Thomas 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 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, RiFF RAFF, Baauer 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 outdoor dance parties/concerts that now span 22 cities across North America.
Diplo is truly a jack of all trades – he’s contributed to Vanity Fair, yields regular radio shows on BBC Radio 1 and Clear Channel Media stations, modeled for the campaign of fashion designer Alexander Wang, released the coffee table book 128 Beats Per Minute and the documentary film, Favela On Blast, and most recently had a cameo role in 22 Jump Street and stars as the host of the ?uestlove-produced VH1 show, SoundClash. 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.