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Diplo and Friends on BBC Radio 1

Diplo and Friends on BBC Radio 1

Tune in on Sundays, 4am-6am
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01dmw90

Known internationally as a curator amongst the worldʼs most cutting edge DJs, producers, and musical movements Wesley Pentz (better known as DIPLO) has experienced a variety of successes. The last few years have been spent running through the club circuit and having chart-topping hits with refreshing irreverence. Born in Tupelo, Mississippi, in 1978, Pentz spent most his childhood in Florida working in his father’s bait shop and being turned onto music through then-new mediums like MTV. Drifting North through the state came Miami Bass, and from the West came the sounds of Southern Hip-Hop artists. The musical influence and variety coalesced, and at 18, Pentz moved to Philadelphia for college at Temple University to study Film and Music. While a student he took a job in the South Philadephia community as a social worker and created the influential Hollertronix club night, which was the beginning of his fledgling career as DIPLO.

In 2004, Pentz realesed his debut album as Diplo called, “Florida.” It received praise and accolades in the underground community. The music embodied on this album led to an introduction via an A&R man at XL Records to M.I.A. In 2004, he partnered with M.I.A. for the mixtape “Piracy Funds Terrorism.” Pentzʼs cultural impact had started to snowball. Together they worked on her first album “Arular” and much of her second “Kala,” including the 2008 mega-hit “Paper Planes,” which reached No. 3 in the U.S. Charts and earned him a Grammy nomination for Record of the Year. His production credits have evolved since to include Santigold, Lilʼ Jon and Missy Elliot, while remixing works by Beck, Radiohead, Britney Spears and countless others. In 2009 Pentz teamed with frequent collaborator Dave Taylor (aka Switch) to release the futuristic dancehall album “Guns Donʼt Kill People… Lazers Do,” under the guise of Major Laze — a Jamaican militant at war with an evil army of zombies, mummies, and vampires.

During his rise to notability, Diplo worked with British musician M.I.A., an artist who is credited with helping expose him in his early career. Later, he and fellow M.I.A. producer Switch created a Jamaican dancehall project titled Major Lazer. Since then, Diplo has worked on production and mixtape projects with many other notable pop artists, such as Beyoncé, No Doubt, Justin Bieber, Usher and Snoop Lion.

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