How Diplo Became One of the Most Productive Artists

Photo by Paul Jung
Diplo has been placed on plenty of magazine covers over the last decade, but his feature in the current issue of influential business magazine Fast Company is a special honor. As part of their series “Secrets of the Most Productive People,” the magazine spoke with the mogul about the approaches and philosophies that’ve contributed to his success.
Here’s our favorite quotes from the article:
Being a trend spotter: “I think one of the reasons I’ve been successful is that I can see things before other people do … I’ve always been able to do it.”
The importance of personal branding: “Electronic music is voiceless, so a lot of DJs get lost … But you still have to connect to an audience. You have to make a connection with people. And I’m lucky that way. I put a face to it.”
Leveraging social media: “You have to feed the beast … You have to be obnoxious and loud and make as much noise as you can.”
Mad Decent’s co-founder Kevin Kusatsu: “I had no organization in my life [before we met] … I was trying to build things, but I didn’t know how. Kevin’s the guy who said, ‘Let’s turn this into a business, let’s pay taxes.’ Literally, that was the first time I paid taxes. I was 28.”
Making money: “Money, for me, is just to create bigger and better things … A lot of guys in the deejaying world flaunt it, but I don’t see any use in that. I don’t need anything. I live in hotels. Most of my clothes I get for free. I like to invest in ideas. In people.”
Living in the moment: “We try to stay in our lane … We veer to the right and left, with film ideas and whatnot, but only if it works for us. Every day is a new crazy thing happening. I never let anything catch up to me to the point where I understand fully what I’m doing. I haven’t really sat back and thought about how insane it is. Maybe in five years I’ll figure out that, hey, that was a really big deal working with Madonna or going to Wembley Stadium with Usher.”
Listen to Diplo’s latest production:

Download: Ty Dolla $ign – Stand For
Related: Diplo and Skrillex Discuss Similarities Between Hip-Hop and EDM