Of course Paper Diamond would have a few things to say about Colorado’s legalization of marijuana. “I think it’s great,” says Diamond, on the phone from Los Angeles. “I think the rest of the country should follow suit.”
After all, the Kansas City-born music maker (real name: Alexander Botwin) has made Boulder his home for the past six years. Not to mention he also creates the sort of electronic dance music that some people may feel is essential for bong-ripping. (And his illustrated logo includes him blowing out weed smoke, courtesy of a joint in his hand.)
“I’m totally pro,” he continues. “I think Colorado did a great job of initiating taxation from the jump, of being completely organized. So, I think that they have done a great job of getting things going, moving in the proper direction – as far as that topic is concerned.”
As “pro” as he may be, the man appears to be on tour all the time, which means he probably hasn’t partaken in the state’s newest cash crop as of late. He’s also just taken up residence in LA, working on projects with other artists.
Formerly the bass player for Memphis livetronica group The Pnuma Trio, Diamond has made being a live DJ his full-time gig. Name any major music festival – Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza – and Diamond recently did a set there. He’s currently headlining the Cold Crush Tour, which will have him playing five shows a week for seven weeks. The tour will be making a stop at Carrboro’s Cat’s Cradle on Tuesday.
To give audiences an idea of what to expect from him, Diamond has assembled a “2014 Tour Mix” over on his Soundcloud page, among the various EPs and mixtapes he has recorded over the years. Heavily dubstepped-on, the mix has him mashing up tunes from MCs like Wiz Khalifa and Chief Keef, as well as dance remixes of songs from the likes of Janet Jackson and Miguel. He even throws in a composition he did with producer/DJ duo Christian Rich and vocalist Angela McCluskey.
Diamond says the mix lets listeners know of his versatility as a DJ and a live performer.
“I’m a multi-genre artist,” he says. “I make electronic music, but I also write rap music and hip-hop and indie stuff and all kinds of different music. For the live show, I generally like to keep people super-hype. But since it’s my first headlining tour in quite some time, I want to take people on a journey, musically, and have peaks and valleys and have it be an experience when they come to see me play.”
So, whether you show up at his performance blunted or not, Paper Diamond is definitely going to take you on a trip.