“Let’s do whatever you want to do”
Thomas Wesley Pentz aka Diplo spoke to Rick Rubin for an exclusive story in the new issue of Interview magazine.
No need to say, his contribution to Rebel Heart was one of the chat’s topics, and Diplo had he chance to explain why in his busy schedule and personal life it was hard to wrap up Madonna because…
Interview: What was your collaboration with her like?
Diplo: It’s probably not news to you, but working with an established artist like that, I didn’t expect a lot to come out of it. [Rubin laughs] I thought it’d be great to try, though. But then have you ever met Madonna before? Have you worked with her on stuff?
Interview: Yes, but never have worked with her.
Diplo: The chemistry was just, like, awesome. Right from the beginning, she was like, “Let’s do whatever you want to do.” I had kind of a vision of how she can sound in 2015 and not be forced. And she went for it. I’m proud of the songs.
Interview: Give me an example of how a typical song would come about.
Diplo: The first two days, I always have a hard time really finding my comfort level with the artist. Like, trying to find out how I can be myself and make them not feel weird and make them feel good. You know, better than being weird. [both laugh]
Interview: Yeah, yeah.
Diplo: My favorite song on the record is the one featuring Nicki Minaj. We were drinking at night – and I don’t think Madonna really drinks – and she was like, “Play me just the craziest shit you have.” It has, like, this Japanese pizzicato melody and a drop that’s just insane, like, a little thing I chopped up. And she was into it. And then I put guitar over it because she likes to start in with guitar. I cut the guitars up. I did it, like, in the night. And then the other songs were, like I said, negotiating. And she’s really hardheaded. [Rubin laughs] When I first came in there, she was down for whatever, but towards the middle, it became a lot more about what she wanted to do.
Interview: She showed her true colors. [laughs]
Diplo: Yeah, but you know what? I wouldn’t expect anything less. I like artists that have a strong opinion. At least, they have opinions. But with some older artists, they might have an opinion just to have it. I feel like that’s an issue I’ve run into …
Read the full interview – illustrated with photography by Sebastian Kim – on the new issue of Interview magazine.