Submitted photo

By Jordan Houston | December 23, 2021

Platinum-selling artist, producer, songwriter and DJ Dillon Francis has made waves since dropping out of Santa Monica College — including with the recent release of his jovial happy-house third studio album.

In celebration of his 34th birthday, the Los Angeles-based musician recently launched “Happy Machine,” an infectious and bubbly house album boasting a grip of new material. The eight-track piece features previously released songs “Unconditional,” with 220 KID and Bryn Christopher; “Love Me Better,” which recently reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Dance/Mix Show Airplay Chart with Shift K3Y and Marc E. Bassy; and “Reaching Out,” featuring Bow Anderson.

“Happy Machine” seeks to celebrate life, family and friends, while signifying the joyous journey in returning to a post-pandemic era, Francis shares.

“I feel like the reason I named it is so self-explanatory,” Francis says. “I feel like you would have an inkling that it must be a very happy album to listen to — so, be prepared for hooking yourself up with a serotonin IV drip while listening to this.”

The Mad Decent-released album, which exudes optimism and bright beats, is also the 34-year-old’s most collaborative work of art. It highlights contributions from globally recognized songwriters who have worked with the likes of Selena Gomez and Shawn Mendes, including Jenna Andrews, MNEK, Teddy Geiger and Sarah Aarons.

Despite its title, Francis says he was the opposite of “happy” when he created the album during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“I was really going through it. I had been Pelotoning a lot, and my favorite instructors happened to all be from the U.K.,” he explains, noting his favorite instructor frequently played “euphoric” piano house music.

“I started listening to a lot more music in that genre and it was making me so happy, especially for what we were all going through,” he continues. “Through that, I kept diving into piano house and said, ‘You know what, this is what I want to make right now.’”

Since 2011, Francis has built a reputation for himself a champion of the moombahton electronic genre, as well as embracing trap and dance-pop. With numerous chart-hitting records and Grammy nominations under his belt, Francis’ resume includes the No. 1 Dance Radio Airplay hit “Anywhere” (feat. Will Heard); “Candy” (feat. Snappy Jit); No. 1 Billboard Dance Club Songs chart topper “Coming Over” with Kygo (feat. James Hersey); and the RIAA platinum certified “Get Low” with DJ Snake, which surpassed 500 million worldwide streams.

In 2012, Francis made history as “the first moombahton artist to achieve the No. 1 spot on Beatport” on the “Something, Something Awesome.” EP, according to Insomniac. His 2014 major label debut “Money Sucks, Friends Rule” graced Rolling Stone’s Top Electronic Albums of 2014 list, while its 2015 follow-up EP “This Mixtape Is Fire” bowed at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Dance/Electronic Albums Chart. In 2018, Francis earned back-to-back Latin American Music Award and Latin Grammy nominations for the song “Sexo,” featuring Residente and iLe.

But the path to success wasn’t always a straight arrow for the exuberant entertainer, he shares.

Born in 1987, Francis grew up LA as the son of an alternative medicine doctor. However, he was a fan of a mix of punk and electronic music by the time he reached high school. Francis later briefly attended Santa Monica College, in which he also started experimenting with music production.

It wasn’t long before he took the plunge to drop out of college to pursue his dreams of making music full time. Francis recently announced his upcoming Sugar, Spice and Everything Ice U.S. tour with co-headliner Yung Gravy for 2022, featuring stops in New York; Washington, D.C.; Austin; Nashville and other locations nationwide.

The platinum-selling artist says he is looking forward to performing for live audiences again, emphasizing the value of interacting with fans.

“It’s really awesome to finally see people ingesting the song,” he shares, recalling a recent performance of “Real Love” in Tampa. “It was already so cool to see people singing it in the crowd. That is such a satisfying feeling, because I’ve played them without anybody listening to the songs — I can see the reaction now.”

Decadence

WHO: Alan Walker; Alesso; Alison Wonderland; Bijou; Chris Lake; Destructo; Diesel, aka Shaquille O’Neal; Dillon Francis; DJ Snake; Excision; Fisher; Gem & Tauri; Gordo; Kaskade; Lost Kings; Madeon (DJ set); Martin Ikin; Nora En Pure; Purple Disco Machine; Seven Lions and Sonny Fodera

WHEN: 6 p.m. Thursday, December 30, and Friday, December 31

WHERE: Rawhide Event Center, 5700 W. North Loop Road, Chandler

COST: Two-day general admission passes are $159; VIP passes are tiered

INFO: decadencearizona.com