Thomas Wesley Pentz (born November 10, 1978), better known by his
stage name Diplo, is an American DJ, record producer, rapper and
songwriter based in Los Angeles, California. He is the co-creator and
lead member of the electronic dancehall music project Major Lazer, and
along with producer and DJ Skrillex, part of the electronic duo Jack
Ü. He founded and manages record company Mad Decent, as well as
co-founding the non-profit organization Heads Decent. Among other
jobs, he has worked as a school teacher in Philadelphia. His 2013 EP,
Revolution, debuted at number 68 on the US Billboard 200. The song was
later featured in a commercial for Hyundai and is featured on the WWE
During his rise to fame,
Diplo worked with British musician M.I.A., an
artist who is credited with giving him exposure in his early career.
Later, he and fellow M.I.A. producer Switch created a Jamaican
dancehall project and cartoon series titled Major Lazer. Since
Diplo has worked on production and mixtape projects with many
other pop artists, such as Gwen Stefani, M.I.A., Die Antwoord, Britney
Spears, Madonna, Shakira, Beyoncé, No Doubt, Justin Bieber, Usher,
Snoop Dogg, Chris Brown, CL and G-Dragon. His alias,
short for Diplodocus, derives from his childhood fascination with
dinosaurs. He is the co-producer of several tracks on Madonna's
thirteenth studio album Rebel Heart .
1.1 Early life
1.3 Mad Decent
1.4 Major Lazer
1.5 Jack Ü
1.7 Additional work
2 Personal life
5 Awards and nominations
5.1 Grammy Awards
7 External links
Diplo was born on November 10, 1978, in Tupelo, Mississippi, the son
of Barbara Jean (née Cox) and Thomas Pentz. He is of German and
English descent. The influence of home-grown rap played a
key role in helping shape his production style. He spent the majority
of his youth in Miami, where he got a taste for the characteristic
Miami bass. He began attending the University of Central
Florida in 1997, and then moved to Philadelphia to continue his
studies at Temple University, where he first garnered attention as a
DJ. After frequently running into fellow DJ Low Budget, the two
began throwing parties under the Hooked on Hollertronix moniker in
2003 as a way of maintaining control of what they were able to play
during DJ gigs in Philadelphia. The success of these parties
allowed the two to release mixtapes, both separate and together,
gathering acclaim across the country. One such mixtape, Never
Scared, was named one of the
New York Times
New York Times top ten albums of
2003, and the Hollertronix name became synonymous with parties
featuring guests like Maluca Mala, Bun B, Spank Rock, M.I.A., among
others. Hollertronix's sound has been described as "disparate
genres to be smashed together for maximum attention-grabbing impact"
an aesthetic which takes from the "organic, cohesive, whole" aesthetic
of acts such as Bun B, Lil Jon, Drama, M.I.A., Björk, Busta Rhymes,
Diplo accentuated the club aesthetic of his Hollertronix music for a
more reflective sound on his solo debut, Florida, which was released
Ninja Tune imprint, Big Dada Records. The album Florida was
pressed twice, first with a CD and the second with a CD and DVD. The
DVD was created by System D-128, another artist who has collaborated
Diplo on some audio and video projects. Before Florida's DVD
accompaniment, another DVD surfaced called Diplo: "Banned in Libya"
which was released by Money Studies, the first label to release a solo
Diplo under his original DJ name Diplodocus. It was a 45
rpm record called "Thingamajawn" for which there is also a music video
System D-128 directed. Similar to the Florida DVD, "Banned in Libya"
is an experimental audio and video mix of some of Diplo's original
music blended with a number of other unidentified sources. His
particular affinity for one genre of music called baile funk, or
favela funk, would spawn a series of mixtapes (
Favela on Blast, Favela
Strikes Back), which served to bring the Brazilian dance music of the
ghettos to the United States.
