With two songs burning up the charts this summer, the “Lean On” hitmaker tells TIME about working with Madonna, Justin Bieber, Tinashe and 2NE1’s CL.
**non related CL parts ommited**
One of Diplo’s most buzzed-about collaborators is singer-rapper CL, one fourth of the mega-popular South Korean girl group 2NE1 who now shares management with Bieber. Last week, she and Diplo dropped the video for their song “Doctor Pepper,” and CL has also worked with Skrillex and Blood Diamonds ahead of an EP due this fall. Her solo material is decidedly more hip-hop-oriented than her work with 2NE1, Diplo says, but a few songs they’ve cooked up reflect her pop roots, including “Birthday,” half of which is delivered in Korean, and “One,” which he calls a “real pop, teenage-graduation kind of fun kid record.”
“K-pop is a weird term because K-pop has everything—rap records, it’s very pop-sounding, there are really boy-band sounding records,” Diplo says. “It’s going to be [labeled] K-pop because she’s doing it, so it’s going to be coming from another place and there’s going to be Korean lyrics. But for the most part it’s eclectic. She’s very rap-leaning, she’s very fashion forward. She’s like the Nicki Minaj of that world.”