Don Pepijn Schipper, known to the musical world as Don Diablo, grew up in a tiny Dutch village near the German border where you could count the population on two hands. With little human interaction, no clubs, no cinema and a pet monkey for a next-door neighbour, his desire to form a band proved challenging, so instead he created a band in his head, which would later come to life via a computer. Diablo’s father was one of his biggest influences and turned him onto rock and avantgarde music from a very young age by making him listen to legends like Frank Zappa and Tom Waits as well as the man he was named after, Don van Vliet a.k.a. Captain Beefheart. Later on, after being exposed to a cassette tape containing acid and early rave, his ears and eyes were opened to electronic music and the rest, as they say, is history.
At fourteen he started a successful club night and raised enough money to build his own studio. One thing led to another and he was offered his first record deal after his friends sent out some of his demos. ‘It was a very exciting time, no boundaries; I was able to grow up with freedom. At first I mainly worked as a ghost producer for other people, trying out all sorts of different styles and through all of these different influences I developed my own sound.’ Since then he’s collaborated with the likes of Example, Diplo, Angela Hunte, Laidback Luke, Noisia and Dragonette and remixed a diverse array of artists that includes Public Enemy, Martin Solveig, Macy Gray, The Chemical Brothers, Gorillaz, Tinie Tempah, Cassius and many others.
However you wish to classify Diablo’s sound, whether it’s Hooligan House, Punk Funk, Dutchstep or Distorted Disco, he prefers to leave things rather more open. ‘If people on the street ask me what I do, I say I play around on my computer… if they want more detail I say I make electronic music.’ Original productions have come thick and fast and Diablo has become best known for standout records like ‘Blow’, ‘Hooligans’ featuring Example, ‘M1 Stinger’ featuring Noonie Bao, ‘Make You Pop’ featuring Diplo and ‘Animale’ featuring Dragonette. Meanwhile, Diablo’s sound has taken him around the globe and he’s played everywhere from Tomorrowland to Glastonbury, Creamfields, Ministry of Sound, Razzmatazz, Space, Future Music, Summerdaze and Avalon in Los Angeles.
Besides music Don also has a passion for film, before he started releasing music he brought his audio-visual visions to life in the form of several short films and music videos. Later on he was able to combine his love for both artforms through soundtracks and scores he worked on for a number of motion pictures and tv shows. While traveling around the globe he also managed to secure a degree in journalism and set up his own record label, "Middle Of The Road Music", to release music by and for his friends. He struck gold with the third release on the label: "Mason - Exceeder" got licensed to over 25 countries and became one of the biggest tunes in the year of its release.
Don Diablo 2.0
We are now witnessing Don Diablo 2.0. Don is rediscovering his dancefloor roots with a completely fresh outlook and is excited to tell his story through his new music. He’s got a colossal year planned involving collaborations with Kelis, Alex Clare and R3Hab, a release on Axwell’s label "Axtone", a brand new syndicated radioshow called "Don Diablo's Anarchy Anthems" and he is currently prepping his 'Hexagon’ live show, a motion censored DJ performance. L.A. based visuals company "V Squared Labs", creators of the Skrillex and Amon Tobin liveshows, are currently developing the show which is due to kick off in Spring. Besides all this he is also working on new material for his debut album on Columbia Records with whom he recently signed a worldwide record deal. As hectic as this schedule may sound, Don Diablo is taking it all in his stride. Don’t expect him to slow down any time soon either as he continues to bring the ideas in his head to life in any way he knows how…