It was not long before his Hooked on Hollertronix parties would
provide him the success necessary to move to the next logical step and
build a studio where music would become his full-time focus. With this
goal in mind,
Diplo built "The Mausoleum," a video studio, recording
studio, record label office, gallery, and event space in
Philadelphia. Since its inception, The Mausoleum has become the
home to recordings by artists like Christina Aguilera, Shakira,
M.I.A., Santigold, Spank Rock, Plastic Little, Blaqstarr, Paper Route
Gangstaz, and hosted concerts by Glass Candy, Skream, Boys Noize,
Nicos Gun, and more.
Main article; M.I.A.
After hearing one of his songs in 2004, M.I.A. approached
he was DJing one night at the Fabric Club in London.
Diplo was playing her songs "Galang" and "Fire Fire"
as she entered the club, which he got from a worker at i-D
Diplo added, "She came through and she wanted to
meet me 'cause she'd heard my single and the funk mix from one of her
A&Rs and she just thought I was right up her alley. Besides me
being a white dude from Florida and her being a Sri Lankan girl in
England, everything else was the same: [We were both] film graduates,
[listened to] all the same music when we were kids, were going in the
same direction right now in music, it was amazing... I always wanted
to make a beat with her, but all my beats were really shitty at the
time." The two eventually collaborated on a mixtape, Piracy
Funds Terrorism Vol. 1., where Arular track acapellas were mashed with
other artists' songs and was mentioned as 'Albums of the Year' from
New York Times
New York Times and Pitchfork Media. The two continued to
work together after the release. He was the tour DJ on her 2005 Arular
Diplo continued to work with M.I.A. and, through her, met London DJ
Switch. Together, they created the Grammy-nominated track "Paper
Planes", peaking at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2015,
during an interview with Rolling Stone, M.I.A said that
her rise to fame in 2005, that he tried to hold her back, and fought
with her about becoming successful.
Main article: Mad Decent
Diplo went from an unknown DJ to taking off as a producer,
landing him collaborations with artists like Shakira, Robyn, Kid Cudi,
No Doubt and Snoop Dogg, as well as work with Maluca, Kid
Sister, Die Antwoord, Alex Clare, Rolo Tomassi, Amanda Blank and Dark
Meat. After taking a trip to
Brazil to investigate the favela music
scene, and fascinated with the energy the scene had to offer, Diplo
decided to import a dance-funk group
Bonde do Rolê
Bonde do Rolê from
release on his
Mad Decent record label (also housed within 'The
Mausoleum'). This group would serve to define funk carioca in the
United States, spawning a host of others to join the movement. Diplo
also spent some time documenting the music, and the favelas of
Although favela funk remained an interest (the
Favela on Blast
documentary just saw release in 2009), his
Mad Decent imprint would
serve as a blank palette for
Diplo to showcase the myriad different
sounds he had come across while touring around the world.
September 2009 even saw
Diplo travel to
China to play with Steve Aoki
at a show organised by promoters Split Works.
developed a reputation for his extensive touring. In the April 2010
issue of Rolling Stone,
Diplo was touted as one of '40 Reasons to be
Excited About Music'. This kind of jet setting pushed his label
far beyond the favela funk genre with which it initially began. Since
its foundation in 2005 Diplo's
Mad Decent label has released music
by Santigold, Baauer, Lil' Jon, Gucci Mane, Peter Bjorn and John,
Rusko, Bosco Delrey, Buraka Som Sistema, Savage Skulls, Dana Sibuea,
Oliver Twizt, Jamie Fanatic, Douster, Boy 8-Bit, and Popo.
Mad Decent continues to grow and release tracks by big name
artists, Diplo's solo career continues to grow at the same rate. He's
produced for artists such as Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, Lil Wayne,
Britney Spears, Wale, Chris Brown, Ariana Grande, 2 Chainz, Travis
Porter, Usher, Azealia Banks,
Iggy Azalea and AlunaGeorge. On October
Diplo released "Be Right There" along with fellow producer
Sleepy Tom. The single charted in multiple countries and has over 100
million streams on Spotify. On April 23, 2016, Beyonce released
her critically acclaimed album, "Lemonade."
