Lean On Was Made For Rihanna or Nicki Minaj

Diplo reveals that both superstars rejected the chance to release "Lean On" as their own.

Yesterday, Time put out an interview with Diplo.

In it, he discusses how records blow up in the US and using vocals as instruments. One of the most surprising revelations in the interview was that he offered (or as he puts it “shopped it”) “Lean On” to not only Rihanna, but also Nicki Minaj; both of whom rejected the opportunity before it was taken by Danish singer MØ.

Diplo co-wrote the track with MØ as a slow reggae record with the possible intention of a big name singer to feature, though he calls it being rejected “a blessing in disguise…[MØ] sounds better than anybody was going to sound on that record.”

Another revelation was that the instantly-recognisable string sound from his other summer banger – Jack Ü’s “Where Are Ü Now” – is actually “Justin Bieber’s voice pitched up 24 semitones with a tight, tight reverb.” Diplo says that he “uses vocals a lot as instruments” which goes some way in explaining some of the crazy unique sounds he achieves in his tracks.

“When we make records like that… We don’t think of how big it’s gonna be or where it’s gonna go, I think the only motivation is how crazy can we get?... How unique can we make it sound?”

He concludes the interview by discussing the “signature Diplo sound,” or lack of it, claiming rather that it is “something that is eclectic and strange to your ears at first.” With nearly a decade of being a top producer, he definitely has spanned the genres – from dancehall with Major Lazer to EDM with Jack Ü, and pretty much everything in between. “I think if I had a signature sound that would be the end of me,” he parts with.

We think MØ sounds better than anyone else could on Lean On. Disagree? You know where to argue. 

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Written by Tamara Roper

20 Aug 2015