Diplo was born Thomas Wesley Pentz in Tupelo, Mississipi. His interest in DJing began when he was attending Temple University in Philadelphia. It was here that he met another DJ, known as DJ Low Budget. The two of them formed a duo known as Hooked on Hollertronix. They gained a reputation for a unique and exciting sound, one that expanded past Philadelphia and went across the country.
Making a name for himself
Becoming an icon
Following his work with M.I.A., Diplo became one of the most sought-after producers working in the music industry. His production credits could be found on tracks by such renowned artists as Robyn, No Doubt, Bruno Mars, and Snoop Dogg. He also produced two tracks on Beyoncé’s smash hit album, “Lemonade.” He’s also proved himself to be a shrewd businessman. He founded his own label, Mad Decent, a showcase for all sorts of interesting hip-hop, EDM, and more.
Working with others
Since making a name for himself, Diplo has also taken part in celebrated collaborations with other producers. Along with British producer Switch, he formed Major Lazer, a DJ duo that emphasized Jamaican music like dancehall and reggae. Their first album, “Guns Don’t Kill People… Lazers Do” featured vocals from artists such as Santigold and Turbulence, and received substantial critical acclaim. Though Switch left Major Lazer in 2011, it lives on as a trio, featuring Diplo, Jillionaire, and Walshy Fire.
Diplo joined another famous duo in 2013. Jack Ü brought together Diplo and Skrillex. The duo quickly made a name for themselves with singles like “Take Ü There,” featuring Kiesza and “Where Are Ü Now,” featuring Justin Bieber. People stood up and took notice of their work together, including two Grammy wins in 2016. Unfortunately, the future of Jack Ü is currently up in the air, with Skrillex stating in 2016 that they were done performing “for a long long time.”
The secret of Diplo’s success
When evaluating Diplo’s career, it’s important to realize just how much work he’s put in. From his days DJing in Philadelphia to working with some of the biggest names in music, Diplo has proven the value of hard work.
Furthermore, Diplo expanded his horizons as much as possible. Diplo works with a very diverse group of people. As a result, he found a wide array of people who came to him with projects. A successful artist is one who is willing to take chances. Not every producer could work with both M.I.A. and Justin Bieber, but Diplo proved it was possible.
What Diplo can teach us
From Diplo’s career, we can take away a lot of things. First, being a successful musician means always being open to new influences and new ideas. It’s easy to see how many great ideas can come from working with others. Also, honing your craft can make such a tremendous difference. Work at what you do and surround yourself with high quality people. Hopefully, you’ve learned from Diplo about how to get your music noticed. Diplo managed to do just that and you can, too.
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