This Friday, Mad Decent takes over Le Bain! The label of superstar DJ and producer Diplo presents two of its closest protégés, The Moombathon Netherlands Wonderkid, Munchi and Major Lazer’s favorite DJ, The Jillionaire. We met Jillionaire right before Babylon fell for a Standard Q&A.
The Standard: As an ambassador of Mad Decent, can you tell us how it is to work with Diplo? It is mad or decent?
The Jillionaire: Being Ambassador is decent. I get to attend official events and entertain Presidents and other World Leaders. I have a green smoking jacket that says Ambassador on the back, with little gold pins. Working with Diplo’s mad. Everytime we travel, I have to hold his dolphin. Awkward.
You have been touring around with Mad Decent and Major Lazer. What are your three most inspiring cities? Why?
Middle America is a beautiful place. I think the best Major Lazer college show I’ve done so far was in St Louis, Missouri. Or was it Louisville, Kentucky? Anyway I lost my passport and missed my flight but when we eventually got there we deejayed in some kids basement until his speakers broke. It was mental. The smaller towns always go the hardest because they’re so excited to have the music come to them, they don’t take it for granted. Also they’ve got a macaroni n cheese restaurant. So if your town has a macaroni n cheese restaurant, that’s probably the one I’m referring to.
(The Jillionaire by Carolyne Weldone)
You describe your style as a mix between “indie dance and big room house with the caribbean rhythms of soca and dancehall”. What have been the musical steps in your career?
The first step was having a publicist come up with that bunk. All the deejays in Trinidad are super diverse - they play hip hop & R&B, top 40, dance, reggae & dancehall, soca & calypso, even rock. So I just came up watching guys mix it all up anyway. Now dance DJ’s are playing genre bending sets at these big festivals. I figure I can play twenty minutes of dancehall and get away with it, once I play that Beyonce “Pon De Floor” track my Mom likes so much.
What are your top indie dance tracks of the Summer? Top big room house track? Top soca track? Top dancehall track?
Tough call. I’ve been on a sheep farm in New Zealand for most of the summer, and most of the stuff I’ve been listening to has been out of my inbox. But ma favorites so far:
Adele - “Rolling in the Deep”
Torro Torro - “Blue Blouse”
Kes the Band - “Wotless”
Vybz Kartel - “Go Go Wine”
You are playing with Munchi this Friday at Le Bain. In less than a year, this kid from the Netherlands has became a highly sought-after DJ and producer. What makes Munchi so special?
Munchi has definitely been killing it. I’d say it’s the way he’s able to blend all sorts of weird fun sounds into something new and sexy - R&B, bubbling, juke, all mashed into one. You can hear the heavy bass just as well as the latino influences. Magic.
What is Moombathon all about? What do you think makes it one of the sounds of its time?
Moombathon is definitely a global movement. When Dave Nada first introduced it to the world, kids like Munchi, Dillon Francis and David Heartbreak were quick to take up the mantle and started churning out 108 bpm bangers. It’s like dubstep for girls — heavy hitting, yet rhythmics and percussive — with producers from across the US and Europe churning out original tracks and remixes. It’s quickly become a worldwide phenomenon, not restricted to a certain geographic region or cultural background. Also it’s gotten the seal of approval from dubstep afficionados and big room 4/4 lovers alike.
Le Bain X Mad Decent takes place this Friday July 8th at The Standard New York, featuring Rok One, Jillionaire and Munchi. Doors open 10pm. See you there.