One demo sent to Ninja Tunes hip hop offshoot Big Dada earnt him his debut LP 'Florida' released in 2004. The release brought together vintage soul samples with faevela funk and jurassic crunk, marking Diplo as one of the champions of the emerging Baile funk sound.
RA got a hold of the man of many sounds to get his past impressions and forthcoming expectations of this Spanish festival.
How many times have you been to Sonar?
I've been to Sonar twice now (once in Argentina).
Do you have a favourite festival memory?
I was at my hotel once in Barcelona and I remember all these topless German girls and these guys on the rooftop pool. They were joking around and one pushed a guy in the pool (with his laptop). That was pretty funny.
For many Europeans Sonar is the start of summer, does the warmer weather affect your sound at all?
It's hot as SHIT in Philly right now. It was like 90 degrees Fahrenheit last Monday.
For people not used to a Spanish lifestyle, a siesta is not part of their usual day. How do you approach the afternoon break?
I just fall asleep whenever I'm tired. I dont have a schedule anymore.
Sonar is very interested in new frontiers, not just technology but art, music and social trends as well. What do you think have been some of the biggest developments of the last year?
Just that there seems to be a whole grassroots movement of kids into new and experimental music, and making it themselves. Baile Funk bands from Sweden, ghetto club music in Geneva, Japanese grimes.
There's also a lot of empowerment in places I visit like Africa or Central America where kids are just going out on their own. Hip hop hits ain't shit to anyone anymore. I think people are just putting music back into their own hands.
Is their a particular tune you are looking forward to playing at Sonar?
Pitbull - 'Bojangles'!
The Sonar programme is always quite diverse and innovative. Who are you looking forward to seeing?
I don't know the lineup but I'm improvising most of my shit with A-Trak so that should be pretty funny. And there's also the Ed Banger folks.
In last years Sonar Prologues, the one artist most people said they wanted to see was M.I.A. the album 'Arular' had just been released, and went on to win much critical acclaim. Were you surprised to see how widely it was received?
Man. Well maybe M.I.A. is just the truth. To me she's the most exciting artist out there. Wait until you hear the new record. She just came out at a time when music was SOOO boring, and all those powerful producers and labels just eating themselves over and over again. People like me and Maya we really don't give a fuck. We feel like we reach real people.
Have you seen the profile (http://www.myspace.com/diplosbike) for your bicycle on MySpace?
Yeah. I wish I could accept more friends but I don't know who made it.
Finally, do you have anything planned for the rest of summer?
A huge tour to blast of my label Mad Decent in the US with Bonde Do Role and C.S.S. from Brazil. And a few l'il things here.
Diplo vs A-Trak plays the SonarPark at Sonar by Night on Saturday June 17 at 2:00am.
A few years old but worth the history lesson, dig-out Diplo's electronic press kit made for the release his Florida album, where you can see inside his studio, catch him rocking a high-school dancefloor and some footage out on the road. For a slice of quality Baile Funk check his Rhythm video.
Sonar 2006 Prologues
Sonar 2006 Prologues with Miss Kittin
Sonar 2006 Prologues with Isolee
Sonar 2006 Prologues with Jimmy Edgar
Sonar 2006 Prologues with Diplo
Sonar 2006 Prologues with CHIC
Sonar 2006 Prologues with Hot Chip
Sonar 2006 Prologues with Ryan Elliott
Sonar 2006 Prologues with Modeselektor
Sonar 2006 Prologues with The MFA
Sonar 2006 Prologues with Uffie