Diplo has given fresh insights on his new country album, Diplo Presents Thomas Wesley: Snake Oil Chapter 1. 

In an interview with Rolling StoneDiplo — whose real name Thomas Wesley Pentz features in the album’s title — was frank about his intentions with the new direction. “I’m not trying to make meme country, you know?” he says, trying to convince us otherwise. “The songs are great. If you take everything off, the production of it, they’re just great songs you could sing with an acoustic guitar.”

Unbelievably, Snake Oil Chapter 1 is Diplo’s first solo album in 16 years. Released in May, you’d be forgiven for thinking this is all a stunt based on the success of Lil Nas X’s hit ‘Old Town Road’. But Diplo insists it isn’t, revealing that he worked with anyone willing to help him bring the record to life. “Whoever wanted to work with me, I would do it. There wasn’t a lot of people,” he says. We can believe that!

Elsewhere in the interview, Diplo says he’s already working on Snake Oil Chapter 2. He also reveals that he’s been working with Leon Bridges, and plans to have the album out before 2021 (though he’ll need to be mindful of jacking off). “I’ve already started writing some ideas,” he says regarding Chapter 2. “This album is a kind of a collection of pop stuff I wrote that I made more country. But as I got more into it, I was starting to listen to more Leon Bridges and working with him, and I really love ‘July’ by Noah Cyrus and some of these folky records. I’m gonna try and get it out before the year’s over.”

This week, Diplo has been supporting the racial justice protests across the US. Yesterday, he joined thousands of surfers in Encinitas to remember George Floyd and “thousands of other black victims of police brutality.”

Check out ‘Dance With Me (ft. Thomas Rett & Young Thug)’ by Diplo: