Diplo: A DJ under many names


Diplo is the stage name of an American DJ based in Los Angeles who has successfully risen to fame with his music. While he is an American DJ, he is also a rapper, record producer, and songwriter. Diplo’s birth name is Thomas Wesley Pentz and his stage name comes from an early childhood fascination with dinosaurs. Diplo is short for Diplodocus, a generally well-known sauropod for being very large. Diplo has furthered his success in the music industry by often collaborating with other artists such as Gwen Stefani, M.I.A., Die Antwoord, Britney Spears, Madonna, Shakira, Beyoncé, No Doubt, Justin Bieber, Usher, Snoop Dogg, Chris Brown, CL and G-Dragon. Diplo is currently the lead member and co-creator of the electronic dancehall music project, Major Lazer. Diplo is also the second-half of the dup Jack Ü with famous producer and DJ Skrillex.

Growing in popularity in his early career came from DJ’ing in clubs for special parties known as “Hooked on Hollertronix.” With this success it was soon after that Diplo would decide to dedicate his time to his music full-time. Diplo’s rise to fame can be credited to artist M.I.A. who approached him while he was DJ’ing and promoted the idea that they work together. After collaborations on a mixtape and for her Arular Tour, becoming romantically involved with each other for five years, through her Diplo would meet Switch, a London DJ. The two of them would later create the Grammy nominated track “Paper Planes.” Diplo rose to fame with this number 4 single and would then take off as a producer landing him several of his more famous collaborations.

Diplo had his first full-length record with Switch under the new name Major Lazer. Under a deal with Downtown Records, Major Lazer under the influence of Diplo’s former projects, would travel to Jamaica where they would highlight Jamaica’s dancehall scene. Quin Seepersad (17’) says that Major Lazer and Diplo himself is “an amazing duo and they are getting bigger and bigger each year making wonderful music to dance and listen to with others and by yourself.” Major Lazer is popular in the EDM community with their most recent and third album Peace is the Mission, which was released earlier this year and features Ariana Grande, MØ, Ellie Goulding, 2 Chainz and more. The duo Jack Ü made up of Skrillex and Diplo made their debut on the nationwide tour by Mad Decent which showcases artists under the label such as Diplo. Diplo revealed that “Jack Ü … means Skrillex and Diplo together,” and in 2016, Jack Ü won two Grammy awards for “Best Dance Album” for “Skrillex and Diplo present Jack Ü ” and “Best Dance Track” for “Where Are Ü Now?” with Justin Bieber. Diplo continues to influence the genre of EDM and highlighting ‘all the little influences’ of lesser-known music scenes with his several associated acts.