Diplo may be best known as a purveyor of “airport reggae,” as Rihanna once put it, but he’s also a gifted and versatile producer who has shown that he can switch up his EDM-accented style when he wants to. On his latest departure from dance music, the shockingly soulful “Look Back,” he recruits trap-soul crooner DRAM to reflect on his journey from humble beginnings in Hampton, Virginia to his new global success.
“Look Back” is a bit of a departure for DRAM as well. For those first introduced to the jovial rapper-singer through his bouncy, cartoonish singles like “Broccoli” and “Gilligan,” hearing him tear into the power ballad may come as a surprise. However, he’s shown, through various appearances in unexpected places like his Bright soundtrack cut “Campfire” with Neil Young, and his Gorillaz duet “Andromeda,” that he’s as versatile a performer as they come. While his introductory LP, Big Baby DRAM was no slouch commercially, even receiving a deluxe re-release almost a year after its initial debut, DRAM is clearly on a mission to expand his fanbase through these clever, but unpredictable collaborations.
Meanwhile, Diplo used his recent performance of “Get It Right” with MØ and Goldlink on The Tonight Show to tease an upcoming EP, California, on which “Look Back” may appear. Check that out below.