Is Don Diablo the next Tiesto? With the ink drying on a new global SonyBMG 360 deal which provides artistic freedom and the structure to break him internationally, the Dutch triple threat might just be the next Dutch dance superstar. Following a lineage that includes Tiesto, Armin Van Buuren, Fedde Le Grand, and Ferry Corsten, it's clear that the Netherlands breeds talent unlike anywhere else. Last year we tipped Don Diablo as one to watch in 2007 and with this new deal, Don Diablo might just give the dance world the "kick in the ass" it needs.
DJ Ron Slomowicz: So Don, tell us about this big Sony BMG deal.
Don Diablo: Oh yes, it's been a long negotiation process because I didn't want to sign with them at first. I didn't want to sign with anybody, especially not with a major because they tend to suffocate your creativity. Especially now in the music industry there's not enough budget to actually really go for it. When you do it yourself you're the main priority, so there's always enough money for videos, artwork, remix packages, designs and website. There were two people within Sony, including the Director for the Benelux, that just kept on stalking me. So I was like 'OK, give us your best deal.' They put it on the table and after more than a year of negotiations, they really stuck by me and we were able to make a deal last week right before the Music Conference. I was amazed because it's a very cool deal for me and for them.
RS: What's unique about the Sony BMG deal?
Don Diablo: Well, what's unique about it is they're going to invest a lot of money basically and there's not a lot of risk from my side because they will only benefit from it if I grow as an artist. They will only make money on the excess that I will make on top of the money that I'm already making. So with merchandise, the record sales, performances, so it's sort of like what you'd call a three-sixty deal.
RS: So they're getting a cut of your DJ gigs, your merchandise, everything?
Don Diablo: Yes. Well, the funny thing, because I have such a small team, we did everything between three or four of us and to be honest we didn't really have time to set up merchandising or other things. When people were craving to have a T-shirt, for me it's very important and when I do it, it has to be the best. The T-shirt has to be a designer T-shirt with the best brand and all these things, it just grew out of hand- even with the new CD. It took me two and a half years to make a new CD because I was so picky and it had to be so genius that I drove everybody around me crazy. Now we basically have a lot more people at Sony working. There's one person who actually does my career internationally – he'll be flying around the world and have the budget to speak to people and to get international deals rolling and to get people enthused. I think that's the main thing, people have to see what you're doing. Because in my own country it's like we reached the rooftop, I don't know where to go anymore - it's like you're running around in circles and you had everything from being nominated for MTV awards to awarded Best Dressed Man of the Year to like crazy stuff. So, what are we going to do now? Every time I come abroad people are raving about it but it's very hard for people overseas to see what the hell it is that I actually do.
RS: Well speaking about that, the buzz on the new album is you
apparently produced it, sang it, and mixed the whole thing yourself.
Don Diablo: Yes and on top of that I'm a DJ as well, so it's very confusing because people think when you're a DJ it doesn't matter if you're a painter, an actor, and a DJ or something like that, you'll always be the DJ. So it's kind of limiting to be a DJ because people see a DJ as a DJ and not as a performer or as a singer, even for some people it's hard to understand that I actually make all the music myself.