Diplo is the 11th highest-paid DJ in the world, raking in $15 million in 2015 alone, according to Forbes.
But in a new cover interview with Billboard magazine, the 37-year-old is biting the hand that feeds him.
“The DJ world is the corniest f–ing group of people,” he says, shaking his head. “We’re not celebrities, we’re not famous for any good reason. We’re just … really lame. Besides people like Dillon Francis, who makes fun of the whole thing, or Calvin Harris, it’s a sinking ship. It’s a really lame culture. I’m sad that I’m part of it, but I play the game.”
Diplo, whose real name is Thomas Wesley Pentz, is also famous for being a part of electronic music group Major Lazer and new electronic duo, Jack Ü.
Despite his criticisms of the industry, Diplo has had a good year.
He recently produced the Justin Bieber hit, “Where Are Ü Now,” and worked with Beyoncé on two tracks for her Lemonade album.
Diplo seems in awe of Beyoncé.
“I wish I was Beyoncé! She’s one of the only artists who can culminate a body of work so concisely,” Diplo tells Billboard. “Nobody does that anymore.”
“Beyoncé is the only artist I’ve produced for the last year, because it’s more lucrative for us to make our own music now,” he continued. “When we put out a song with Beyoncé, cool, we’ll get a fee, we’ll get some [publishing] splits, but Beyoncé is going to make a billion dollars touring it. If I make a song and it’s my song, like ‘Lean On,’ we’re going to make money off the synchs, the Spotify and we get to headline festivals on it. That’s the model I want to explore.”
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