Diplo's production catalog is so varied that fans can love some of his work, while judging -- or even hating -- other projects. Someone who dislikes Major Lazer's big-room, electro-dance-meets-Kingston tracks might love, say, Chris Brown. Fans disappointed with Usher's newer songs may still blast M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes." Maybe they judge anyone who listens to Justin Bieber, but love Robyn. Perhaps folks have that dubstep song from the Internet Explorer commercials stuck in their head, but would rather be rocking to some Yelawolf, or Wale.
But here's the fun part: Diplo produced for all of them. From niche artists on his label, Mad Decent, to the likes of Snoop
Dogg Lion and No Doubt, Diplo (real name: Thomas Wesley Pentz) has kept busy infiltrating nearly every sub-genre of pop music.
Unlike most producers, however, Diplo is a household name in many of the genres he touches. While master pop producers Dr. Luke or Max Martin are well-known to those keeping a tab on the industry, Diplo has over 600,000 Twitter followers, many of whom send him racy photos of themselves in compromising positions. (The "#expressyourself" meme caught fire when the producer released the album art for his single by the same name. "I've tried to retire it over and over again," Diplo said to HuffPost. "It just won't go away.")
His fame and dance-music superstardom (he graced the cover of Billboard with A-Trak and Skrillex) stem mostly from his career as a DJ, where he plays to crowds that number in the tens of thousands. It's safe to assume a good number of those dancing along to his DJ sets don't know that Diplo (or Major Lazer, if he's performing under that name) is the guy who turned Snoop Dogg into a reggae star and brought No Doubt back to the radio. He's hiding in plain sight.
HuffPost Entertainment and Diplo traded emails, in which the producer tells us about what it's like to flow from one genre to the next, how he goes about throwing Mad Decent's notorious, thousand-people strong Block Parties and why he's always felt such a strong connection with Jamaican culture.
You're obviously running the gamut of projects -- from Snoop's reggae project to No Doubt to Bieber to Major Lazer to Chris Brown. Does all of this production come from one place and get fine-tuned into different genres, or do you pretty much sit down and devote yourself to one specific sound at a time?
I wish I was just like a music vending machine. But no, I take every one session really seriously. Sometimes one track might carry from one place to the next and I'll change it to fit that artist. But it's usually a simple formula -- what do I love about this person, what am I good at and how can I help them make the best possible song?
Do you find that most producers tend to limit themselves to one genre ?
I think there are a lot of guys who don't. Like Rick Rubin, but that's a different generation. All these guys in my scene are definitely not able to maneuver between genres very easy. Some carved out their own genres like Pharrell or Timbaland -- they are who inspire me.
Is there a project you're particularly excited about? Obviously No Doubt's comeback and Snoop's new direction are big events in the music industry.
The Snoop album will surprise a lot of people. I'm really proud of that -- I never thought in a hundred years I'd be one of the most popping R&B and reggae producers around, but my whole career has been about coming out of nowhere so I guess I'll keep doing this weird stuff.
Can you briefly describe why Jamaica became so dear to you and so central to your musical output?
I guess as a kid I always liked reggae, dancehall and freestyle. In Broward County, where I lived -- the Fort Lauterdale Area -- that's kind of what was happening on the radio and at the parks. I was fascinated by reggae (dancehall), because it absorbed every other genre. It does country, house, pop, oldies, hip-hop, R&B, world music -- it's such a cannibal. And it's very gritty and very human. I think that's also why Joe Strummer flirted with it so much toward the end of The Clash's output. Jamaica is still such a weird and fascinating place, I can't even begin to describe the stuff I've been part of there.
Aside from exposure for the brand and your artists, what was the motivation behind the Block Party tour?
It's wild. There's no one type of person there. Young, old, cities, suburbs, parents, students. I don't know -- it's the most diverse party around.
Is that vibe -- a wild block party -- the epitome of a good time to you?
There's nothing more pure than the neighborhood getting together and feeling something. It's started in Philly with just 10 dollars and my home speakers turned outside. Then it grew to 1,000 kids, then 4,000, then 8,000 then more cities. And yes, it feels like it still belongs to the neighborhood -- it's free and the music is exciting and new. Not the same old same old.
As you've added more and more things (production, DJ'ing, book writing, label-running, Adult Swim), what have you learned from managing all of those careers? What's most satisfying?