Diplo produced two tracks
on the album, "All Night," and one of the three singles, "Hold Up."
The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, and was
certified platinum on June 8, 2016. Along with producing tracks on
Diplo collaborated with Canadian DJ duo Zeds
Dead on the release "Blame," which featured Swedish singer
Elliphant. The track was officially released on July 14, 2016, via
Zeds Dead's Soundcloud.
Main article: Major Lazer
Diplo performing live
Diplo's first collaborative full-length record was with Switch, this
time under the guise of Major Lazer.
Diplo (Philadelphia-based DJ and
producer Wesley Pentz), incorporates such disparate influences as
Miami Bass and Baile Funk into the high-tech eclecticism of his
productions. After landing a deal with Downtown Records before
even recording a note of music,
Diplo and Switch set out for Jamaica
to record a project that, like most of Diplo's projects before it,
would highlight the little-known subgenres, this time of Jamaica's
dancehall scene. The two received support by many already
established Jamaican artists such as Vybz Kartel, Elephant Man and Ms.
Thing, and the resulting record Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do
also featured vocals from Santigold, Amanda Blank, Nina Sky, Ricky
Blaze and more. When discussing the
Major Lazer project, Diplo
described the dancehall sound as being " the end of the world, all the
little influences—house, soca, oldies, R&B, jazz—it all ends
up in Jamaica." The track "Pon De Floor" from Guns Don't Kill
People... Lazers Do was sampled for Beyoncé's single "Run the World
Major Lazer's first album was followed up with an EP, Lazers Never
Die, which was released in 2010. Switch left
Major Lazer in 2011, and
was replaced by DJs
Jillionaire and Walshy Fire. A second album, Free
the Universe, was scheduled to be released in November 2012 but was
delayed to February 2013, and then to April 15. It features artists
such as Ezra Koenig, Bruno Mars, Ward 21, Wyclef, The Partysquad,
Shaggy, Tyga, Flux Pavilion and Wynter Gordon. On February 8,
2015, during the
Grammy Award ceremony,
Diplo revealed details of the
Major Lazer album. He confirmed that the album would incorporate
artists such as Ariana Grande,
Ellie Goulding and Pusha T. It is
called Peace Is the Mission. The first single, "Lean On", is a
collaboration with French producer
DJ Snake and features vocals from
Danish recording artist MØ. The second single, "Powerful", featuring
Ellie Goulding and Tarrus Riley, was released simultaneously with the
album on June 1, 2015. On November 11, 2015, "Lean On" became
Spotify's Most Streamed Song of All Time with over 800 million streams
to date. Along with the streaming title, the official video for "Lean
On" became one of the most viewed videos on YouTube. It currently has
more than 2 billion views. Along with the streaming and viewing
milestones, "Lean On" would also go on to achieve double platinum
On July 22, 2016, the group released the single "Cold Water", a
collaboration with Canadian artist
Justin Bieber and Danish singer
MØ. The track has already[when?] reached over 200 million streams on
Spotify, and achieved international commercial success, reaching
number one in multiple countries. Their upcoming album, Music is
the Weapon, is set to be released in 2016 with collaborations
The Weeknd and Ty Dolla Sign. On November 29, 2016,
Major Lazer and
Bad Royale released “My Number”, a track that
samples “54-46 That’s My Number” which Pitchfork describes as,
“a genre-defining classic from legendary ska/reggae group Toots and
the Maytals.” This release contained newly recorded vocals from
Toots Hibbert specifically designed for Major Lazer, which
changed the original lyrics to incorporate the group into the song
while keeping the original melody.
Main article: Jack Ü
Jack Ü is an American duo made up of
Skrillex and Diplo. Jack Ü's
debut performance took place at the
Mad Decent Block Party in San
Diego on September 15, 2013, which is a nationwide tour that record
Mad Decent puts together in order to showcase different artists
signed to the label.
