If you’ve turned on a radio since 2012, you know DJ Mustard. The 25-year-old L.A. native, born Dijon MacFarlane, found the sweet spot between Euro house and trance chord progressions and hip-hop, spinning this hybrid into a signature sound that has dominated commercial radio with hits like Tyga’s “Rack City” and YG’s “My Nigga.“ Critics have claimed his style would come and go as a fad, but he’s proven them wrong. He shows no signs of going anywhere anytime soon.
Mustard’s recent Coachella appearance, his first, featured a surprise cameo by frequent collaborator YG. The two artists had had some sort of public Instagram spat a few months ago about getting paid for services rendered. But they had hashed it out, apparently, and together they rocked an overflowing Sahara tent.
We caught up with Mustard for a brief chat about being too young to remember O.J., bowling and his dream collaboration.
How do you think your set went today?
That shit was lit. Brought out YG on stage. It was fuckin’ crazy though.
So, what’s it like to own commercial radio?
I don’t know. I’ve just been working hard on everything, trying to stay on the radio.
Did you watch any of the O.J. show?
Yeah, a little bit.
Do you remember O.J. when it happened?
I’m 25, bro. I don’t remember the O.J. stuff really.
How’d you get into house music?
I was listening to all that shit on YouTube and online and just loved it. If I could make work, me being who I am—a guy doing hip-hop—no one would expect this [house style] to come out of me.
Have you played Ibiza?
Not yet. I played Europe some and am about to go back.
How are you received over there?
Almost better than over here.
Who’s on your collaboration wish list?
Jay Z. That’s it.
You obviously know him since you’re on Roc Nation. So why hasn’t that happened?
We haven’t found the right record yet. I’ve sent him some shit before, but it just wasn’t right.
You definitely have a signature soun’, but how do you keep it interesting and not become formulaic for you?
I love music, so I learn new things every day and I apply them to my music all the time. I never want to be the kind of artist that’s stuck in one sound.
What are some seminal albums that made you fall in love with music? Was Prince big for you or was he a bit before your time?
Prince wasn’t too before my time; I appreciate what he did for music. Other artists that had albums which really stuck out for me were Jay Z, Drake, & Lil Wayne. I respect how each of them stood up and put their cities on the map. I’m trying to do the same for L.A.
Which collaborations are you most proud of? Which collaborations have been the most challenging?
I’m most proud of the collaborations I’ve done with YG and Rihanna. Thus far my new single "Whole Lotta Lovin’” was my most difficult creation. The production on it was me stepping out of my norm. It took three months to do, but it was important for me to try something new.
How did you and YG mend your relationship after the Insta flare-up? What happened there?
YG and I are brothers for life. Some shit on the internet got between us but as soon as we were able to talk one-on-one, it was like we never separated. I haven’t been in the studio with him yet, but what’s important is now we’re back on the same page.
Are you a big party person?
I’m more into relaxing and doing work.
What do you enjoy spending your time doing when you’re not working?
I’m an excellent bowler.
Where do you bowl in L.A.?
Jewel City Bowl in Glendale. Shit, anywhere, really.
What’s your best bowling score? Any tips?
My best score so far was 250. My only advice to bowlers is don’t come play with us unless you have money to lose!
Any other musicians or producers that you know who are really good at bowling?
The only other musician that I’ve bowled against is O.T. [Genasis] and his camp. They’re alright.