Diplo as 'Richie Williams'
Thomas Wesley Pentz, better known as Diplo, is one of the most dynamic forces in music today. The Grammy-winning artist is as much an international brand as he is a musician/DJ/producer. Year after year, he’s proven himself to be a ubiquitous cultural figure, consistently bridging high and low, mainstream and underground, with remarkable tact and reverence.
A decade since its inception, Diplo’s original group Major Lazer continues to influence the sound of modern music. Most recently, Major Lazer unveiled “Que Calor,” featuring J Balvin and Dominican dembow pioneer El Alfa, alongside a brand new video to critical acclaim. The new track follows summer release “Make It Hot,” which features Brazilian superstar Anitta from Major Lazer’s forthcoming and highly-anticipated fourth album. Last summer Major Lazer was also featured on Beyonce’s The Lion King: The Gift soundtrack alongside Shatta Wale on “ALREADY”. This all comes off the heels of history making singles “Lean On” and “Cold Water,” which have both surpassed one billion streams on Spotify. A new single “Lay Your Head On Me” featuring Marcus Mumford from their forthcoming fourth album, is due imminently.
In 2019, Diplo unveiled a new country project, Thomas Wesley, and released its first track, “So Long,” featuring Nashville superstar Cam, which Rolling Stone praised as “an impressively graceful dip into country.” The release was followed by a performance at Stagecoach Festival where at the first ever Stagecoach Late Night, he welcomed Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus for the live debut of “Old Town Road,” and promptly shared his remix of the viral hit. Wesley then unveiled “Heartless” which was accompanied by a music video featuring Platinum artist, songwriter Morgan Wallen and is now certified Platinum and recently surpassed 100M streams on Spotify. His collaboration with the Jonas Brothers “Lonely” followed. The tracks will be featured on Diplo’s country EP due later this year.
Simultaneously, Diplo returned to his electronic roots in 2019 with the deep house-inspired Higher Ground EP, which he later followed with a Higher Ground imprint on his label Mad Decent, responsible for acclaimed house releases such as “On My Mind.” In 2019 he also debuted a brand new show at his Coachella headline set and released the Europa EP for which he hand selected a cast of rising European artists. On his own, the producer continues to discover and collaborate with the most exciting new voices in music including Trippie Redd, Lil Yachty and DRAM who were featured on Diplo’s 2018 EP California. As one of pop’s most in-demand producers, Diplo has worked with artists such as Beyoncé—producing two songs on the Grammy nominated Lemonade— Madonna, Lil Wayne, Bruno Mars, Bad Bunny, Britney Spears, Poppy, Wale, Ariana Grande, 2 Chainz, Quavo, Travis Scott, Travis Porter, Usher, Snoop Dogg, Azealia Banks, Die Antwoord, Camila Cabello, Sean Paul, Robyn, AlunaGeorge, Octavian & many more.
Diplo consistently exercises his collaborative spirit and singular talent for transcending genre and cultural boundaries. With the formation of two new groups, Diplo continues his streak as a global hitmaker—LSD, a psychedelic supergroup with Sia and Labrinth that has been streamed over one billion times and Silk City, the disco-influenced venture with Mark Ronson. Since the debut of Silk City, the duo has collaborated with Dua Lipa for the Grammy winning house hit “Electricity,” and with GoldLink, Desiigner and Mapei on other releases.
Diplo’s rise to fame began in 2004 with his critically-acclaimed debut album Florida, which caught the attention of then-breaking M.I.A., who partnered with Pentz to release the mixtape Piracy Funds Terrorism Vol. 1 & eventually the Grammy-nominated track “Paper Planes” in 2007, which hit #4 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Chart and has sold more than three million copies.
In 2005, Diplo founded label/culture lab Mad Decent to lend his globally-recognized voice to the sounds he encounters traveling the world. Mad Decent has gone on to release music from a dynamic range of artists that include Santigold, Omar Souleyman, Gucci Mane, Dillon Francis, Baauer and more. Diplo founded his global dancehall group Major Lazer in 2008 to great critical acclaim. Their 2015 smash hit, “Lean On” with DJ Snake & MØ, became the most streamed song on Spotify of all time & hit more than 1 billion views on YouTube, making it one of the Top 10 most watched music videos ever. The double platinum single “Where Are Ü Now” featuring Justin Bieber from his Jack Ü collaboration with Skrillex has enjoyed similar success & won the group numerous awards including an MTV European Music Awards as well as an American Music Award for Collaboration of the year. Both of Diplo’s 2015 releases—Major Lazer’s Peace Is The Mission and Skrillex & Diplo Present: Jack Ü—topped the Billboard charts for #1 Dance/Electronic Album.
Diplo continues to tour the world over, playing 300 shows a year and a legendary Vegas residency with Major Lazer and under his own moniker. Recent stops include Pakistan, Brazil, Nepal, Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Croatia, China, Mexico, Italy, Korea, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Hungary and beyond.
May 29, 2020