Diplo announced the project by releasing the
Mad Decent Block Party lineup with
Jack Ü playing at multiple stops
on the tour. After some guessing by many of who
Jack Ü was, Diplo
finally came out to reveal that "
Jack Ü ... means
Skrillex and Diplo
together". After their New York debut at Electric Zoo was
cancelled in late August, the duo would soon return to the city for
something bigger. On December 31, 2014,
Jack Ü sold out Madison
Square Garden for one of their biggest performances to date. The duo
had support from Rudimental, Yellow Claw and A$AP Ferg.
On February 27, 2015 they released
Diplo Present Jack U,
a co-release between their respective labels
OWSLA and Mad Decent. It
featured tracks with 2 Chainz, Kiesza, Justin Bieber,
Missy Elliott. The first single "Take Ü There" featuring
the lead single on the duo's debut album. The single was released as
the lead on October 4, 2014. It reached number sixteen on the UK Dance
Chart. The official second single, "Where are Ü Now," was released
simultaneously with the album. The song which took both artists in a
different direction, featured a collaboration with Canadian pop star
Justin Bieber. Peaking at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, and
number 3 on the UK Singles Chart, "Where Are Ü Now" became the duo's
largest hit on both charts thus far. The song would also go on to peak
at number three in Australia, which was the highest charting for the
single worldwide. The song had huge success in
Europe as well,
reaching the top-ten in Sweden and Finland, and the top-twenty in
Norway, the Czech Republic,
Denmark and Slovakia. The final place it
had charting success was Bieber's home country, Canada, where it would
end up peaking at number 6. On March 29, 2015
Jack Ü closed the main
Ultra Music Festival
Ultra Music Festival in Miami.
In 2016, the duo won two
Grammy Awards for "
Grammy Award for Best
Dance Album" for "
Diplo present Jack Ü" and "Grammy
Award for Best Dance" for "Where Are Ü Now?" with Justin Bieber. The
latter was also Bieber's first Grammy. They played two sold out shows
including Coachella Valley Music Festival in Indio,
Lollapalooza in São Paulo, Brazil.
Florida is the first studio album
Diplo produced in 2004. This album
was under the label Big Dada. This album created Diplo’s genre of
electronic/reggae/hip hop music.
Major Lazer and Mad Decent,
Diplo has continued to show support
for 'all the little influences', the lesser-known music scenes around
the globe. Most recently his focus shifted to the ‘Bounce’ scene
in New Orleans, Louisiana for a television piece commissioned by
Diplo was nominated for Non-Classical Producer of the
Year at the 55th
Grammy Awards and 58th
Grammy Awards . As of
Diplo has a late night show on BBC Radio 1 / 1Xtra on Sundays
0300 – 0500 called '
Diplo and Friends' where he curates mixes from
some of biggest names in dance music.
Diplo also has several
Diplo and Friends shows in the United States in Boston,
Bakersfield, Cleveland, Columbus, Las Vegas, Spokane, Albuquerque,
Lafayette, Denver, and most notably on Los Angeles' 98.7 every Sunday
at 9 pm. Beginning on October 2, 2015, Diplo, Jillionaire, Walshy
Fire and Eric Hamilton debuted "Lazer Sound" on Apple Music's Beats 1.
The newest radio show, curated by Diplo, and the
Major Lazer crew,
consists of interviews, moments on tour and brand new music. The show
is on the air every other Saturday of the month. Throughout 2015
Diplo performed with
Major Lazer and
Jack Ü on numerous
live TV and award shows. He performed on The Tonight Show starring
Jimmy Fallon, Good Morning America, The iHeart Radio Music Festival,
The NRJ Music Awards, The 2015 Latin
Grammy Awards and The 2016 Grammy
Awards. In January 2017
Diplo and Autoerotique (a house group from
Toronto) released a music video titled "Waist Time" which was filmed
in a warehouse in London. He is up for another two Grammy's next month
at the 2016 (The 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards) for Album of the Year (for
Producer of Beyonce's album Lemonade and Producer for Justin Bieber's
album Purpose). He also sang a song "Phurrr" in
Imtiaz Ali's film
Jab Harry Met Sejal
Jab Harry Met Sejal starring Shah Rukh Khan and
He has two sons, Lockett and Lazer, with Kathryn Lockhart.
