tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg March 21, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT
studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." charlie: welcome to cuba. >> thank you. charlie: why did you want to come? >> the main reason is that we were able to come. the idea of doing a concert here. we've done a lot of concerts. i've always been fond of cuba. i had theught when opportunity, we had to do that. the first to come do it. charlie: it's been an
interesting month in cuba. you, president obama, the rolling stones. diplo: the stones are coming later. we beat both of them. charlie: you kicked it off. you are the opening act for the president. you said this is the most important show you've ever done. diplo: i think the pressure is on us to do something. this is kind of an amazing opportunity. right now, i've done so many concerts. we have fans to the world. this is a show we are doing free for the people. .e were invited very diplomatic opportunity, i feel like. right now when relations between cuba and america is so unique for the first time in 50 years. that we can come into something cultural as a bridge. people think it's about politics, but it's a lot deeper. where was that curiosity? spent an hourwe
doing a press conference with young these issues. i was amazing about how specific their questions were about distribution, sound cloud, record labels, mastering. about the sound they use. they are trying to do this for a living. what's amazing is having this access to me is like having this access to the internet that they don't have very easily. giving simple answers is huge for them. charlie: you are a way for them to find out how music works. diplo: i was surprised at how much they knew. how culturally aware they were. these kids are finding ways to -- charlie: how much recognition is there? diplo: not much. kids today that are into electronic music are aware of
who i was. through usb keys and packages -- but they don't know who we are. just the sound. they can see the whole show and get the full experience. charlie: is that what makes music so global and universal? that that it is not a song. it is a sound. it is not vocal. charlie: electronic music can be made by anybody. you don't need a huge team to build you up and build your album. electronic music can be made on a home computer in one hour and you can upload it to the internet. it goes to the world instantly. that is what is beautiful about electronic music. it is the sound. how good a musician do you have to be? diplo: i'm a pretty bad
musician. i think that speaks volumes. play anay a key, i can instrument simply, and i can find chords. but i think i just find ideas first. definitely just coming up with concepts and ideas. i can make music. i'm just not a great player. they're so some great guitar players, keyboard players -- i'm just a person that can take those sounds and build something out of it. it's a whole other level to the music. charlie: had you define electronic dance music for people watching this conversation that don't really know? diplo: the three words are pretty simple. electronically, you use a computer. you don't have to always dance to the music. there's that. it is created very simply. all you need to do is have one sound.
you can user iphone to record the voices and import that. create a whole spectrum of sound. it archaic, you can make a whole symphony. some of the great guys that did music in france, they built entire symphonies out of keyboards. --e phonics and electronics ymphonics of electronics. charlie: symphonics of electronics. charlie: you heard -- diplo: you heard it in the 80's. people take it and create more. do you think because technology is moving forward that electronic dance music will move forward? diplo: i think it will constantly move forward because the people making it are really young. they are the ones that will take
chances quicker than anybody else. -- it is very hard to steer a big ship. a smaller one you can paddle quickly. it will make them very excited and they are very literate. charlie: it is extraordinary. think about "lean on." spotify said it was the most -- diplo: the most streamed song ever. of all time. , we are not aa huge act by any means. china, india, that song hit people. jamaica, trinidad, mexico, brazil. it was a huge hit. fromcorporates everything reggae music to pop music. the singer is danish. the song is a little bit of everything. i think it speaks to the world.
