Skrillex and Diplo are set to collaborate on Justin Bieber’s new album. So said the trio, in radio interviews the day after their explosive, closer performance of “Where Are Ü Now” at last weekend’s Ultra Music Festival.
As yet, it’s not known how many songs will be worked on. The news comes after Bieber’s recent confirmation with USA Today that his anticipated new album will be co-produced by Def Jam Records founder Rick Rubin and Kanye West.
Last Sunday, Skrillex capped his ferocious, headlining show at the Ultra Music Festival by seguing into his Jack Ü project with Diplo. Artists Kiesza, South Korea’s CL, and Diddy hit the stage. But it was the spectacular finish of Jack Ü and Bieber’s vibey throwdown of the shimmering “Where Are Ü Now,” that wowed a wild audience who neither knew nor cared that Bieber was lip-syncing.
“I would love to. I don’t think we have anything planned right now,” Bieber replied. He then referred to the festival, and said, “It was my first time experiencing anything like that and it was incredible, man.”
The singer added, “I think me and these guys [Skrillex and Diplo] are going to collaborate on my next album, and do something really special. Really world-changing.”
Power 96 co-host Lucy Lopez also asked Jack Ü why they were doing a radio tour for the first time, given their typically Internet-based promotion of their music.
“I’ve never done any radio promo for any of my records. This is the first time,” Skrillex said. He went on, “We came up completely organically in our world, and I think there was never really an avenue in radio for what we were doing.”
Diplo agreed, saying, “It’s cool that these records have kind of like reached a critical mass, to where people are pretty much loving them all across the board.”
With a nod to “Where Are Ü Now,” Bieber said of the buzz around the track, “It’s all pretty much word of mouth.”
Replying to Lopez’s question on how each producer-DJ decides who to work with, Skrillex offered, “Music, for us, is just a really fun thing to do.” Explaining, he added, “We came up, you know, making records with our friends and artists that we collaborated with, and then careers came out of that.”
Separating Jack Ü’s philosophy from chart-or-die sensibilities, Skrillex noted, “It’s a whole different ecosystem of how we work, and a whole different mindset.”
Of his and Diplo’s wider intention, he continued, “Part of what we do is curating culture, of what we see as the future of music.”
Then, referring specifically to the Bieber track, he added, “Maybe it takes longer [with Jack Ü’s organic method] for a record like ‘Where Are Ü Now’ to become as popular as some of the biggest pop records. But at the same time, it’s breaking ground.”
After Diplo nutshelled his history with Bieber (he co-produced “Thought of You” on 2012’s Believe album, “Memphis” on 2013’s Journals, and said he’d known the singer’s manager Scooter Braun for over ten years), he revealed Braun sent him a piano-and-voice version of “Where Are Ü Now” while they were at the same party in New York City (coinciding with Justin’s appearance at Fashion Rocks last September).
“It was like a really strong record that Justin wrote, it was like a ballad,” Diplo recalled. He added that he told Skrillex [who was at the same party], “I said, ‘Yo Sonny, man, listen to this record. We could f**k this record up, this is crazy.'”