Five minutes with Diplo
EDM project Major Lazer is in town for a three-city tour. We catch up with its front man, Diplo
Little known fact: Diplo’s (pictured above, in the centre) been to India before, in 2001, after the Gujarat earthquake. “I came here on my first trip out of America. I was working in Gujarat for a couple of months and travelled all around. I bought a motorcycle and drove it up to Delhi and stayed there a while… went to Calcutta, Ladakh,” he says, over the phone. He even had an Enfield, which he later sold in Gujarat.
A lot has changed in the 13 years since. He’s become the ultimate producer: under his own name (Thomas Wesley Pentz; call him Wes, if you’re close); through Major Lazer; his label Mad Decent; and his most recent side project, Jack U, with Skrillex. Everyone’s from Gwen Stefani to Madonna is working with him. Yet, when he goes about describing his big-ticket collaborations, you can almost hear him shrug. “It’s really spontaneous. I just meet someone and we make something. The timing is right and that’s what it is. It’s not strategic at all.” And he vaguely adds, “I’m under the umbrella of dance music but it’s a big umbrella and there’s lots of music happening.”
Diplo is also known for his sharp suits, which he reserves for when he DJs — Givenchy is a favourite. In fact, Alexander Wang and Diplo teamed up not so long ago to soundtrack the H&M campaign. And it wasn’t a one-off, he promises. But for now we’ll be holding our breath for ‘Powerful’, a single off the new album which he plans to drop in January 2015.
Diplo performs at VH1 Supersonic Arcade with Major Lazer, in Mumbai (December 12); Delhi (December 13) and Bengaluru (December 14). Gosupersonic.in