it has a caribbean influence at the same time. that influence and that rhythm translates to the rest of the world. it's able to go everywhere like that. , the peopleond that that are downloading on spotify -- there is a sense that you are laying to huge crowds -- playing to huge crowds. festivalshave played for 200,000 people in germany, belgium. arenas -- it is crazy how big the fan base is. we have done shows for that many people in germany or holland. more popular outside of the united states? diplo: 100%. europe is the biggest market for our music. i'm not sure why that is. even without labels, we start in europe. lean on was in for five
countries before it hit the top 40 in america. had an american forst on the billboard 100 five months or something. it's been adele, rihanna, drake, people from canada and europe. charlie: why do you think that is? i think it hasn't he to do with the worldwide aspect of music now. ambassadorse the for popular culture. now i think it is coming back. piece of its had a and they are creating something more extraordinary. there are links and we have had -- i thinkr since
they scored three number one records in america. charlie: when you were here, did you work with cuban musicians? yesterday was the first time i met someone that was a friend of mine. cuba to to leave develop their sound and they because ofack here the opportunities to be back in cuba. these guys are really special. charlie: that would be great. on monday ate 5:00. diplo: 5:00 a.m. we head back to america. we play las vegas on tuesday. we have the south american tour on friday. before i came here, it would probably be the strangest routing ever. lamabad, to l.a., to havana.
last -- show their charlie: pakistan. how would you tell someone the difference between good electronic music and great? diplo: it's hard. everybody has their own opinion. music affects you. time will tell when it lasts. people might kind of not give it a fair chance. because some people don't understand what goes into electronic music. charlie: some people say it won't last. diplo: it's been going on since the first synthesizers, the first electronic synthesizers. withing soul music sympathetic -- synthesizers.
it's already had six or seven lives. charlie: and for you, what do you hope to do with this? diplo: i feel like we are in , we came -- havana from islamic body. we had big giant festivals. these other guys that are going to change it. the kids in havana, the kids in pakistan. the kids that will take it to a new level. i hope to be an ambassador for them. charlie: and there is a sense that this is an important time for these young cubans. diplo: the first time they are getting connected. interview, they would talk about the rolling stones coming. there have been a few artists that are sort of nostalgic. what school is that we are -- ol is that we're
at the top of our game. it doesn't happen a lot of times. i think it's important for us to be bridging that gap. the music we are making right now is happening in cuba. it is spontaneous and happening right now. diplo: when you come -- charlie: when you come, what is involved? who is coming with you? diplo: i come with a complex group of people coming. my manager, putting it together. the cuban government -- i work with some of the ambassadors here. it is pretty complex. i appreciate the huge team that makes it happen. charlie: who will be on stage with you? diplo: we have three of us on stage performing the music. production, the lights, the videos. what they say about
electronic dance music is that they love that the concerts can go on for hours. there are no physical limitations. diplo: there is also no set list. it you can do whatever you want. is there a playlist or is it spontaneous? diplo: it depends. when we have lighting cues, we sometimes have to keep it formatted. if the crowd once this, i will go that way. that's the whole job of the dj. charlie: to feel where the crowd is. and is it different when you go from country to country? diplo: 100%. i played songs i never play elsewhere. some sounds -- charlie: do you have to know their music? diplo: i do research all the time. i will get records and try to
edit the set list. it gets a little bit of surprises, you know. true that they really celebrate artists here? diplo: they do. general,he culture in cuba is a place where education is free. health care is free. cuba is for the greater good of the cuban people. one of the most important film schools in the world -- traveling to go to film school here in cuba. i think coach is taken very seriously. the actual stream of information that comes here is so unique. there are still creators
back. i never thought i would be here with you. charlie: i did not know i would be here with you either. when you called and said, i'm going to cuba, i thought, that's great. but you are the last person i thought would call me. diplo: it's strange. to gon islamabad, i had through the embassy there. it's one of the most important outlets for media. the second most popular facebook page and all of pakistan. their job is to market america. that is what embassies do. it helps market the perception of what americans do and the american relations. i can go share my experience and bring music to kids. i think that's the most important thing we can do in america is to bridge the cultural gap. there is a lot of capital
and what we're doing is creative people. it's important that obama is coming. that's huge. the first time in 70 years. and it's also important for people like us to come and share our music as far as the kids -- they are the ones that will change the relationship. charlie: do you have political conversations? diplo: i don't understand a lot. i don't understand how they have the opportunity -- what is their job? be ao you choose to ballerina, athlete, or dr.? the u.s. them what they know about the rest of the world? diplo: they are aware. they get information from the internet. cubans are resilient. i'm surprised at how much they are aware and i think it will change a lot. starts to come, you can't stop that flow.
