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HomeLifestyleShaquille O'Neal Releases Heavy-Hitter ‘Backbreaker’ As DJ Diesel

Shaquille O’Neal Releases Heavy-Hitter ‘Backbreaker’ As DJ Diesel

Shaquille O’Neal, also known as Shaq, is a man that many don’t need an introduction to as he is considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time. However, he doesn’t stop there as the icon expands his abilities into bass music as DJ Diesel. Today, February 16, O’Neal and Freaky release their bass-heavy single, “BACKBREAKER.” 

The track delivers skull-shattering and relentless walls of bass worthy of destroying dubstep music fans on the dance floor. According to Freaky, formally known as Alex Fricke, the two dubstep creatives met at Lost Lands, thus sparking the idea to collaborate on the anthemic record that fuses O’Neal’s “heavy, aggressive and in your face” sound while also featuring references to basketball and electronic music in the vocal theme. Fricke sent O’Neal a work in progress, causing the legendary basketball player to say, “Oh my god. I need to be a part of this.” 

O’Neal’s love for dance music began at the age of 14, with him even cutting his neighbors’ grass, walking dogs and scraping together any cash that he could until he saved up $200 to buy his first set of turntables at a local pawn shop. He says he first experienced dance culture in 2015 when he attended TomorrowWorld in Georgia. “Being at TomorrowWorld brought me back to Game 7 energy,” he says. “The co2, the crowd of hundreds of thousands of happy people, the energy. It’s too similar.” 

The Big Diesel’s passion for the community has grown since, so much so that his mission for it is to “make it a better place than the way it was before [he] entered it.” The artist does so by accepting thousands of submissions to his promo email. “It took years to get promoters to look at me seriously and not just as a celebrity DJ. This promo email is an opportunity for all producers to get their music in front of me,” he says. “I like good music. You do not need a platform. Just send me music, and if I like it, I will play it.” 

The artist has even taken it one step further with his carnival-themed festival dubbed Shaq’s Fun House, which recently featured iconic artists Lil Wayne, Zedd, Diplo, DJ Diesel himself and more. “I created Shaq’s Fun House because there was a need to create an event that welcomed everyone and was truly fun during the Super Bowl weekend,” he adds. “So much of the weekend involves networking, cocktail hours and business casual culture, which is why I created an event that is part carnival, part circus and part music festival.”  

For both O’Neal and Fricke, Skrillex and Excision are among their top inspirations, along with Skrillex’s legendary track “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” being the song that made them fall in love with dance music. In addition, O’Neal says the piece of advice he would give himself when first starting to make dance music is, “Surround yourself with the right people. It’s not about who you know but who the right people are around you to elevate you and make you better.”

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