Thomas Wesley Pentz, better known as Diplo, is one of the most dynamic forces in music today. The Grammy-winning producer has proven himself to be a ubiquitous cultural figure, consistently bridging high and low, mainstream and underground, with remarkable tact and reverence.
2016 saw new heights of success for Diplo. This past summer, Major Lazer’s “Cold Water” featuring Justin Bieber and MØ debuted at #1 on the iTunes songs chart in 58 countries worldwide and reached #1 on the U.S. pop radio chart. The song continues to top charts worldwide, with more than 861 million streams to date.
Diplo also contributed two songs, “Hold Up” and “All Night,” to Beyoncé’s Grammy Nominated #1 album Lemonade.
In 2015, Major Lazer’s collaboration with DJ Snake, “Lean On” featuring MØ became the most successful independently released song of all time after peaking at #1 on the Top 40 chart and being certified platinum by the RIAA. “Lean On” became the most streamed song on Spotify of all time with more than 850 million streams, and Major Lazer was the most Shazamed artist of 2015 with over 40 million tags. Only nine months after its release, the corresponding music video for “Lean On” became one of only a handful of videos to reach 1 billion views on YouTube, and is in the Top 10 most watched videos of all time.
The double Platinum single “Where Are Ü Now,” featuring Justin Bieber from his Jack Ü collaboration with Skrillex has enjoyed similar success and won the group an MTV European Music Award as well as an American Music Award for Collaboration of the Year.
Diplo’s rise to fame began in 2004 when Pentz released his critically-acclaimed debut album, Florida, and caught the attention of M.I.A. After producing her debut mixtape together, Diplo continued to work with M.I.A. on her first and second albums, eventually creating 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 serve as a showcasing platform for the myriad fascinating sounds he encounters while touring the world. Mad Decent has gone on to release music from a dynamic range of artists that include Lil’ Jon, Gucci Mane, Buraka Som Sistema, Dillon Francis, RiFF RAFF, Baauer and produces the annual and infamous Mad Decent Block Parties—a series of outdoor dance parties/concerts that now span 22 cities across North America.
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. 2015 also saw the launch of Major Lazer’s Beats 1 radio show “Lazer Sound,” the debut of the group’s eponymous animated television series on FXX and the continued success of Diplo’s BBC radio show “Diplo and Friends.”
Diplo continues to tour the world over, playing 300 shows a year with Major Lazer, Jack Ü and under his own moniker, including headlining Mad Decent Block Parties nationwide, the annual Mad Decent Boat Party cruise and his Vegas residency at Steve Wynn’s XS. As one of pop’s most in-demand producers, Diplo has worked with artists such as Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, Lil Wayne, Bruno Mars, Britney Spears, Wale, Chris Brown, Ariana Grande, 2 Chainz, Travis Porter, Usher, Snoop Dogg, Azealia Banks, Iggy Azalea, Die Antwoord, Robyn, AlunaGeorge and many more, producing seven tracks on Madonna’s latest, Rebel Heart.