Just creating, for me. Anyone that works in music knows it's not just about sitting home writing songs. It's about multimedia. I don't mean to say that I'm like a marketing executive at Facebook, but it's always about putting [yourself] out there as a phenomenon -- as a culture itself. There is no same road to take as an artist, that a label will set out for you. It's like a wilderness now to find people. You have to do everything. And I see the brands that we create -- as Mad Decent, Major Lazer and Diplo, everything -- to be endless. I love doing the label and helping kids get out there I really am loving branching out into the visual world. But it all comes down to making the music, producing. At least for now.
There is a relentless surge of corporate interest in dance music, how do you go about making sure that business interests only further, as opposed to overtaking, the party?
Well, there's not such corporate control of what we do at Mad Decent. A lot of festivals don't even understand us -- we are eclectic and we do a bit of everything, from rap to dance music to indie to whatever. For the corporate suits, they just see "DANCE MUSIC, DRINKS, FESTIVALS, LOTS OF KIDS TO BUY STUFF," so these festivals sell right away. They even perpetuate the "sameness" of the lineups and the music that is being played. It keeps it very tidy for the investors that don't understand.
At Mad Decent, we see what has always driven this culture and this movement has been the side stages, the underground, the kids taking chances and doing something different. Electronic music was a rebellion against the same old rock songs and messages and fashion. But that's already what I see with the Top 10 DJ's doing the same shit over and over, and festivals perpetuating it. It's not for me, it never has been. I've always tried to nurture new sounds and help shed lights on what's exciting and what's moving music forward.
What can we expect over the next year? More block parties, more production -- what else?
Both! Mad Decent will present even more parties next year! We are aiming for 15. And production … Yes, lots of stuff already in the works but the Snoop Lion album and the Major Lazer album are priorities!
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article erroneously stated that Diplo was on the cover of Rolling Stone.
Major Lazer - 'Get Free' feat. Amber (of Dirty Projectors) OFFICIAL LYRIC VIDEO + HQ AUDIO
New Major Lazer - 'Get Free' feat. Amber of Dirty Projectors Purchase the Get Free EP here: bit.ly Produced by Major Lazer Mixed by Rich Costey Written by: A. Coffman, D. Longstreth, T. Pentz, D. Taylor Recorded at Geejam in Port Antonio, JA & Mad Decent in Los Angeles, CA Guitar by D. Lonstreth Additional Engineering Donato Paternostro
Major Lazer - Original Don ft. The Partysquad
Directed by Kyle Frere Buy Now! iTunes: bit.ly Amazon: amzn.to Music video by Major Lazer performing Original Don. (C) 2011 Downtown Records Under exclusive license to Interscope Records in the USA
Diplo feat. Lazerdisk Party Sex - Set It Off [OFFICIAL HQ]
PURCHASE ON ITUNES: bit.ly PURCHASE ON BEATPORT: s.beatport.com PURCHASE CD+ TSHIRT BUNDLE: bit.ly Diplo's latest single "Set It Off feat. Lazerdisk Party Sex" off his Express Yourself EP gets an out of this world official music video featuring an infinite stripper pole to the stars. Thanks to Director Ryan Staake we may finally know the answer to how many strippers it takes to get to outerspace. credits: Directed by Ryan Staake (Pomp&Clout) Interactive Version: set-it-off.com Dancers: Marlo, Mina, Nadia, Reiko, Michelle, Kyra, Autumn, Danielle & Crystal Production Companies: Pomp&Clout and Pier Pictures Co-producers: TS Pfeffer, Robert McHugh & Ryan Staake Director of Photography: Aaron Grasso Assistant Director: Robert McHugh Assistant Camera: Gille Klabin Concept & Visual Effects: Ryan Staake Makeup: Christina Rodriguez & Rana Akhavan Gaffer: Rudie Schaefer Key Grip: Jamin Mandel Associate Producers: Kyle McBeth, Kyra Johannesen, Jen James & Liz Kinnmark Production Assistants: Ian Kaye & Michael Onak Quality Assurance: Leslie Ruckman Thanks to the AERA Dance Foundation (aeradance.org) & The Automobile Driving Museum (automobiledrivingmuseum.org) Shot in Los Angeles on the RED Epic Diplo www.twitter.com www.facebook.com
Diplo - "Express Yourself" (ft. Nicky Da B) Official Music Video [Full HD Version]
Single: iTunes: bit.ly Beatport: bit.ly Clothing: www.karmaloop.com Check out the official video from Karmaloop and Mad Decent for Diplo's "Express Yourself" featuring vocals by Nicky Da B. Full EP coming in May, along with the release of his new book 128 Beats Per Minute: Diplo's Visual Guide To Music, Culture And Everything In Between, out everywhere this April. The video was directed by KarmaloopTV's @LILINTERNET, Shomi Patwary, and styled by @LILGOVERNMENT for Karmaloop.com. Locations by Rusty Lazer. Dancers: Quack Mini-Cat, Meaka, Ro, Nick, Timmy, Noonie-Cat facebook.com twitter.com nickydab.com http karmalooptv.com http twitter.com maddecent.com http twitter.com iTunes: bit.ly Beatport: bit.ly
Diplo & Don Diablo - Make You Pop
Music video by Diplo & Don Diablo performing Make You Pop. (C) 2012 Mad Decent and Downtown Music, LLC.