you had a certain countercultural light. diplo: i think growing up in florida. i grew up one area in. that's when i got interested in re reggae, dance hall, jamaican fire -- sometreet of the guys we walked with. we had similar interests. as music changed and music became more of a global culture, we had the opportunity to make music like what we think of it. it became possible. genres were, the very distinct. you had to make a certain kind of music. these kids play metallica on the radio. they are doing metal, a lecture caribbeanectronic, music. everyone has an amazing
opportunity to make fusion. charlie: how did you make the transition from local dj to global superstar? diplo: that's a good question. i'm still trying to figure that out. charlie: you were in philadelphia as a dj playing a lot of events. diplo: i was a really lucky guy to be in a certain time. when i was doing music, i was selling mix tapes hand-to-hand. charlie: you made the tapes. diplo: i made them and would go to record shops. one in new york just closed down. i sold them 100 cds at a time and i would make $600. it would cost me $.45 each. it was my living for three years. car.ld sell cds out of my guy isinternet, this
selling them on his own and we should try to invest with him. people invested in what i did and i started creating it. it's almost like working in business. charlie: what was the breakthrough? diplo: i think it was in my -- mia. it kind of exploded. the deal with and just go kind of happened and she was able to make albums. juste deal with interscope kind of happened and she was able to make albums. charlie: this is a collaborative game. , but ai'm the performer lot of times, i'm behind the scenes. someone like justin bieber or chris brown -- i like both and i'm glad i can do both. i'm still getting better as a producer. as a dj, i can go places like
havana. just -- i have this excess of music. i was making a lot of music. i made music for a lot of different people but i was starting to go a certain direction and nobody was getting what i was making. maybe let's try this. i said, let's do our own project. you do have a certain reputation as a bad boy. diplo: that's funny to hear you say that. , for me, when it comes , for a while, any publicity is good public city. just making noise. and i have grown up a lot over the last couple years. trying to let the music speak as much as i can.
at some point, those kinds of controversy can fuel you. and the battle with taylor swift? diplo: that was in direct. -- indirect. i thought i would never meet her. since then, i have become a friend. i see her a lot. it's funny that i have seen her around and we talk sometimes. four years ago, i never would have expected to meet her. charlie: are you in a place were you can measure this? one grammy. you are accepted by all aspects of the music fraternity. you walk among them and know part of what it means to be a musician. diplo: i just don't take that too seriously. i'm only here to make music.
,f i dabble in the pop world maybe i can get something out of it. that i'm just here to make music. charlie: and what has the same done to you? diplo: for me? charlie: to you. diplo: you have to make sure that there is one hand in reality and one hand in that world. charlie: and how much of you is the businessman? diplo: luckily, my managers are the ones that say no to anything. i will say yes to work. i would probably be happier staying in las vegas or doing the festival circuit. i think it's important. i've done those shows. it's important to create something new. that's why i started this new music. old vfw halls,ng
kegs and music. it no one else was helping us. keeping those parties alive and happening. that is what we are doing in havana. charlie: and being the master of your own destiny. diplo: and making the new generation so that kids can do it. giving them the right tools, the music will be awesome in five or 10 more years. too.e a record label,, charlie: [inaudible] vjing slows down, i would love to help other artists. help other artists make more music. charlie: you have a production company. company, do a touring and we incubate new artists. charlie: where do you see yourself five years from now? u.n. the music scene? scene?and the music
charliediplo: still making musi. i'm 37. i will be 42. charlie: [inaudible] the reason i do it is because i'm still excited and still inspired. a writer is never -- they get better every year. producers should, too. but it is a chaotic situation. music keeps getting crazier and crazier. can you imagine? some point,t at they have found their gravity and kept it there. i'm trying to go as far as i can. charlie: you had a conversation ick, to imagine that he
would be playing to sellout crowds in cuba? it would have to be free. charlie: sellout crowds when you are 70. those records are copyright. they are bigger than life. i aspire to have one record like that. one record like the rolling stones song -- they were one of the first groups internationally. beasts of burden -- there are so many great records. i think there is something important about the band dynamic that kept growing. one person can't just do it. careers.ke 10 they always change. bowie created what we have in them modern society as
