THOMAS WESLEY PENTZ (born November 10, 1978), better known by his stage name DIPLO, is an American record producer, rapper, singer, songwriter and record executive based in Los Angeles , California . He is the co-creator and lead member of the dancehall music project, Major Lazer , and along with producer and DJ Skrillex , formed the electronic duo Jack Ü . He founded and manages record company Mad Decent , as well as co-founding the non-profit organization Heaps Decent. Among other jobs, he has worked as a schoolteacher 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 2K16 _ soundtrack.
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 then, Diplo has worked on production and mixtape projects with many other pop artists, such as Gwen Stefani , M.I.A. , Die Antwoord , Tinie Tempah , Britney Spears , Madonna , Shakira , Banda Uó , Beyoncé , No Doubt , Justin Bieber , Usher , Wale , Big Sean , Snoop Dogg , Chris Brown , Ellie Goulding , MØ , Sean Paul , Rihanna and G-Dragon . His alias, short for _ Diplodocus _, derives from his childhood fascination with dinosaurs . Diplo co-produced tracks on _Rebel Heart _, _Lemonade _ and _Purpose _.
* 1 Career
* 2 Personal life * 3 Discography
* 4 Awards and nominations
* 4.1 Grammy Awards
* 5 References * 6 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 , Irish 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 _ 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 , and others.
Diplo accentuated the club aesthetic of his Hollertronix music for a more reflective sound on his solo debut, _Florida _, which was released on the 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 with 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 project by 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.
After hearing one of his songs in 2004, M.I.A. approached Diplo when he was DJing one night at the Fabric Club in London. Coincidentally, Diplo was playing her songs "Galang " and "Fire Fire" as she entered the club, which he got from a worker at _i-D _ magazine. 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"> Diplo performing live
Diplo's first collaborative full-length record was with Switch , this time under the guise Major Lazer . Diplo (Philadelphia-based DJ and producer Wesley Pentz), incorporates such disparate influences as Miami Bass and Baile Funk into the high-tech ecclecticism 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 -webkit-column-width: 30em; column-width: 30em; list-style-type: decimal;">
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