Diplo & Skrillex - Amplifire
Download this track at hiphop2jamrock.com Check out hiphop2jamrock.com for all the hottest new party music and dj mixes.
Usher - Climax (Prod by Diplo) | www.Jams.to
FOR NEW MUSIC DAILY!!!: jams.to Like On Facebook www.facebook.com Follow On Twitter: twitter.com Follow Producer Diplo @diplo Follow Uhser @usher Usher - Climax (Prod by Diplo) Usher - Climax Usher - Climax Usher - Climax Usher - Climax NEW Usher - Climax valentines day Usher - Climax...
Diplo & Oliver Twizt - Go (Music Video)
Download Diplo & Oliver Twizt - Go (Music Video) Now!!! US ITUNES - bit.ly UK ITUNES - bit.ly BEATPORT - bit.ly Out now with huge remixes from Peace Treaty, Eric Rincon, Real El Canario, Kid Kaio & Swarms! Purchase here: bit.ly Download the whole EP here: Beatport.com: bit.ly US ITUNES: bit.ly UK ITUNES: bit.ly Directed by Pinar&Viola Graphics: Pinar&Viola Video production: José Miguel Biscaya Intern: Gui Machiavelli Go music video is the extension in motion of the single's cover artwork by Pinar&Viola, released in November 2011. Driven by the hypnotic song, Pinar&Viola created hypersonic greyhounds race trough a vibrantly odd WWW-landscape, with a hand-crafted virtual parkour in ecstatic browsers and buttons, viral internet-icons and digital dust windstorms.
Diplo - Barely Standing (ft. Datsik & Sabi)
Moombahton. Mad Decent. Express Yourself EP
Diplo - Butters Theme feat. Billy The Gent & Long Jawns
PURCHASE ON ITUNES: bit.ly PURCHASE ON AMAZON: amzn.com PURCHASE CD+ TSHIRT BUNDLE: bit.ly The unbounded, genre-mashing DJ, producer and industry juggernaut, Diplo, is excited to announce the June 12th release of the Express Yourself EP on his label Mad Decent. The six-track recording from the man who makes up one half of the bombastic duo, Major Lazer, is his first solo release since 2004's Florida and is a product of the artist's fearless endeavors of exploring and unearthing new music from around the world. Spastic freak-beats tie the recording together but genres present span from Dancehall to New Orleans Bounce to EDM. The EP features a laundry list of exciting collaborations, from dubstep superstars Datsik and Flinch to Dancehall pioneer Elephant Man. Each artist brings something exciting and new to Diplo's wild productions. The EP's title track and Diplo's first foray into the maddening beats and booty-popping sound of New Orleans Bounce has close to 900000 plays on youtube and radio play across the US. Tracklist 1. Express Yourself feat. Nicky Da B 2 .Barely Standing feat. Datsik & Sabi 3. No Problem feat. Flinch & My Name Is Kay 4. Move Around feat. Elephant Man & GTA 5. Butters Theme feat. Billy The Gent & Long Jawns 6. Set It Off feat. Lazerdisk Party Sex
Diplo - No Problem feat. Flinch and Kay
Purchase on Itunes:bit.ly Purchase on Beatport:bit.ly Join in on Mad Decent Premium! Receive EVERY Mad Decent the day it comes out + EVERY Jeffree's release 1 week BEFORE everyone else in High Quality WAV + More Sign up at drip.fm The first single off Diplo's Express Yourself EP is out today! Marking Diplo's first foray into the maddening beats and booty-popping sound of New Orleans Bounce. The single is a collaboration between Diplo and Nicky Da B, the newest star of the Bounce scene and protégé of genre impresarios Big Freedia and Katey Red. Along with Express Yourself we have Diplo's collaboration "No Problem" with dubstep artist Flinch and vocalist Kay which also set to appear on the EP. No Problem is a monster moombahton track bridging the gap to mainstream appeal. Look out for Diplo's Express Yourself EP dropping in May!
