ABOVE: PARIS HILTON AT AMNESIA IN IBIZA.
Most people already have an opinion on Paris Hilton. A public figure since the age of 18, Hilton’s résumé is never-ending, including: actress, clothing designer, convict, model, reality TV star, singer, socialite, spokesperson, racecar-team-owner, robbery victim, and, infamously, bootleg adult film star.
Recently, Paris has been relatively quiet. “I’ve really been focusing on my brand and building my business across the world,” she tells us in the Interview offices. But that’s about to change: today Hilton will release the video for her new single, “Good Time,” featuring Lil Wayne. “Music has been a huge passion of mine ever since I was a little girl,” she says. “I started playing piano when I was five years old and the violin when I was 11,” she continues. “My mom would have us take piano lessons four times a week, and we’d have recitals every single month. With the violin, I was in orchestra.”
We recently met with Paris in New York. Wearing a black dress and black tights, she was far from the teenager we remember.
EMMA BROWN: You are signed to the same label as Lil Wayne, and he appears on your new single. Does that have anything to do with when you interviewed him for us in 2011?
PARIS HILTON: Since we did that interview together, we ended up becoming friends. Right after that interview, I had my birthday party, and I invited him to my house and he came and we had so much fun. Then Birdman asked me to be in the “Tapout” music video and I did that. He said, “I heard you’re doing a new record, I’d love to hear the new music,” so I played it to him. He loved every song, was really excited about it, so he said, “I’d love to sign you to the label.” I had called Wayne right when I got “Good Time” because I was talking with Afrojack—we were trying to figure out which person I would want to collaborate with on the song and I thought Wayne would be perfect. I said, “I remember we did an interview for Interview magazine and you said that you would be in my song,” and he said, “Yes, of course I will be on it.” So, that’s what happened. All because of Interview magazine.
BROWN: What was the best advice Wayne’s given you on your music?
HILTON: I don’t really ask for advice from him—I play him songs. I’ll send him things and see his opinion and everything I’ve sent him he’s really loved. So we’ve done two songs together now, which are really awesome.
BROWN: When you are sent a song, who is the first person you play it to see if you should do it?
HILTON: Usually my sister. She’s my best friend, we’re always together and I like her taste in music, too. Nicky’s very shy—she loves music but she would never want to be a singer. She likes being behind the camera. She’s more into her fashion and being a designer, so we’re quite opposite in that way.
BROWN: And when did you start DJing?
HILTON: Well, I’ve been hosting and doing appearances for clubs since I was 18. The club owners have always asked for me to DJ and I said no, I’d rather just host. Then a year and a half ago, I got offered to do a huge concert. I did it and I loved it and from there just kept performing and got my DJ residency at Amnesia in Ibiza and I had the best summer of my life.
BROWN: How do you pick what you’re going to play?
HILTON: For me, especially being in Ibiza, I go out every single night, I’m always listening to what everyone’s playing and getting inspired by that. Sometimes I’ll even go on Twitter and say, “Hey guys, what’s your favorite song?” and get ideas that way just to see what the fans like. But mostly I just play music that I love.
BROWN: What’s a recent discovery that you’re into?
HILTON: I really love this new DJ, he’s a teenager, named Martin Garrix. He did this song called “Animals,” which I played in almost every one of my sets and the crowd went nuts. Zedd is very talented; I love his new song, “Clarity.” And Avicii and Nicky Romero are really great. I love that song “I Could Be the One.”
BROWN: Is there a DJ community in Ibiza? Do you all hang out?
HILTON: We hang out. Every single night of the week there’s a huge DJ playing at every single club. So during the day we’ll sometimes all meet up for lunch and go to Formentera or just check out each other’s shows and parties before and after, and afterparties. Everyone’s there; it’s like a fun summer camp for DJs. Ibiza, if you’ve never been there before, is very overwhelming. It’s like nowhere on earth. The best advice is to sleep as late as possible because nothing gets going until around 3am and it goes until like 7 or 8.
BROWN: I just don’t think I would have the energy or stamina to do that every night.
HILTON: I’m an Aquarius; I’m just a very creative and outgoing person and I love being around people and being around music. It just gives me energy.
BROWN: So do you believe in horoscopes?
HILTON: Yes, big time. I’m a very true Aquarius.
BROWN: Do you want people to see you as a musician or as a brand?
HILTON: First, I think of myself as a brand, a businesswoman. Musician is something I just do because it’s my passion—I love it and it’s something I do for fun.
BROWN: Would you continue to do it even if no one buys your music?
HILTON: I just did it because I love it. I think it’s fun, I love music and I love to make people dance.
BROWN: Do you remember the first time you sang in public?
HILTON: When I was in chorus. Me and Nicole Richie, I remember, were dressed up as like little bunnies with these little furry outfits on. It was our first recital, we were four years old and we all had to sing with the class.
BROWN: That’s funny.
HILTON: Yeah, it was cute.
BROWN: I wanted to ask you a couple of the questions that you asked Wayne. Do you ever Google yourself?
HILTON: Not anymore. I used to, years ago, but no.
BROWN: When did you stop?
HILTON: The past couple years, I’m just so busy working all the time that I don’t really have the time to do it. Usually my publicist will just send me the articles; if I have just done an interview with someone I always get sent the articles. So I just read those.
BROWN: Do you read your interviews?
BROWN: And what do you dream about?
HILTON: A lot of my dreams have to do with animals I think because I’m such a huge animal lover. I have so many pets. I always have crazy dreams where I’m like riding an elephant through the jungle or hanging out with a bunch of monkeys. [laughs]
To see Paris Hilton’s 10 favorite things, click here.
FOR MORE ON PARIS, VISIT HER WEBSITE.