Interview with Shaquille O’Neal: ‘Croatia is special’
- by croatiaweek
- in Entertainment
Famous former basketball player Shaquille O’Neal will perform as DJ Diesel at the new Diamond Club near Malinska on the Croatian island of Krk on July 14.
Shaq, who has been in Croatia before, is with his son Myles, who will also perform as a DJ on the night.
We know you as an excellent athlete, but also now as an entertainer. Did you enjoy your sports or music career more? Do these passions have points of contact?
Thank you, thank you… there is a huge overlap between sports, music and entertainment. Growing up with a basketball in my hand allowed me to become a great player, but it wasn’t easy to become a successful DJ.
It took months of preparation, research and dedication after I finished my basketball career to achieve what I have today. I can’t say that I enjoy one form of entertainment over another, but I can definitely say that I love entertainment.
I like to put a smile on people’s faces, I like to interact with people and create a moment that someone will remember for a lifetime. I try to achieve all that in my DJ set.
You started playing music in the 80s. What were the beginnings like? How did you get into that world?
I am the only athlete who has a platinum album. It is a special achievement for me and all professional athletes around the world who are involved in music.
The 80s and 90s were a special time. I was so determined to become the best basketball player even though I had unwavering dreams of becoming a rapper – and honestly a DJ.
I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the biggest names in rap who have helped shape me into the artist I am today. Guys like Def Jef, Phife, Warren G, III Al Skratch and many more. All these guys were a great inspiration in the beginning, and now they are collaborators. It’s really something special.
You published albums for your basketball career. Was it challenging to train and play music at the same time?
You need to find a balance in life in order to manage your time well and achieve as much as possible. Of course, it was difficult to find free time, but it was a guarantee for success. I am blessed to have turned everything into the career I have today.
Some kind of turning point was going to the Tomorrowland festival. What excited you so much there that you decided to become a DJ?
I’ve always thought you’re a successful DJ if you perform at Tomorrowland. Going to the festival with that mindset allowed me to see the opportunity and take all the time I needed to perfect an amazing performance.
Once I managed to do that, the audience showed a high level of energy which drew more and more extra energy out of me.
You made a very nice gesture by inviting musicians to send you their music to play. What is the response like?
Unbelievable… in my promo box there are more than 1000 unreleased works of various producers. I’ve put together a small team of people who go through my inbox and help me choose songs for a DJ set.
The experience of music is subjective – just because I like it doesn’t mean someone else will. That’s why a team is needed to check and balance everything. The whole scene registers when I play another artist’s music. So I love it when producers send me music.
In interviews, you know how to point out that you don’t give your children money because you want to teach them the importance of work. But you often help complete strangers. Where did such attitude towards money come from?
I’m blessed to have a great big family and it wouldn’t be right for me to use my personal success in a frivolous way. I want to teach my children morals, ethics, determination, passion and everything else a parent wants a child to have.
I can’t give them everything I own and expect them to treat everything like me. When I see a failing family, I remember my childhood. We needed help and every day I would wake up and hope that someone would do it. That’s why I wake up today with the same thought – only this time it’s about giving.
What kind of music intrigues you right now? What do you listen to at home while relaxing?
I’m a bass DJ through and through. I get excited by hard bass, dubstep, trap, experimental music and everything in between. It’s the energy that I personally want and need, so I listen to it on the plane, in the car, at the gym and everywhere else. I know you might not find dubstep relaxing, but to each their own.
You have already played on the Croatian coast. What do you remember about your stay here?
Honestly, it was fantastic and a lot of fun. Croatia was special. I haven’t been to Krk, but that’s why this performance is even more exciting. I’m excited for my Diamond debut.
What performance can we expect in Diamond? What are you preparing for us?
Diesel is coming to Diamond! Expect lots of bass music, some classics, hits and everything in between. The only way to know what awaits you is to be there.
Tickets are available HERE.
More information can be found also on the club website diamondclub.hr and on social media.