MIA PAPER PLANES official video
PAPER PLANES by MIA official video PS THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A CENSORD VERSION!!!!! IF U SEE IT PLEASE REMOVE! I WILL NEVER CENSOR THIS SONG.
Snoop Dogg "That Tree" Feat. Kid Cudi Produced By Diplo
From the upcoming album More Malice The Deluxe Edition and Movie dropping March 23
Travis Porter - Wobble (Produced By Diplo) #FromDay1 Album
new song from the album #FromDay1 - Travis Porter - Wobble Produced By Diplo
Das Racist - You can sell anything (produced by diplo)
Album 2011 Sit Down, Man: 01 Wkcr Stretch and Bobbito With Quincy Jones (intro) 02 All Tan Everything [ft. Jay-Z) (Produced by Sabzi) 03 Puerto Rican Cousins (Produced by Gordon Voidwell and Alex Kestner) 04 Hahahaha Jk? (Produced by Boi-1da) 05 Town Business [ft. Kassa Overall) (Produced by Kassa Overall) 06 Commercial (Produced by Teengirl Fantasy) 07 People Are Strange (Produced by Devo Springsteen) 08 Luv it Mayne [ft. Fat Tony & Bo P] (Produced by Tom Cruz) 09 Amazing [ft. Lakutis] (Produced by Keepaway) 10 Fashion Party [with Chairlift] (Produced by Chairlift) 11 Rapping 2 U [ft. Lakutis] (Produced by Sha-leik) 12 Rooftop [ft. Despot] (Produced by Dame Grease) 13 Irresponsible [ft. Lakutis] (Produced by Like Magic + Das Racist) 14 Return to Innocence (Produced by Dash Speaks) 15 Julia (The Very Best Remix) (Produced by Das Racist) 16 Roc Marciano Joint [ft. Roc Marciano] (Produced by Mike finito) 17 You Can Sell Anything (Produced by Diplo) 18 Sit Down, Man [ft. El-P) (Produced by Scoop Deville) 19 Sit Down, People (by Dapwell and Quincy Jones) Category:
Kelly Rowland - Motivation (Diplo Remix)
"Motivation" is a song performed by American recording artist Kelly Rowland, taken from her upcoming third studio album, Here I Am (2011). The song was written by Rico Love and Lil Wayne, and co-written and produced by Jim Jonsin. The R&B slow-jam also features a guest vocal performance from American rapper Lil Wayne, and serves as the the lead single from Here I Am. Critics gave the song mixed reviews, initially calling the song sexy and praising Lil Wayne's appearance but also stating that the song was not memorable. An official remix for "Motivation" was produced by Diplo, and adds elements of electronic music, while stretching Rowland's vocals over a dubstep-like instrumental. Despite not having an official radio add date or being released until April 12, 2011, the single has already impacted on US charts, so far peaking on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart at number three, and thirty-one on the Hot 100. An accompanying music video was directed at by Sarah Chatfield, the woman behind Rowland's previous video "Forever and a Day" (2010). The video follows Rowland as she interacts with a number of male dancers, in the dimly blue-tinged warehouse. en.wikipedia.org
Alex Clare - Relax My Beloved
Soul from Alex Clare. Produced by Diplo and Switch.
11# Major Lazer - Pon De Floor (ft. VYBZ Kartel)
New song of the album: Guns Don't Kill People ... Lazers Do! 01 "HOLD THE LINE" Feat. MR. LEX & SANTIGOLD 02 "When You Hear The Bassline" Feat. MS. THING 03 "Can't Stop Now" Feat. MR. VEGAS & JOVI ROCKWELL 04 "Lazer Theme" Feat. FUTURE TROUBLE 05 "Anything Goes" Feat. TURBULENCE 06 "Cash Flow" Feat. JAH DAN 07 "Mary Jane" Feat. MR. EVIL & MAPEI 08 "Bruk Out" Feat. TOK & MS. THING 09 "What U Like" Feat. AMANDA BLANK & EINSTEIN 10 "Keep It Goin' Louder" Feat. NINA SKY & RICKY BLAZE 11 "Pon Di Floor" Feat. VYBZ KARTEL 12 "Baby" Feat. PRINCE ZIMBOO 13 "Jump Up" Feat. LEFTSIDE & SUPAHYPE (Co-Produced By CROOKERS)
Major Lazer - Keep It Goin' Louder ft. Nina Sky, Ricky Blaze
Music video by Major Lazer performing Keep It Goin' Louder. (C) 2009 Downtown Records
Major Lazer - Hold The Line
Music video by Major Lazer performing Hold The Line. (C) 2009 Downtown Music, LLC.
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