Walshy isn’t much into prognosticating, but the member of Major Lazer is sure about one thing: “I don’t like to predict, but I will say I think everything we know now will not be the same,” says Walshy, about how the relationship between music and tech will hum in the next five-10 years.

He likens it to the age of colonization when maps were resplendent with unchartered waters and it took explorers to say ‘I’ll go there, see what’s past the edge.’

“I’m open to all new technology, all the new experiences and I do believe in the next 10 years, everything I know now will be different,” says Walshy. “I have a crew of guys that call themselves ‘Paradigm Shifters’ and their whole thing is about not just entertainment, but just everything in life, getting people’s brains to grasp that what they know now is rapidly changing.”

Walshy, of Major Lazer, doesn't know where tech will lead music—or vice versa—but is excited to see where that dance culminates.
Walshy, of Major Lazer, doesn’t know where tech will lead music—or vice versa—but is excited to see where that dance culminates.

ED Magazine spoke with Walshy amid Major Lazer’s smash “Que Calor” with J. Balvin and El Alfa out now, and touched on age discrepancies and the time Michael Jackson walked into a young Walshy’s store on a shopping binge.

ED: I read you’ve been credited with making various genres more commercially accepted in the US, is that the biggest compliment? That your music helped people discover or popularize a genre?
WALSHY: Absolutely. I don’t even need to make it a long answer.

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ED: Diplo, “When Guns Don’t Kill People” was released a decade ago, did you envision how much success Major Lazer would have in the ensuing decade?
WALSHY: I came on right after that and to be honest, I didn’t even know there was a full project. I had only heard “Pon de Floor”. He asked me to join Major Lazer and that’s when I learned about songs like “Get Free” and all those other songs. I just got in after that album, so I’m not sure what that album was projected to do.

ED: Ape Drums is the youngest active member of Major Lazer by 10 years—how often in conversation does that age gap come up? (Aka older references Ape Drums may not know)
WALSHY: He definitely knows a lot, so it’s very rare that we’ll have a conversation and he’s totally clueless. He’s a super knowledgeable guy, and loves music so he’s right on par with us for the most part, unless we get into a deep rabbit hole of some crazy stuff, for the most part, he’s with it.

ED: Your upcoming album has been talked about since 2015—does it take a toll ignoring critics or fans who grow restless waiting for your next offering?
WALSHY: The way music is delivered now, I don’t think fans really do. For my generation, waiting on an album was a big deal. There was nothing in-between. Now, we can drop a single, we can do a collaboration with another artist, we can do so much to fill those gaps that you rarely see somebody say ‘Hey, where’s the album?’ Cause they’re getting music, they’re getting live shows, regardless of an album or not, we’re still performing. It’s not so much like it was back in the day.

ED: Who has been the celebrity/musical artist you’ve fanboyed over or is there someone you’d love to meet you haven’t yet, why?
WALSHY: Both are Stevie Wonder. That’d be a lifetime achievement award, a Grammy, whatever award you can give. I was hosting the OVO fest, first or second one in Toronto, and Stevie Wonder was the surprise guest and no one knew he was going to come on. He was backstage and just briefly, very briefly, shook his hand and he moved on to what he was doing.

I worked at a mall in Miami and Michael (Jackson) came into the mall and came into the store I was working at, I was working at Diesel. He came in and he shopped. He came in and he said ‘I want this, this, this, and this,’ and then he walked out.

ED: StripJoints services DJs at gentlemen’s clubs nationwide, so why would “Que Calor” be a good choice to play at a gentlemen’s club?
WALSHY: Everyone out there, dancers, DJs, patrons, there’s something about the energy of this song, especially translating Spanish to English, it gets really hot. If that’s what the nightlife, regardless of where you’re going, a chance for you to get very expressive. The meaning of the song is all about just making it hot, being very expressive, nightlife regardless if it’s a gentlemen’s club, a nightclub, a bar—that’s the emotion we want to evoke from you. The one that says leave whatever you’re doing in the day in the daytime. This song right here is all about getting it the way you want to get it, being happy the way you want to be happy, expressing yourself the way you want to express yourself.

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