Wesley Pentz

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Wesley Pentz (2014)

Thomas Wesley Pentz (* 10. November 1978 in Tupelo , Mississippi ) is an American musician and DJ in the field of electronic music , the hip-hop and the Baile Funk , who under the stage name Diplo his first album at Big Dada in Year published in 2004. Other pseudonyms of his are Diplodocus , Wes Gully and Wes Diplo , he is also known for the music projects Major Lazer and Jack Ü .


He grew up in Florida and currently lives in Philadelphia , where he graduated from Temple University in 2003 with a degree in film. He first became known to a wider public as part of the DJ duo "Hollertronix", which played "Southern" and "Eastern" rap music in clubs and was known for humorous mixtapes .

His first album, "Florida", is largely composed of samples from records that he came across while working as a DJ.

In an interview with the BBC in September 2004, he described his style as "consistently hip-hop " , but on which he "tried many different things" ("It's really hip-hop music but I'm trying out lots of different things") . “The things on the album are the ones that worked. Every song is a different style ” , he continues (“ The things on the record are the ones that worked. Every track is a different style. ”) . For example, the "Diplo Rhythm", which he also released as a single , is attributed to grime .

Another title on his album "Florida", which he claims to be due to the psychedelic rock , the backwards played guitar sounds , the "sweet vocals" of guest singer Martina Topley-Bird , the "booming 808 drum " and the "dirty south stutter drum" also carries “a bit of himself” is “Into The Sun”, as he also says in the BBC interview (“I'm really happy with that song. It has a bit of me in it: psychedelic rock, guitars turned all backwards, really lush music, a booming 808 drum and a dirty south stutter drum. And her vocals are so sweet on the top of it. ") .

Other styles to which Diplo's music is attributed are the hip-hop-related genres of crunk , dirty south and bass music . Influences of baile funk can also be seen in his publications, from which he was influenced a lot in his travels in Brazil as a DJ. While some of these stylistic devices have been preserved to this day, Diplo can increasingly be found in various other genres.

The British rapper MIA became aware of him in 2004 when she heard him performing in a club. There he played two of her songs in a remix form. She then got in touch with him and they worked together in the studio on their upcoming album. He also accompanied her on her tour as a DJ. Through her he later met the DJ and producer Switch, with whom he first produced the Grammy-nominated track Paper Planes and later founded the project "Major Lazer".

In 2005 he founded the record label "Mad Decent", with which he stayed in particular in the genres Moombahton and Dancehall . The styles also developed in the direction of trap and electro-house . Musicians like Dillon Francis, Sean Paul and Ookay are under contract there . The label received most of its attention in 2012 with the release of Baauer's viral hit Harlem Shake . Diplo also worked with the hip hopper Yelawolf, who is currently under contract under Shady Records, on his album.

In 2010 the documentary "Favela On Blast" by Wesley Pentz and Leandro HBL, shot in Brazil in 2007, was released.

With his project "Major Lazer", founded in 2008, he celebrated worldwide success in the course of the 2010s. On the one hand, Watch Out For This (Bumaye) prevailed very strongly in the ever-growing festival scene, on the other hand, he celebrated one of the summer hits of 2015 with the single Lean On . The song was recorded together with DJ Snake and produced and sold over 7 million times. Further songs such as Light It Up with Nyla and Fuse ODG and Cold Water with Justin Bieber and MØ followed on from the success.

On September 5, 2013 Diplo debuted together with Skrillex at the Mad Decent Block Party in San Diego with their joint project Jack Ü . On February 27, 2015, their debut album was released. There were collaborations with, among others, 2 Chainz , Kiesza , Justin Bieber , AlunaGeorge and Missy Elliott . Where Are Ü Now , which was recorded together with Justin Bieber, developed into a world hit and, in addition to high chart placements, also achieved a nomination for a Grammy for 2016. They won this and received another one in the "Best Dance" category Album".

In the fall of 2015 he released the song Be Right There with the Canadian DJ and producer Sleepy Tom and singer Priscilla Renea . The future house production is based on the song Don't Walk Away by the US girl group Jade . In addition to number 69 in Germany, the piece advanced to number 7 in Scotland and number 8 in Great Britain. In the summer of 2016, he and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike presented his third collaboration with the Belgian brothers after the never-released Destruction from 2013 and the 2014 published Eparrei . The song is titled Hey Baby and was originally intended to be released as a Major Lazer production. After it was released at the end of October 2016, the number advanced into the German and Belgian single charts.

He has been working with songwriter Anirudh Ravichander since mid-2016.

2018 founded Diplo together with the Australian singer-songwriter Sia and the British Dance - / Grime - singers , rappers and R & B - musician Labrinth the supergroup LSD .

Wesley Pentz has three sons.


Studio albums

year Title
music label
Top ranking, total weeks, awardChartsChart placementsTemplate: chart table / maintenance / without sources
(Year, title, music label , placements, weeks, awards, notes)
2002 Sound and Fury
First published: 2002
no longer available
2004 Florida
Big Dada
First published: September 21, 2004
2012 Express Yourself
Mad Decent
US197 (1 week)
First published on 12 June 2012
partly as EP described
2014 Random White Dude Be Everywhere
Mad Decent
US155 (1 week)
First published: July 29, 2014
2020 Diplo Presents Thomas Wesley, Chapter 1: Snake Oil
Mad Decent
US50 (... weeks)
Template: chart table / maintenance / provisional / 2020US
First published: May 29, 2020

Web links

Commons : Diplo  - collection of images, videos and audio files