Wesley Pentz, better known as Diplo, is unquestionably one of the most dynamic forces in music today. He is as much as an international brand (tastemaker, spokesman, curator) as he is a musician/DJ/producer. Year after year, he’s proven himself to be an ubiquitous cultural figure, consistently bridging high and low, mainstream and underground, with remarkable tact and reverence.
In 2004, after studying film at Temple University, throwing influential parties in South Philadelphia, and releasing multiple mixtapes promoting the aesthetic of his party, Hollertronix, Pentz cemented himself as a full fledged artist through his debut album, “Florida.” Receiving praise within the underground community, “Florida” caught the attention of XL Recording’s newest act at the time - M.I.A. - who partnered with Pentz to release mixtape “Piracy Funds Terrorism Vol. 1.” This pivotal mixtape (listed by the New York Times and Pitchfork Media as “Album of the Year”) helped build buzz for M.I.A.’s debut and boosted Diplo’s reputation as a scene-spotter, championing the mongrel pop of the global underclass to the speakers of American clubs. Diplo would continue to work with M.I.A. on her first and second albums, eventually creating the Grammy nominated track “Paper Planes” in 2007, which hit No. 4 in the U.S. Hot 100 Charts and sold more than 3 million copies.
In 2005, Diplo founded label/culture lab Mad Decent to serve as a showcasing platform for the myriad of fascinating sounds Pentz encounters while touring the world. The early release of Brazilian group Bonde do Role remains a testament to Diplo’s aspirations, as their music helped define Baile Funk in the United States. Mad Decent has gone on to release music from a dynamic range of artists that include Santigold, Peter Bjorn & John, Rusko, Crookers, Bosco Delrey, Lil’ Jon, Gucci Mane, Buraka Som Sistema, Dillon Francis, and Major Lazer. Coming full circle from his days of Hollertronix, Diplo has also utilized the label to produce the annual and infamous Mad Decent block parties – a series of free outdoor dance party/concerts in Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, Toronto, and Los Angeles.
In 2013, Diplo continues to be a steadfast pioneer. Nominated in the 2013 Grammy's for "Producer of the Year," Diplo keeps plowing through the pop music landscape – gracing the cover of Billboard Magazine and securing placements with Justin Bieber, Shakira, Lil Wayne, No Doubt, Bruno Mars, Mac Miller Santigold, Azealia Banks, Robyn while also producing singles for Usher (“Climax”) and Beyonce (“Run the World”). On April 16th, 2013, Diplo released the 2nd album "Free The Universe" for his group Major Lazer. Additional collaboration and remix credits include Tiesto, Skrillex, Beck, Radiohead, Laidback Luke, La Roux, Kelly Rowland, Britney Spears, Sleigh Bells, T.I., Lil Jon, Dillon Francis, Sia, Die Antwoord, and Das Racist. Diplo has also stepped into the role of an executive producer, taking lead on Snoop Doggs next full length album. Additionally, he is on track to release the 2nd album of his futuristic dancehall project, Major Lazer, which was first formed in 2009 with fellow M.I.A. producer Switch and most notably known for its hit single “Pon De Floor.” In June 2012, Pentz released a solo EP titled “Express Yourself” which contains influence from New Orlean’s ‘Bounce’ and collaborations from dubstep superstar Datsik to dancehall legend Elephant Man.
With a newly minted residency in Vegas (XS & Surrender) and an upcoming Canadian train tour in July w/ Skrillex and Grimes, Diplo’s touring remains extensive -- requiring Pentz to travel nearly 300 days of the year, playing hard ticket venues all around the world.
Diplo holds a column with Vanity Fair, yields regular radio shows on Sirius XM and the BBC Radio 1, and models for the campaigns of fashion designer Alexander Wang. Never stopping, Diplo has also released a new book titled ‘128 Beats Per Minute,which illustrates the cultures and multifaceted music scenes he experiences on his daily global journeys. Diplo is a dynamic and self-driven spirit with interests that span far beyond any singular culture or musical realm; he is truly the 21st century artist.