far as marketing yourself and creating yourself. charlie: what is your brand? diplo: i don't know. i need your help to figure that out. i'm still working on it. i'm not as much of a performer at someone like bowie or mick jagger. in trying to create new ideas. it is interesting. when i tell people i'm coming to cuba to see you, nobody said who's diplo. i may know all the people that know you. diplo: that's surprising. charlie: they said, wow. , i'm: these kids today wondering why they know me and how they know me. i'm blessed that i'm able to reach these people. even on my own and through the music independently. it is a blessing. it is a blessing every day to do what we do as crate of people
and make a living out of it. 100%. can't wait to do what i'm going to do this day. battered every other job. i'm lucky i'm good at making music. great piano player. that's the one trick i have. it's one of my tricks i am just able to push it different ways and influence things and, you know, a huge undertaking to create that justin bieber project and get everybody on my side to negotiate how we're going to make this sound and how we're going to make it move. if you can do that, it's a big step, getting people behind you. you have to coerce a lot of people even in music. you have to have a great team and great people to help you do
what you're doing. charlie: what is the documentary you're making? diplo: right now we're still developing this idea in cuba. you're going to speak with the director later. we're trying to capture a moment in time right before cuba is combg to make a huge change. we're seeing the way these kids are interacting and getting music now. it's a special time. i think once the information starts to flow here and the music starts to happen it's going to be super, super crazy. we're going to capture a time right now where this is changing for them. charlie: you know what's interesting, too, my impression is that people at the top of music, beyonce, say, they're at the top because they've been open to new ideas. diplo: yeah. charlie: in part. charlie: a good example. the modern version of that. and, and then looking for new ideas and the reason they're where they are is because they accepted new ideas. diplo: yes. charlie: people like that are reaching out to you saying --
diplo: it is a special time right now. on the radio, for instance, you have to have a revolutionary sound to kind of get people's attention. we've heard everything already. two, three, four five times. pop music is a lot different than it was five or 10 years ago. you have to have something electric. you know? not just the song writing but the way it sounds, the way it's presented. the way you're mixing things up. people are excited and very aware. people are culturally aware. they've heard a lot of music. the fans are out there and ready for something brand new. they're ready for something chaotic and exciting. these artists reaching out, new producers like me, reaching out to us because we're giving them something new, something exciting. charlie: how many people in electronic music are at the level you are? is it five of you? diplo: i mean, d.j. -- probably, yeah. five to 10 dejays doing really cool, cutting-edge stuff and able to make a living.
guys like calvin harris, great song writers. charlie: calvin harris makes more than beyonce does a year. diplo: yeah. crazy. small overhead when you're just a dejay. beyonce has an army. i forget what it's called. charlie: the bee hifes. you have to pay all those people. diplo: you do. ou know? you know, there's not a lot of overhead being a dejay. if you can do it, you should invest that money into other opportunities like creating a live show or investing in music or doing shows like here or i think that's important to keep pushing that brand. charlie: cuba is one part of it, do you think today is a moment for you? do you think in a sense you are in place, and cuba is a reflection of it, where you have to, you're at maximum
impact and you need to make sure that i'm throwing everything i have into it? diplo: yes. charlie: so that i can use that power to change, influence, shape, get better? diplo: i think we're writing a new language right now and coming to cuba, we're going to figure out what we do that's great. we're going to try and learn new things. the next guys that come, there are going to be new dejays after us. hopefully one step, the next guys can do it bigger and do a better job and hopefully we're also learning, too. everything we do is a learning curve. i want to make great shows, concerts, songs. we're here because our songs have reached the people here in cuba, which is what i'm the most excited about that we've actually gotten our music in cuba. people became fans. that's awesome. that's one of the most amazing things we could ask for. charlie: what's on your wish list? diplo: to go take a vacation. after this maybe.
charlie: yeah. but, i mean, you want to take electronic dance music to the far corners of the world? diplo: i think that's what's exciting about it when i first started, you know? get back to those roots where we're starting new scenes. i want to do more music. we want to do another album. we've started our fourth album. we've opened up sort of a language and style around the world and i want to keep pushing those ideas forward. i'm so happy. ♪
charlie: the resurgence of jazz music is being embraced by millennials and purists alike. the "new york times" writes with his popular political uncat gorizeable jazz the young saxaphonist has become something the genre rarely produces anymore, a celebrity. the epic is wild liam bishes, 172-minute debut album met with rave reviews from both main stream audiences and the jazz establishment. here he is with the next step playing "ray run" in our studio.
charlie: i'm pleased to have kamasi washington at this table for the first time. welcome. good to have you playing in the studio. even more impressive. kamasi: thank you. charlie: you said some interesting things. you said jazz is like a telescope and a lot of other music is like a microscope. kamasi: yeah. what i meant is that jazz has a very wide expanse of possibilities and sometimes you can kind of get lost in that. one thing i learned from playing the music was the importance of some of the subtleties that are more like a microscopic view of something. when i took that kind of approach and applied it to the wide expanse of jazz it kind of really opened me up and opened my possibilities. they've really become endless.
you to the saxaphone? kamasi: yeah. music in general. he started me playing music when i was 3 years old. it's been my whole life. charlie: was he a musician? kamasi: yes. saxaphonist. charlie: how that is to have your father there? kamasi: it's beautiful. i grew up always wondering and used to always wish other people could hear him, you know, not just him but him and his friends and that whole sound of l.a. that was coming up, was around when i was coming up. charlie: you say the beauty of music is in the search. kamasi: yeah. absolutely. music is never ending. you know, it's basically, you know, when you're trying to create music you're trying to kind of recreate yourself in that when you create music you kind of look at yourself and you end up advancing yourself in a way. charlie: you have described writing a song as going into a dark room to look for an unexpected treasure. kamasi: yeah. because music, people don't
realize as a musician we take the credit. it comes from somewhere else. and so what -- charlie: where does it come from? kamasi: i don't know where it comes from but i know it's almost like there are melodies and sounds and there are ideas that are floating around as a musician when i go to write music i have to get myself in a certain head space and it is like being in a dark room that you're very familiar with the more you try to write music and you start to learn where certain gems are but you're always looking for that gem you've never found before. so it's like you're searching around. oh, i've been here before. i've never been over here. wow. what is this thing? then it comes to you and you take this little thing and you turn it into something that you can share with other people. charlie: where was jazz in the music market place today? kamasi: well, i think jazz has been trapped in a poor image. i think that it's been trapped in this image of something that is an historic relic or
-- thing that is made for to serve a purpose, some other purpose other than to just enjoy. i think it's music that's the reverse. it's such an expressive music and when you hear jazz, you really hear a commune of people who are expressing themselves together. and i think that freedom, once you get into it, that's why you rarely find someone saying oh, i used to be into jazz but not anymore. it's like once you get it, it stays with you. charlie: modern jazz is right here in new york. kamasi: oh, yeah. new york has been the mecca of jazz since -- charlie: in the 1940's. kamasi: yeah. but there's always been music from other places that fed new york. new york is like the place where everyone kind of comes and brings the music from their region and brings it to new york and lets, you know, the rest of the world hear it. but it's always been, you know,
you had the crusaders coming from texas. you had the sound from new orleans. you had cool jazz in l.a. so had, you know, there was many things happening from so many different places. but new york is the place where we all kind of commune and show what we do. charlie: how close are you to kendrick lamar? kamasi: i met kendrick recently. i had known kendrick's music for a very long time from a very close friend, terrence martin, who had been working with kendrick. he introduced me to his music in 2008. and he told me back then that kendrick was going to be the john coltrain of hip hop. charlie: amazing. kamasi: yeah. because kendrick is such a pure artist. that's what they have him in connection -- john coltrain's music is so pure, so untainted with the world. it's like really from a
different place. kendrick is, too. he does stuff like go on tv and play the song and only play it that one time. you know, he's a real, true artist. charlie: he was magnificent at the grammys. kamasi: unbelievable. one of the most amazing performances i've ever seen. charlie: you call kendrick's album this generation's thriller. it was a big album. kamasi: yeah. it was a big album and a changing album. i think that, you know, the idea of the ultimate performer was what michael jackson kind of brings to music. i think what kendrick is doing, e's bringing the -- he's bringing, like, the expression of experience to music again. music had become michael jackson's influence had taken it to the place where it was so much about entertainment.
and that's beautiful. i love being entertained. but what kendrick is doing is he is bringing the entertainment along with a message, and that's kind of -- he's taking it to another level. charlie: the interesting thing about your band is you've known most of them since you were very, very young. kamasi: yeah. the first person i met in my band was ronald bruener. i was 3 years old and he came to my third birthday party. back then i was a drummer. i got a drum set for my third birthday party. we had a big drum battle that supposedly, i don't know who won. charlie: you grew up in englewood. kamasi: i grew up in south l.a. i moved to englewood when i was about 8 years old. i always lived in south central los angeles. charlie: was it that time you were sort of surrounded by the gang culture in inglewood as we think about in compton? kamasi: there was definitely a gang culture, gangs, drugs,
there was a lot of things. there was also a lot of culture. the cultural life as far as jazz, poetry, if you didn't fall into that pressure of the negative, there was this light at the end of the tunnel that you could go toward. charlie: you named your band the next step. kamasi: yeah. charlie: why did you do that? kamasi: well, as a musician it's a gift and a curse to kind of be talented because what happens is when you're young you get plucked away and you get pulled and my friends and i grew up in high school really dreaming to do what we're doing now which is playing each other's music. but right out of high school, you know, we were all pretty talented and a lot of the stars in music at that time, people like smooth, shakakahn -- charlie: out of all of them who influenced you? kamasi: they all influenced me different ways. you know, i learned different things at different times from different people. charlie: yeah. kamasi: it was kind of like it
was very -- it seemed very destined in a way. charlie: this is the epic new album. kamasi: yeah. charlie: hour long is it? kamasi: it's 172 minutes. [laughter] charlie: almost three hours. kamasi: yeah, yeah. it was an adventure. and all the guys i'm playing with, they recorded albums as well. we spent a whole lonth just recording on each other. charlie: volume one is the plan. volume two is the glorious tale. volume three is an historic repetition. kamasi: yeah. those are all different time periods of my life. the plan represents a time period right out of high school for me when i was -- i thought i was going to come out of high school and be a jazz musician and just start playing jazz clubs and tours in jazz but that's not what happened. i ended up going on the road with snoop and that's where the glorious tale comes in. and that, you know, life doesn't always go the way you want it but if you look at it
from a right perspective it is what you may have needed. you know? and then the repetition is not kind of falling into the traps they may have fallen in when they were my age. charlie: you say the band is the triple trio. kamasi: yeah. because it is two rhythm sections and a horn section basically. charlie: it's great as i said to have you here and see the band and to hear from you and take a look at this album. kamasi: thank you. charlie: thank you for joining us. see you next time. ♪ ♪
>> with all due respect to jimmy stewart there's a new kid in this town. mr. trump goes to washington. >> mr. trump goes to washington. >> mr. trump goes to washington. >> mr. trump goes to washington. >> mr. trump goes to washington. >> mr. trump goes to washington. >> good morning to you both. mr. trump as you mentioned goes to washington. >> greetings from the bloomberg washington bureau. just down the road from here white house hopefuls of both parties are addressing the annual conference of the powerful pro israel lobbying group. all three republican candidates