In the New York Times' recent mini-documentary about the making of Jack Ü and Justin Bieber's inescapable "Where Are Ü Now," Diplo—real name Wesley Pentz—said that he was driven to work with Bieber because "no one would expect it." The video didn't say any more about the circumstances of their collaboration, but in a recent FADER interview, Diplo revealed that there was more to the story than he'd let on.
In the interview, the producer spoke candidly about his reasons for choosing to work with Bieber and Skrillex: "Justin had kinda hit rock bottom with things, like from the press, from jail, and from, like, taking his pants down at an awards show or something," he said. "I wasn't even paying attention, but I know that he wasn't very cool. And I was trying to really help Skrillex rebrand his own project, too. If nothing else, I thought working with Bieber would be the most noticeable thing we could do. It would be a great record, and it would make everyone really fucked up. It would make them really disappointed in themselves, and really confused, like, 'How do I like this record?'"
It turns out he thought working with Bieber would be an effective way to defy people's expectations, and make people fundamentally question why they appreciate the music they do in the first place: "Even from day one, as I started to develop, I saw people's perceptions of me as a producer, and they always want to put me in one box or another," he explained. "Maybe that's why I'm a target for things because I don't belong anywhere. If I make a record that makes people think that Justin Bieber is cool and makes them dance to it—which seems to be one of the most daunting tasks ever—then maybe people will rethink the way they think about music, you know? It's not so dry and clear, what's cool and what isn't. Good music is going to be good music. He's somebody you don't want to like, but you like it." Read the full FADER interview here, and watch the official video for "Where Are Ü Now" below.
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