Let's Talk: Scott Diaz

Scott Diaz is a hotly tipped talent who had been a stalwart of the UK’s house scene before relocating to America. He has also collaborated with people like Matt Jam Lamont and Low Steppa.

His music can be found on labels such as Defected, Nervous, Armada Deep and Simma Black, and he also runs a label called Grand Plans. Diaz is soon to drop a new EP on the imprint, so we caught up with him for this months Let’s Talk to chat about the release, along with his ethos and music in general.

Hey Scott! Welcome to Inflyte, how are things at the minute? Enjoying the last bit of summer before the dark, cold nights come in?

Hey, thanks for having me! I’m currently in the U.S with my wife, so yeah, enjoying the pool and the last bit of the summer. Enjoying ‘Life On The Outside’, you could say lol.

Let’s talk about your new EP, Life On The Outside, is there a bigger story behind the title or was it completely creative?

It wasn’t about me getting released from prison if that’s what you’re getting at lol. It’s about feeling like an outsider. I’ve moved around a lot in the last seven years, both personally and musically. I don’t feel settled or particularly secure, other than in my marriage. I worry about the future a lot, and I guess that’s the existential crisis of the self-employed creator. I don’t really know where I ‘fit in’.

I’ve made quite a broad range of music and if I’m honest I’ve never felt especially embraced by a particular scene or label. I struggle with a lot of the surface level stuff, and know that people like what I do, but I still feel like I’m on the outside, with much work still to do. Maybe I’ll always feel like that, but I guess this is my way of expressing it.

And it has 7 tracks, why not two, even three releases? Or go the other way and make it an album?

The boring but honest answer here is that I wanted to put out a release with enough tracks on it to push down a compilation that appears right at the top of my artist page on Spotify. Not that it means I compromised on the quality because I won’t do that with Grand Plans, but seven tracks was that magic number I needed.

Nothing against the compilation in question, however I mixed it 6 years ago, and most of the music on it isn’t mine, but Spotify regards it as ‘my album’ so puts it right at the top as the first thing listeners see. Plus I hadn’t put out something on Grand Plans for a while, so it seemed to make sense to make it as strong as I could, and set it up as a larger release.

It comes out on your own label, Grand Plans, why did you start your own label? And why did Life On The Outside land here?

I just wanted some autonomy and freedom to release things at my own pace, and do EP’s that have a narrative to communicate or convey how I feel. It also means I don’t have to risk putting up with shit*y label artwork or lack of actual marketing and promo. I’d rather put out two EP’s a year, but actually invest in them, and do it properly to make sure that the music lasts. Legacy is important to me, but the world doesn’t need more music or labels, it needs better music and labels!

You’ve previously released with Defected and Simma Black etc., what label are you busting to release with that hasn’t quite came to be?

Oh wow, there are loads of labels that I really admire – Freerange, Toy Tonics, Needwant, PIV, Better Listen, Madhouse, Robsoul and others. Defected is right at the top of that tree, though.

What does the near future look like for Scott Diaz? Any big releases or gigs in the pipeline that has you feeling good?

I’ve got three parties in Brazil being confirmed for December at the moment, and I’ve never been there before, so that should be a great experience. I just returned from South Africa a couple of weeks back, and in September/October I’ve got gigs in London and Birmingham. I’ll also be heading out to ADE before going back to the U.S in mid-November.

Before we go, tell us one track that instantly puts you in a good mood?

Well, I guess if I was in pure promo mode I would say ‘Happiness Is The Truth’, the lead track from the EP, but other than that, one of my feel-good favourites is Mark Ronson and The Business International – Bang Bang Bang, which is a ridiculously good record.

Scott Diaz – Life On The Outside is out soon on his Grand Plans label.