From: Amsterdam, Netherlands
DJ style: “Future.”
Best known for: “Living in the Future.”
Fave tune of 2022: “Fred Again & The Blessed Madonna ‘Marea’.”
Rising star DJ/producer of 2022: “Mochakk.”
Don Diablo has had a busy year by anyone’s standards. He was hugely productive in the studio, experimenting with new sounds, writing new hooks, working on new harmonies and ways to push the so-called future house sound forward. Highlights include remixing one of his favourite Avicii tunes to raise money for the Tim Bergling Foundation which raises awareness for Mental Health, and getting to open the Biennale in Venice alongside DRIFT with the world’s first indoor drone performance. “It felt like a huge milestone which I never thought I’d make.”
The Dutchman also reached the milestone of 400 episodes of his Hexagon Radio show, which has now clocked up over 40 million downloads to date and will spawn a new clothing collection in 2023, including a very special collaboration with his favourite Netflix show.
After years of Don pushing the future house sound forward, it has now become familiar to a global audience and elements of it have crossed over into other genres. “It has matured and will continue to evolve,” he reckons. “My aim will always be to challenge myself and to keep re-inventing the sound whilst safeguarding my own signature production style.”
Next to future music, Don also makes future fashion — incredibly space age-looking jackets, for example, which are AI designed items he has been playing around with of late. “I have always been inspired by the possibilities of artificial intelligence. Many fear it, but I mostly see opportunities and ways to innovate music, art and fashion with the help of AI,” he tells DJ Mag.
Besides the music and the fashion, Don Diablo has also got ever more involved in the art world, exhibiting his work everywhere from Miami to Dubai to Venice and his hometown Amsterdam, namely with DRIFT on BLOCK UNIVΞRSΞ. It is a multi-faceted art piece that combines a physical installation, sound design, an augmented filter and an animated file on the blockchain. It was exhibited and sold at Art Basel in Miami through Pace Gallery alongside the works of Picasso and one of Don’s all-time heroes, James Turrell.
“It felt incredibly humbling to be recognised on that level of artistry,” he says. “To be honest, I still have to pinch myself every day thinking back on the things I have achieved in the world of fine art in such a short amount of time.”
What’s the best DJ set you’ve seen this year?
“Fred Again’s Boiler Room set.”
What’s the longest DJ set you’ve ever played?
“I did two sold out solo shows at Avant Gardner in New York this year, with each a five-hour solo set.”