My favorite person to travel with is Diplo. He truly does it in what I would consider being the best way to travel. The least time spent in transit, virtual no time spent in hotel rooms sleeping, paired with his authentic interest in culture and people. Everywhere he (we) go – he just wants to see what people from the area do, and how they live and experience it.
I try my best to only tell my stories of being with an artist, and not to tell their stories. Sometimes it is hard with Wes because when I am with him – I do almost everything he does. But here goes.
When I would travel with bands I would lay it all out one at a time. Our schedule would either be a show day, or a travel day. So one date, one day. With Diplo and/or Major Lazer – it is often two cities, three shows, and travel at night or in the morning. It’s a hectic life. I respect the hell out of the people that throw it together and work as hard as they do. I only go out with him for a little bit a time, but it is some of the most fun I have ever had in my life.
I feel that some people think he is the best to travel with because he is the most wealthy, or the most successful, or most famous, etc. Honestly, that just isn’t it. Sure some things would take more time or be more difficult if he didn’t earn as much money as he does – like private jets, or really nice hotels. But the time we spend on those things is so small, they just enable him to have more time on the ground.
I have traveled with him in ways most of the artists I have met or work with – just won’t. He goes to most places without security and walks around the streets of wherever we are on his own. He schedules his own activities and finds what he wants to do in the cities we go to, and then we do it. We do not have free time.
Anyway here are a selection of my favorite images. I don’t really release as many as I usually do with Diplo, because – well they just aren’t all mine to release. I have a few here, but we do a lot more than pictured. I’ll try my best to explain it as I go through here. For more in-depth stories check out my video below.
Atlanta/ Super Bowl Parties
We went out for dinner that night with some NFL players and a younger musician he was meeting with. I enjoyed how he acts as the almighty equalizer. If Wes says someone should be at the table, they are treated with respect. Everyone is meeting up with him because they respect him, and they respect the people he respects.
I have never really felt like I was working for him, more so – with him. It’s a nice vibe. He always introduces me with excitement and tells people my work is great. Some artists with not even refer to you by name, and I do not enjoy that vibe as much.
We went to a bunch of different parties and events for the whole day and night. My days often ended at 5:00 or 6:00 am – usually just in time to eat breakfast at the hotel haha. Then after that, I had to be up around 10:00 am for whatever was ahead of us. One day we did Yoga, it was so wonderful. I love the health vibes.
Rome for BVLGARI event
Rome is so beautiful. I had been here once before, ten years almost with A Day To Remember. I had a night off when I arrived, as Diplo wasn’t getting there until the next day. Once he arrives I just live his life. It is not a bad thing, that is just all there is to it. The hardest part for me is to know what gear/ how much of it I can bring with me. Some events I just simply can’t have a big bag. That is why I started using the Think Tank Urban Approach 15. Slim, looks nicer and doesn’t look so camera baggy. You can check out my gear pack here.
We got dinner, then went shopping, then went to a party.
The next morning we did a quick shoot at The Vatican before taking a jet to London. I had never really traveled like this in another country before.
London for Brit Awards
London was beautiful. I just remembered – I was incredibly sick. I don’t really take many meds but every moment I had alone I would spend trying to make myself feel the best I could for when I had to work. While Diplo was at the award show I got dinner with my friend Josiah Van Dien.
We took a train from London to Paris, it goes under the water. What a fun way to travel. We went straight from the station to the Louvre. I feel like Wes’s humor really shows through at random times. These are those times.
That night we went out to eat for a business meeting they had. We were close to a very loud table, it ended up being Lizzo, she joined us for the club show that night. She dances really well.
New Orleans/ New York/ Vegas
This trip kind of all blurs together. It was two days, three cities.
Carnival Festival in Brazil
Last year I went to the same festival with Diplo. It was one of my most favorite trips I have ever done in my whole life. I think this year tops it. I can’t stress enough – I just love the way I am able to live when I am with him. We stayed at a house in Salvador for most of our time there. It was massive. We had a whole team of people to cook and take care of us while we were there. Basically having everything in house makes it so every meal isn’t a mission of going somewhere, eating, coming home, etc.
The first night we were in town, Diplo wasn’t there. We were set to perform carnival the night on a float. These are massive floats, I’ll show you exactly what I’m talking about in a bit. But we went before he goes there. Our group was small – it was just a few of us. I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. We had a lady with us who is quite popular in Brazil. Her name is Bruna Marquezine.
I soon came to realize this because we had about ten security guards with us, which is about ten more than we usually have. But, it is Brazil – and crime happens. Wherever we walked, we were surrounded by people. Only able to move a few inches at a time. These security guards took all of our valuables, held onto them – and walked in a flying V shape around is, moving people out of the way. This is the only photo I took as I wasn’t allowed to have my camera or phone once we got into the crowds of people.
This is what the front of the float looked like
This is the back of the float
This is the full view
This is Eli and I dancing with on the float. Bruna and Marina are the true pros.
As you can see it is a lot of people. Diplo arrived the next day. Our days consisted of many things. Pool, boat, random shows, flights. It was a lot, we bounced around to a few different cities. I went to bed at sunrise every night and had to be up a few hours later each day.
This is the hike. We walked most of the way. Haha.
Miami for Miami Music Week
Miami was fun. We were mostly in clubs, where I got a bunch of images that get my job done – but they don’t actually fulfill me artistically. These are my favorite ones I took over the few days we were in Miami.
San Diego Surfing
Diplo had a random show in San Diego, which is where I was living at the time. I don’t surf, but I take photos of people surfing.