Some may know him as an integral member of Major Lazer’s live show, but The Jillionaire is building up a solid profile of his own. With numerous headline gigs and solo tours across Europe, the UK, North and South America and Asia, the DJ and producer is now heading to Australia for a string of shows. Touching down in Australia tomorrow, Jillionaire will embark on a whirlwind tour with four shows in four days across four cities around the country – yes, he’s that busy! On the eve of his first show at Laundry Bar in Melbourne, the in-demand musician had a chat with Scattermusic head honcho Mat Cant about flying, hot sauce, Mad Decent Block Parties and the recent Major Lazer show in Trinidad.
How’s your day been today?
Busy as usual. I haven’t been home in LA for a couple weeks, so just one day here before I fly to Australia tonight.
Do you enjoy flying, or is it something you just can’t wait to get out of the way?
I despise it! But it’s part of the job so what can I do? The Jetsons lied to us – I’m still waiting on my flying car that folds up into a suitcase.
So I think this is your first solo show in Melbourne. I can’t actually believe that it has taken this long considering how many times you have been to Australia. What can we expect and are you looking forward to it?
Yeah man, I’m really looking forward to this one! Melbourne is one of my favourite cities and we’ve had a lot of fun every time we’ve been out there. Should be hype.
For those that don’t know much about the man that is Jillionaire outside of Major Lazer, tell us a little about yourself.
Err, not sure really! The last 18 months have just been all Major Lazer everything so I’ve sort of forgotten who I am! But just in the process of getting Feel Up Records off the ground, releasing our first few acts and building some momentum for the new producers I’ve been working with.
Was music a big part of your upbringing in Trinidad?
Yeah totally. Music is a 24/7 thing in Trini. We’re a carnival country and music is a huge part of our lifestyle.
My man Paz is the biggest soca [music] fan I know and he told me once that the reason he loves it so much is because of how humble it is. Would you agree and if so why do you think that is?
Soca is an interesting sound, but people immediately identify with it because it’s feel-good, it’s happy, it’s uplifting – it’s all about having a good time and celebrating.
One of my favourite things from Trinidad is their hot sauce. Do you have a favourite?
I’m not a big fan of hot sauce but my sister is the pepper sauce champion. She’ll put it on anything… eggs, rice, whatever you got. Moruga Scorpion peppers are the hottest in the world.
Major Lazer just recently performed in Trinidad and Tobago for the first time last month, it looked like a crazy show with guests Bunji Garlin and Machel Montano joining you on stage. How was the home crowd’s response to the live show?
The sound has been growing in Trinidad and I think we got an extra boost when we did the remix for Bunji Garlin’s Differentology. The crowd was way bigger than we expected and everyone that came out had a great time. I think we gained a lot of new fans that night.
I recently had the pleasure of catching the Major Lazer show at the Mad Decent Block Party in Brooklyn. Such a high-energy and entertaining performance. What were the highlights from that tour?
Probably Flosstradamus because they go so hard every night. Also Baauer is a really fun DJ and likes to mix in new stuff.
What can people expect from a Jillionaire solo gig that they wouldn’t get from a Major Lazer show?
A lot more caribbean music probably… and bad mixing
Your edit of Go Dung was a big staple in a lot of our sets here at Scattermusic. Any upcoming production we should keep an eye out for?
I’ve been working on a couple new tracks with Richie Beretta. We did some remixes earlier this year but we’re more focused on eating ice cream than making songs. Gotta fix that
Thanks for the chat today Jillionaire, we can’t wait for the show on Wednesday at Laundry Bar, any last words?
Jillionaire is playing Laundry Bar in Melbourne on Wednesday October 9. Check out the details at the Facebook event.