed until it was blatantly obvious, "Yesterday I played in a club and I played like 90% of my own records and people went APESHIT," he gushed, "They weren’t just singing along to the lyrics of my songs, they were chanting along to the melodies. Like during 'Knight Time' they were like, 'dun dun dun, dun dun dun dunn' but in a choir. It really made me feel like for the first time in the last couple of months that everything is coming together. I’m proud of what I’m achieving now."

Every artist has a tipping point in their career. Unfortunately for Diablo, it all started shortly after his father passed away after a battle with cancer 2 years ago. “When my dad passed away I let go of every inch of fear that I had in my body and I also tried not to overthink things." It reinforced his creative process. "I do everything on feeling and out of my heart [now]," he said,  "Sometimes it’s a song that’s very personal, sometimes it’s just a cool tune. I don’t like to linger around too much. I just want to release music.”

Once he freed himself from fear, songs like "Starlight" would find their way out into the world. "Once I had that record," he explained, "I just realized, 'Wow. It’s really connecting with people on a worldwide scale.' Something just snapped in my head and everything I did before in all those years I basically set aside and I started over like I was a new artist." Songs like "Knight Time", "AnyTime", "Back In Time", and "Back To Life" would further propel him forward. As the play counts on Soundcloud and Spotify continue to soar and the dance floor becomes more tightly packed, his inspiration proportionately increases as well. "Right now I’m just insanely inspired," he gushed, "It goes up and down, but for the past 2 years I’ve been on an incredible high. I just had ideas that just go into the studio and music just comes by itself."

Up until recently he was prepping for a proper full length debut, which was tentatively titled, Respect Doesn't Pay The Bills. After an unfortunate series of hard drive failures earlier in the year, however, he took a step back to see what he could learn from the whole experience. "It opened my senses," he explained, "I lost all my music. I lost my whole album. But the album would have kept me on the same path." Throughout the majority of his career, Diablo has been an internet darling of sorts, getting so much love from music blogs that for a few years he was often Hype Machine's Most Blogged Artist, which he obviously is grateful for, but as his scrapped album was appropriately named, respect doesn't pay the bills in this industry. "[...] It’s cool getting good criticism and people on the blogs really loving you," he admitted, "[...] but I wasn’t getting any bookings. I really kind of saw it as a sign." After a month of soul searching he came to the conclusion that he would hold off on a full length for the time being. "I thought, 'Maybe this wasn’t meant to happen. I need to change my direction.' That’s when everything kind of happened for me. I broke through. All the things I’ve always dreamed about have happened straight after that. It really was an eye opener for me."

Instead, he chose to refocus on rebuilding his entire technical system so he could create more easily on the go as well as making the decision to take a singles based approach for the time being.  “I have the songs," he said. "I could release them tomorrow, but my record label and the people I’ve been working with have been saying, ‘Keep building this momentum’[...] I still really have a long way to go." While he estimates that we probably won’t see a proper full length until after summer of 2015, he did jokingly offer to put out one before then, "Maybe I should just start a poll," he chuckled. "[...]I’m gonna go on my Facebook and if I get 10,000 likes from people wanting me to do an album I’ll do an album before the summer of 2015."

That's the nice thing about Diablo, since he's been working on his art for such a long time it's easy for him to adapt to whatever his current situation may be. For example, if his musical career were to end today he thinks he could fairly easily transition back to his first love, filmmaking. “I’ve actually been writing on a couple of scripts," he admitted, "They’re all based around family life." For him, it's important for his art to have an impact on people, whichever discipline it may be. "[...]I’ve always wanted to touch people. Not just in their feet but also in their heart." Just like with his music, he hopes the movies he would make to impact people's lives. "My favorite movies have always been dramas," he noted, "You know, those movies that take you on that emotional journey and really make you walk out of the cinema with that feeling of, 'Wow I need to call my mother or my brother or my friend from back in the day.' It makes you think about life. It’s like art transforming life. It takes you one step further." He went on to detail how his ideal first documentary film would probably be at least partially about his family, who were immigrants from Indonesia. "There’s like a whole dramatic life story with my mother and her brother." he said.

