There are some artists who are destined for the lime-light. Even their names offer some insight to their future and Carnage is no exception. Born Diamante (which means “Diamond” in Spanish) Blackmon, the big “black man” from Guatemala was like a rare diamond in the rough who moved to Maryland at six years old to live with his mother. She encouraged him to start producing beats and dance tracks since he was in high school in his hometown of Frederick. Hollywood and hip clubs that played electronic music were nothing but a distant dream though, so he became a self proclaimed “computer nerd” and was making beats with his rap friends after school. It took him five long ass years to perfect his producing game, but eventually he nailed it.
Carnage also learned early on that he could make a living out of being a super-star DJ through his friendship with Niles from The Cataracs who stumbled upon his music through Myspace. He later realized he would have to leave his country home “which smelled like manure,” he says to move to LA and make that dream a reality. Eight months after his move to the City of Angels, his “Festival Trap” remix of Hardwell's “Spaceman” went viral and now he's headlining his own tour all over the world and playing major festivals like Ultra in Miami and EDC. Carnage's “I'm Fucking Pumped Tour” rolls through the Yost Theater tonight as part of White Rabbit's Havoc Thursday so we caught up with the Chipotle loving guy to chat about playing in Europe and his bromance with Borgore.
“When I learned I could do something that I love and make money off it I started taking it seriously,” Blackmon says. “I saw Niles [from The Cataracs] come from the bottom and get to where he is and it motivated me to get my money.” But money didn't come easily and for the first eight months of Carnage's move to LA he “wasn't doing shit” he says. Thanks to the power of the Internet however, his “Festival Trap” remix exceeded 100 thousand plays on Soundcloud and people started to take notice. He worked with Theophilus London and ASAP Rocky in 2012 on the single “Big Spender” and co-produced The Cataracts' “All You” which featured Waka Flocka Flame and Kaskade. Yet it was the internet hype over trap music at the moment that got him a heavy following.
“I did trap for fun but I want my main focus to be on making big dance records. My real passion is house music,” he says after his fans were upset that his latest singles including “Incredible” with Borgore aren't really trap. “I'm gonna keep it real to me and my closest friends. That's the people that will ride with you to the end and a lot of my friends accepted it,” says Diamante. Those close friends include Borgore, Krewella, Adventure Club and the rest of the dubstep/electro community who have decided to take up residency in LA. Besides dinners and club hopping with his now famous friends Carnage says he's developed some true friendships. “Borgore helped me a lot and he trusted me which was hella weird,” Blackmon says. “We feed off each other and help each other's careers.” Can we say bromance?
We talked to him right after his trip to Europe the electronic music mecca. Kids there (particularly in Holland) are used to everything from trap to house music and they just want to hear the next big thing. "In America kids go crazy for the littlest thing, but in Amsterdam you have to be like Jesus or something,” says Diamante. Even though he was playing with his buddies12th Planet, Jackbeats and Congorock he says he got depressed a bit. "Those mother fuckers don't move they just groove and kick it,” he adds. Part of the reason why European DJs love coming to the states is because dance music is still so new to a lot of them. "I'm grateful to come here in America to do a bunch of sold out shows with 1,000+ people where everyone is going crazy and u feel like a super star,” adds Blackmon.
Whether he realizes it or not Carnage is quickly climbing the ranks to super stardom playing with a medley of genres including trap, hip hop, dubstep, electro and big room house music which can please everyone. He hopes to be making "records that are going to be on every girls iPod from middle school to high school and then work on albums with Cher, Lady Gaga, Kanye and Prince because they dress awesome!” Right now he is settling for slew of sold out shows and festivals where everyone knows the lyrics to his songs and girls dress up in Chipotle gang booty shorts for him. "In the end I'm a people DJ and if people want to hear trap I'll play trap. If they want to hear house I'll play house,” he says. "The DJ is meant to make people dance and feed off the energy.” Which is exactly what you can expect from his show tonight at the Yost Theater in Santa Ana.