Boulder’s own Alex B — now operating under the name Paper Diamond — has had a big week of releases on a national stage.
Wavesight, his first EP since signing with Diplo’s Mad Decent label dropped on May 3, and on Wednesday, his video for “Turn The Lights Off” made its exclusive debut on MTV. The song and the accompanying video feature singer Nasimiyu, both sounding and looking fantastic. The move to Mad Decent and the release are big steps forward for the Colorado producer.
“It’s been a crazy few days,” he said. “It’s crazy, I mean, if you go to MTV.com right now it’s listed as the number one hot video, with Justin Bieber and Rihanna. It’s just like, ‘What is going on right now?’ And it’s been really awesome working with [Mad Decent], people that are super driven.”
It might look and feel like an overnight success, but Paper Diamond has been working almost non-stop. He takes advantage of his tour schedule to work with other musicians and producers all over the country, and as a result, he’s almost constantly making new music.
“Basically I’ve been making so many different tracks and I finally finalized a few [for the EP],” he said. “I’ve been working since I put out Levitate — I’ve been recording every single day and making songs every single day, so I have countless tracks. I’ve been going to all these studios while I’m on tour, and writing with these singers and MCs, and seeing what they’ve been vibing on.”
The three-track EP finds Paper Diamond hitting a little harder with his beats, though it’s still very much within his style of blending hip-hop-style beats with vaguely dubstep-sounding electronics. When it came time to make the video for “Turn The Lights Off,” he already had visuals running through his head from the recording sessions.
“I had the beat and I wrote lyrics and we were in the studio recording it. When I listened to the song with the lyrics on it I had images up in my head about what I wanted to see,” he said. “Sometimes music hits me like that, where it turns into pictures and scenes. It came to me naturally, like, per second what I wanted to see. We tried to adhere to that while still leaving some creative freedom while filming.”
The video was shot in New Orleans, against the bright backdrop of a Southern-style house, and then in and on top of a “really sweet car.” Nasimiyu is the star, but Paper Diamond does make an appearance near the end, in his signature glasses and flat-brimmed hat.
“It’s amazing to be doing something creative and have people be into it,” he said.
Even in the wake of the big-time releases, Paper Diamond is slowing down anytime soon. He’s got more tracks he’s itching to release, even more currently in the works, and new videos on the horizon. He’ll be busy on the festival circuit this summer, too, with stops at The Hangout Festival, Electric Forest, Lollapalooza, Electric Zoo and Counterpoint Festival, among others.
You can listen to Wavesight and watch the “Turn The Lights Off” video at paper-diamond.com.