The most important thing is that you leave [behind] a legacy. I always thought that the legacy would be music, but at the end of the day there’s only one thing that’s important and it’s family.
— Don Diablo

Family is something incredibly important to Diablo, moreso than anything else in his life. “The most important thing is that you leave [behind] a legacy. I always thought that the legacy would be music,” he admitted, “but at the end of the day there’s only one thing that’s important and it’s family.” I was heartbroken to hear that just two days prior to our interview that Diablo’s adorable grandmother that helped him campaign for the DJ mag list had passed away. He even admitted to the audience during his set that he almost didn’t perform that night because he was still very shaken from it. As seen in his latest video for “Back To Life”, you can see that mortality of man is something that has been impacting his art for awhile now, “[...] If you look at the time series I did (Anytime, KnightTime, Back In Time) they all kind of revolve around the concept of time,” he explained, ”I’ve lost a lot of people in my life in the last 2 years so it really made me realize like how precious and valuable time is.

For Diablo, his family extends past his bloodline to both his fans and his inner circle of friends. It’s seen in the way he interacts with his fans on social media and how hard he’s working to help his friends make their dreams come true as well. “I’m really working my ass off so hard right now and I’m making a lot of money right now, I’ll be honest,” he confessed, “I’m saving that money because I want to create good things for other people, you know? For my inner circle, so I can do things for them. I can help them achieve their dreams and they don’t have to wait as long as I had.” He revealed exclusively to Some Kind of Awesome that he will be starting his own label, which will be officially launching early next year. “It’s the first step to helping other people achieving their dreams.” he said.

Follow Don Diablo on Twitter, Facebook, and Soundcloud.

Make sure you download his latest single, "Generations"...NOW.

Check out the photos below of Don Diablo at Pier of Fear in NYC on 11/1/2014. Click here to view the full gallery in its full glory!

[Watch] Don Diablo - "Back To Life" (Official Video)

Yesterday my ongoing DJ/producer obsession Don Diablo debuted the video for his latest single, "Back To Life" and it is nothing short of adorable. The video takes place in the year 2068 where we find Don Diablo with a thicker, wrinklier, and well worn face staring down at his old clothes that he used to perform in. As any good story from the future goes, he has decided to do one more performance for old times sake so puts on his old clothes, crawls into a limo with his futuristic iPad that projects hologram looking things, and heads to a club that is anxious to receive him. You then follow along with old man Diablo as he nervously awaits to go on. Old man Steve Aoki also makes a brief appearance in the video. I know 54 years is a long time from now, but my gut tells me that based on how pristine Diablo's skin is now that the man is going to age like a fine wine. 

I'll say this, if he continues to put out bangers like the past few tracks he's dropped in the past year, I most certainly look forward to growing old with Don Diablo. 
"Back To Life" officially drops next week on October 20th via Spinnin Records. You can stream it incessantly sans video below. 
[Listen] Don Diablo - "Back To Life"
Ol' Donnie boy has dropped yet another banger folks! Pretty sure he's unstoppable at this point. Earlier today, Dutch producer Don Diablo unveiled, "Back To Life", which is full of high pitch vocals, snazzy synths, and bass that only a rock mama could wubwubwub (see what I did there?). The track officially drops on October 20th on Spinnin Records, so you can wear out the stream below for the time being. 
US Don Diablo fans! The man himself is playing a few select dates this month so if you're in the area make sure you do whatcha gotta do to get out and see him. Even though I'll actually be in Philly this weekend I will unfortunately be unable to catch him at Soundgarden on Saturday night. I am hoping to bump into him around town tho in hopes of getting the scoop on his secrets to acheiving insanely flawless skin. My guess: babies blood. Or genetics. Whatever. 
Don Diablo On Tour
02 Oct Fluxx (San Diego, USA)
03 Oct Foundation (Seattle, USA)
04 Oct Soundgarden (Philadelphia, USA)
10 Oct Gala Supalec (Paris, France)
11 Oct Bonusz Festival (Budapest, Hungary)
12 Oct Globe @ Gotham City (Athens, Greece)
15 Oct Protocol @ Melkweg for ADE (Amsterdam, Holland)
18 Oct DJ Mag Top100 Party @ Brixton Academy (London, England)