Diplo is a soccer and cricket fan and supporter of the US Men's
National Team. He also supports
Arsenal F.C. and has attended two
Tigres UANL matches. He created a Mix for the 2014 World
Diplo purchased a minority share of
Phoenix Rising FC
Phoenix Rising FC of the
Soccer League on January 27, 2016. He stated: "I’ve
been really fortunate to travel all over the world and experience
different cultures through music. Wherever I am, Jamaica, Spain,
England, China, etc., soccer is a social constant. I see soccer the
same way I see music, as a connective tissue linking the world's
Diplo is also an active fan of the
Los Angeles Clippers, showing
Instagram whenever he's at their games. He
Skrillex and Kai at the Staples Center during half-time
at a Clippers game in 2015.
On February 24, 2016,
Bernie Sanders as the Democratic
presidential nominee. Sanders' ad "It's A Revolution" is soundtracked
by Diplo's 2013 track "Revolution". On June 9, 2016,
featured on the cover of the American entertainment media magazine
Diplo discography and
Diplo production discography
For the discography with other projects, see
Major Lazer discography
Jack Ü discography.
Favela On Blast
Malice N Wonderland
21 Jump Street
Spring Break DJ
I'll Sleep When I'm Dead
Guest. Season 7, EP 17: Diplo
Season 2, EP 30: Dinner Party: Ending on a High Note
Awards and nominations
In 2009, he was nominated for his first
Grammy Award for Record of
the Year for "Paper Planes" shared with M.I.A., Switch. He was
then nominated for a second
Grammy Award in 2012, for Best Rap Song
for "Look at Me Now" shared with Chris Brown,
Lil Wayne and Busta
Diplo was nominated for a
Grammy Award in 2013 and 2016 in
the category Producer of the Year, Non-Classic. In 2016, he was also
nominated for Best Dance/Electronic Album,
Jack U. Along with the nomination for Best Dance/Electronic Album
in 2016, he was also nominated for Best Dance Recording;
Jack Ü won
Record of the Year
"Look at Me Now"
Best Rap Song
Producer of the Year, Non-Classical
"Where Are Ü Now" (with
Skrillex and Justin Bieber)
Best Dance Recording
Jack Ü (with Skrillex)
Best Dance/Electronic Album
Lemonade (as a producer)
Album of the Year
Purpose (as a producer)
Diplo (DJ), date of birth: 1978/11/10, Horoscope,
Astrological Portrait, Dominant Planets, Birth Data, Biography".
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Diplo discography at Discogs
Diplo and Friends at BBC Programmes
Decent Work for Decent Pay
Random White Dude Be Everywhere
Piracy Funds Terrorism
Top Ranking: A
"C'mon (Catch 'Em by Surprise)"
"Be Right There"
Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do
Free the Universe
Peace Is the Mission
Music Is the Weapon
Lazers Never Die
Know No Better
"Pon de Floor"
"Jah No Partial"
"Watch Out for This (Bumaye)"
"Come On to Me"
"Light It Up (Remix)"
"Know No Better"
"All My Love"
Diplo Present Jack Ü
"Take Ü There"
"Where Are Ü Now"
Awards and nominations
Phoenix Rising FC
Founded as Arizona United SC
Based in Scottsdale, Arizona
Phoenix Rising FC
Phoenix Rising FC
Peoria Sports Complex
Owners: Berke Bakay; Alex Zheng; Brett M. Johnson; Tim Riester; Didier
Drogba; Brandon McCarthy; Diplo; Pete Wentz
CEO: Bobby Dulle
Head Coach: Patrice Carteron
FC Tucson (PDL)
The Red Fury
Los Bandidos Football Firm
ISNI: 0000 0001 2008 3948
BNF: cb16513417m (data)