You’ve probably never heard of Thomas Pentz, the DJ, producer, rapper, and songwriter based in LA, and for good reason: he doesn’t go by his real name; you know him much better as Diplo.
Born in Mississippi in the late ’70s before moving to Miami for most of his childhood and teen years, Diplo was heavily influenced by Miami bass (a type of hip hop), as well as home-grown rap, shaping his production style around the two.
His first recognition as a DJ came in 2002, following his attendance at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. He stuck around Philly, and in 2003 he teamed up with DJ Low Budget under a new name: Hooked on Hollertronix. Due to the enormous success of the duo, both were able to release mixtapes began playing larger parties, with famous guests like Maluca Mala, Spank Rock, and M.I.A.
In 2004, M.I.A. took notice of Diplo after hearing one of his tracks and wanted to make a track with him. At this point, Diplo was DJing internationally, and they met at the Fabric Club in London. Together with DJ Switch, M.I.A. and Diplo created “Paper Planes,” which hit #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was nominated for a Grammy.
After collaborating with DJ Switch and M.I.A., Diplo’s career took off. He went on to collaborate with Kid Cudi, Bruno Mars, No Doubt, and Shakira, to name a few.
Diplo is also big on collaboration efforts with other DJs, similar to his Hooked on Hollertronix days. He’s part of Jack Ü, a collaboration with Skrillex, but you may best know him nowadays as being part of Major Lazer, whose hit song “Lean On” is one of the biggest summer jams of 2015. Originally started with DJ Switch back in 2008, the group has grown to include Jillionaire and Walshy Fire, with the departure of DJ Switch in 2011.
See Diplo at the iHeartRadio Music Fest on September 18th & 19th in Las Vegas!
Writer, traveler, and lover of all things One Direction. Frequent concert attendee, paler than the average human, and quite possibly the first person who will die from loving Ashton Irwin so much. I enjoy panicking over small things, obsessing over Twin Peaks, and acting like a mom. You can usually find me being extremely sarcastic and sassy while simultaneously avoiding all responsibilities to focus solely on One Direction.