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About Diplo

Diplo is pop music’s hyphenate extraordinaire: a DJ, producer, label owner, talent scout, and social-media provocateur, all wrapped into one globe-trotting, career-launching, hit-making machine. Born Thomas Wesley Pentz in Mississippi, in 1978, he got his start making atmospheric hip-hop instrumentals—his debut album, 2004’s Florida, is as muggy as its namesake, where he grew up. But it was at his rowdy Hollertronix parties in Philadelphia where he established his anything-goes style, folding club music, dancehall, rap, and more into a raucous mix. That ethos led to 2004's Piracy Funds Terrorism Volume 1, an album-length mash-up of tracks intended for then musical partner and girlfriend M.I.A.’s Arular, with hooks from Prince and Kraftwerk; in 2007, Diplo and M.I.A. teamed up again on the Grammy-winning “Paper Planes,” a song whose punky reggae flair would become typical of his definitively global, omnivorous tastes and playful touch. Since then, he’s advocated for Brazilian baile funk and Baltimore breaks, helped bring dubstep Stateside, and collaborated with everyone from Tiësto to Sia to French Montana and Lil Pump. His group Major Lazer is a boundary-smashing pop-dancehall behemoth. His label Mad Decent boasts arguably the most audacious roster ever assembled—nowhere else will you find Syrian wedding singer Omar Souleyman alongside Dillon Francis and Poppy. And with Skrillex and Justin Bieber, Diplo is responsible for 2015’s “Where Are Ü Now,” a slinky, bittersweet dance-pop song that sounds nothing like anyone ever would have expected from any of those musicians.

Tupelo, MS
Nov 10, 1978

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