Diplo sets the record straight on split with Switch

On Friday, Major Lazer’s long awaited second album will finally drop. It’s been four years since Diplo’s dancehall project released their debut record Guns Don’t Kill People…Lazers Do and since then, a lot’s changed: former collaborator Switch and the newly-religious Skerrit Bwoy have both departed, making room for new members Jillionaire and Walshy Fire to join the Mad Decent boss at the helm. While we’ve known since 2011 that the Switch and Diplo partnership was no more, the reason behind the split has never really been clear – up until now, the only official word was that there were “creative differences”.

But when inthemix got our King of Twitter on the phone last week, Diplo set the record straight on the reason behind the Major Lazer lineup change. “I couldn’t make music if it weren’t for Switch – he and M.I.A. were my main influences, and he taught me how to make music and gave me my style 100 percent,” he assured. “But in terms of actually making records and finishing them, Switch doesn’t do that. And everyone knows that. He just can’t finish songs. He’s the best when he does it, though. But for me, I had to take it in my power to finish this record because no one was helping me.”

“With Walsh and Chris, although I write the music we all come up with the ideas together: Chris names most of the songs for me and comes up with the artwork, and Walsh has been my main influences in terms of dancehall music for years,” he continued. “We live for our project 100 percent now. And that’s why I love the group: we all love the music so much and we 100 percent live for this. For Switch, music is just a hobby for him. He’s still my homie though, and we still work on some stuff together when it makes sense, but now it’s about the real music. The first album was just a case of simply trying to get it out there. I was always trying to convince Switch that “this is a big deal” but he never really cared. This album is not about that. But he’s still my homie, 1000 percent. He still wrote some records with me for the new album, like Get Free.”

Diplo was keen to dispel those rumours of there being any bad blood between the pair. “We had to legally break up the crew, whatever that means,” he explained. “But it wasn’t anything weird. He made a decent amount of money and he’s able to do what he wants to do now, which is produce more pop stuff. And that’s good for him, that’s what he wants to do. I don’t to make him feel like it’s a job to be on tour with me and make music with me. I want people who love it like I do to be involved. And that’s what it’s like now.”