Diplo Bio

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Diplo bio

Thomas Wesley Pentz, better known by his stage name Diplo, is a Philadelphia-based American DJ, producer, rapper, and songwriter. In 2004, Pentz released his debut album entitled Florida as Diplo. It received praise and accolades in the underground community. The music embodied on this album led to an introduction via an A&R man at XL Records to M.I.A. He partnered with M.I.A. in 2004 for the mixtape "Piracy Funds Terrorism." Pentzʼs cultural impact had started to snowball. Together they worked on her first album "Arular" and much of her second "Kala," including the 2008 mega-hit “Paper Planes,” which reached No. 3 in the U.S. Charts and earned him a Grammy nomination for Record of the Year. His production credits have evolved since to include Santigold, Lilʼ Jon and Missy Elliot, while remixing works by Beck, Radiohead, Britney Spears and countless others. In 2009 Pentz teamed with frequent collaborator Dave Taylor (aka Switch) to release the futuristic dancehall album "Guns Donʼt Kill People ... Lazers Do," under the guise of Major Laze—a Jamaican militant at war with an evil army of zombies, mummies, and vampires. After founding Hollertronix, the music collective credited with throwing some of the most banging parties of the past decade while introducing the likes of M.I.A. and Spank Rock to the masses, Diplo started Mad Decent, a record label whose staggering output includes full length albums, vinyls, mp3s, EPs, and podcasts. Mad Decent is credited with bringing genres like Brazil’s baile funk and Jamaica’s dancehall to North American dance floors. Famous artists he has produced for include Christina Aguilera, Beyonce, Shakira, M.I.A., and Santigold. As a DJ, Diplo is characterized by his eclectic, often ’80s-oriented mashups, mixtapes, and live sets. On his full-length solo effort Florida, however, his sound is closer to sample-based cinematic instrumental hip-hop. Beyond Major Lazer and Mad Decent, Diplo has continued to show support for 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 Current.tv. In 2007 Diplo also founded a not-for-profit organization for the underprivileged in Australia, called Heaps Decent. As Diplo has throughout his career as producer and DJ, the organization’s focus is to integrate indigenous and underprivileged artists’ music into a wider spectrum of recognition through original productions created via schools, juvenile justice centers, and studios.


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