Diplo’s ’son’ Dillon Francis on working with Dizzee Rascal and why he loves mums
His dreamy green eyes have made Dillon Francis one of the most lusted-after DJs in the tumblrsphere – while his Twitter feed, a bombsite of awful jokes, outrageous statements and incredulous musings, e.g. ‘Linkin Park is like the Pitbull of rock music’ is as brash as the moombahtom music he makes.
The California-born DJ and producer is best known for having dual mentors in the form of electronic megastars Diplo and Skrillex. Somehow, he manages to merge the world music ethos of the former with the ear-splitting racket of the second, which has earned him lots of fans – and critics.
But, regardless if you like his music or not, it can’t be denied that he has a wicked sense of humour, which is a breath of fresh air in a world where many DJs are sullen, stroppy and overly precious. Dillon’s fans are regularly treated to images of cats that he has Photoshopped his face on to at dillonfrancisiscat.tumblr.com, and sometimes he dresses up as Mexican food. What a card!
It is unclear if his love of Mexican food is linked to his career producing moombahton records, but it does seem likely. He also invented an acronym, IDGAFOS – which is a snappier way of saying, ‘I Don’t Give A F**k or S**t’ – LOL.
You’re an avid tweeter, what’s been the best hashtag you’ve ever seen trending?
Did you invent IDGAFOS – how close is it to catching on? What other acronyms do you rate?
Man, I put out this hat that said IDGAFOS on it and it sold out in minutes… so if that’s any indication then IDGAFOS could be the next WTF or LOL.
For those unaware, what is moombahton?
It’s kind of a fusion of house/electro music and reggaeton (only similar by the BPM and drums which is around 110). It doesn’t do it justice to describe it in words… you should just check out stuff from Munchi (who first inspired me to make moombahton) or my EP “Westside!” or just go onto my Soundcloud.
Moombahton is a relatively new genre, what did you listen to when you were growing up?
I really liked punk music. Groups like The Germs, The Clash and sh*t. Oh. And the SPICE GIRLS.
People love bringing up your Diplo and Skrillex connections – what does your relationship with each bring to your music?
They’re both incredible artists. Just being around them gives me new ideas and they are always listening to new and exciting music. Diplo has really helped me grow as an artist and taught me a lot… he’s basically my dad.
You’re a bit of a hunk to lots of girls out there – do you have mental fans? Have you ever been fearful of them?
Haha luckily nothing too scary has happened yet. Fans just tend to lurk a bit.
“Hey….. hey…. hey….h-h-h–h-h… hey” (fan standing right next to me)
How did you come to release ‘Bootleg Fireworks’ on Calvin Harris’ label? Why not Skrillex’s label, OWSLA?
I’ve always been a HUGE fan of Calvin and he’s been always supportive of what I’ve done. With OWSLA, we wanted to do an EP but the package wasn’t coming exactly how I wanted. So I thought doing a quick one-off single release on Calvin’s labels would be cool…and he said it was his favourite track I’ve ever done.
You’ve also got ‘Here To China’ on Calvin’s album. Did you go in the studio with him and Dizzee?
Actually the song was strictly thru the wire, no one got in the studio with anyone, it was all computer sessions between Calvin and I. I wish I could have hung out with Dizzee, but I am making another song with him so I’m definitely gonna get into the studio with him when I’m back in London.
Do you have any odd studio rituals?
Actually, yes! I wake up at 9:30am I make three or four poached eggs, two pieces of turkey bacon and a full pot of coffee, eat then get in the studio by 10:30 and spend the whole day working. That’s really when I get the best work done
Is it true you’ve done a track with Example? Who else is on your list of Brits to hook up with?
Yes! I produced Someone To Die For off his new album The Evolution of Man which is out this month. I also want to work with Ms Dynamite, Skream, Labrinth, and Knife Party.
What artists/labels are you into at the moment?
I’m loving Nicky Romero (just did a new remix for him), Calvin Harris (of course), DJ Fresh, Diplo, Madeon, Kill The Noise and Angger Dimas.
Some of your Facebook posts are funny, the picture of you as Kim Kardashian’s kitten is super. Would you like to star in your own reality show? What would people see you get up to?
I like to think that when people come to my YouTube Channel, it’s sort of The Dillon Francis Show. Random bits like”DJ Self Defense and DJ Awareness are a little taste of my f*cking awesome world!
What is your fascination with ‘moms’ and asking fans to show theirs your videos and songs?
Because I strongly believe moms deserve to hear good music too! I got overloaded with emails when I told kids to send screenshots of their convos with their moms, lol…. who doesn’t love moms?
What’s on your Christmas list?
A map of an imaginary nation where I am President of the World and Tiesto is the Prime Minister. Three sleeping bags made of denim. And a live performance of Call Me Maybe by a staff of Taco Bell workers.
What five things do you hope to achieve in 2013?
I rather keep it simple with one thing. Come out with my album!
Dillon Francis’ new single, Bootleg Fireworks (Burning Up) is out now.Tagged in: Bootleg Fireworks, Burning Up, Dillon Francis, Diplo, dizzee rascal, DJ, IDGAFOS, Moombahton, Skrillex
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter