Following his set at Home Bass during EDC Orlando weekend, we interviewed Happy Colors about Latin Trap, FIFA 22, and how he met Diplo.
Fans of trap music and reggaetón will likely recognize the name Happy Colors. After being discovered by Diplo in 2014, Happy Colors released official remixes for “Roll The Bass” by Major Lazer and “Mind” by Jack U and recorded two Diplo & Friends mixes. He has continuously found support in the EDM scene since, recently being featured on “Cuando” with Dillon Francis and “Pasiando” with Sak Noel.
Influenced by everything from Latin Trap and EDM to traditional Dominican styles like merengue, Happy Colors has successfully created his own style of electronic music. He is also a force in the Latin American scene, often collaborating with popular artists and releasing reggaetón and hip-hop influenced music.
DJ Happy Colors has always been one of my favorite artists when it comes to SoundCloud-era EDM trap. With classic tracks like “Melaza” with Hasse de Moor and “Tripia” with JSTJR, I finally got the chance to see him live at Home Bass during EDC Orlando 2021 weekend. After the set, we talked about his Grammy nomination, his upcoming EP, and meeting Diplo in a parking lot when he was 17.
We’re sitting here in Orlando after your pool party set at Home Bass during EDC weekend. How’s this experience been so far?
Man, it’s been fun. I saw Tiesto yesterday for the first time ever in my life…he’s a huge inspiration of mine. EDC is always a good experience. I played EDC Mexico in 2019, and EDC Orlando at the Corona Beach Stage a few years ago.
2021 has been a great year for live music. Have you played a lot of shows this year?
I’m actually just now getting back to playing shows. I was in Mexico last week and did two sold out shows there. Mexico always supports me a lot. I’m trying to do more shows in the States too.
This is really the first EDM show for me in a while. I’ve been playing shows in Miami, but that’s more reggaetón and hip-hop.
Let’s talk about your most recent track, “Uno2Tres”, released earlier this year.
You know what’s crazy about that song? We made it like 4 or 5 years ago, and we had to take it down because they wanted it for FIFA. We re-released it again this year. And it worked out perfectly. When we first dropped it, no one really paid attention. But it was such a good song. Now people are actually listening since it’s in FIFA 22!
How does it feel to have your music included in such a massive video game like that? Is it kinda surreal?
It’s a dream come true. I actually was on FIFA 19 as well. In 2019, I made a song exclusively for them: “Pa’lante” with Lao Ra.
I really like how you keep some OG trap influences in your music. Looking back to 2014, how did Diplo first discover you?
Me and Diplo got stories bro… When I was 17, I stood outside of a festival that Diplo was playing in Fort Lauderdale. I waited outside of the gate he was leaving from with a hard drive full of my music.
I remember he was coming out with a bunch of security guards. I was like, “Yo! I’m that dude from Twitter!” He took the hard drive, and one hour later, he emailed me and was like…I like your shit.
I’ve actually never told that story before. No one knows, but that’s how Diplo heard my music for the first time.
In 2016, you were nominated for a Latin Grammy Award for “Cumbia Anthem”. When you were first getting started making music in 2010, did you ever in your wildest dreams think you’d get that far?
I thought that was impossible. I mean, that’s one of the biggest things you can do in music. I wasn’t expecting it so quickly either. I had only been making music for 4 years. And it was for a song that I really love. It’s basically a mix of EDM and cumbia.
I was looking at who else was nominated that year. Yandel, Alexis & Fido, and Anitta.
I mean…that’s why I knew I wasn’t gonna win! My name was next to a guy that I grew up listening to. But for me, just to be nominated was amazing. I went to the Grammys in Las Vegas and everything.
After they announced my category, we left right away and went back to the hotel. I played a set at XS that night. Dillon Francis and Diplo showed up and we all went b2b.
You recently collabed with Dillon Francis on “Cuando” in 2018. What was it like to work with him?
Dillon actually flew me out to Mexico when he was working on his Spanish album, Wut Wut. We produced for a bit, but I’m actually only rapping on “Cuando”. He was such an amazing producer that I didn’t even wanna take out my computer!
I was reading some of your other interviews this morning, and I really like how you said “when I listen to my own music, I feel like I’m listening to a story”. What’s some advice you have for up and coming producers out there?
Just be yourself. I only make music when I feel something. I don’t put the pressure on myself to drop a song every month. When we start, we all want to be a big artist and be on stage…but you really have to love this shit.
Over time, you realize it can all bring a lot of crazy to your head. You gotta make your art because you love it, not because you have to do it.
What’s next for DJ Happy Colors? Any plans for new music or future tour dates?
I’m actually dropping a new EP soon. I’ve worked on it for a few years, including during the pandemic. I’m so excited for people to hear it. I haven’t dropped music like this in a long time. Lately, I’ve been producing with a lot of other artists, and even for some movies too. But this is real Happy Colors music.
Do you have a release date?
I’m going to Miami tomorrow to film the music video for the first single. We’re still working with the label and doing stuff behind the scenes, so no release date yet.
Before we go, is there anything else you’d like to share with your supporters?
Love yourself and be yourself… and f— everything else!