Diplo is having a bit of a moment right now. After little more than a decade on the scene, Diplo’s influence is felt far and wide and his reputation as a fixer, trendsetter and professional hitman is unparalleled. You may remember a little meme that popped up on the web recently called the “Harlem Shake.” After hearing the song in a BBC Essential Mix it was Diplo who released it through a subsidiary of his label Mad Decent. When Justin Bieber was putting together a team for his highly anticipated second album, he got Diplo. You couldn’t get in your car in 2012 without hearing the Diplo-produced Usher song “Climax.” Gangnam Style Remix? Diplo. The list goes on. From executive producing the new Snoop Lion album Reincarnated to the Intel/Vice-sponsored Creator’s Project, these are the top five reasons we should all be having a Diplo moment.
Snoop Lion: Reincarnated
The Doggfather himself had gone as far as he could go with hip hop and decided he needed a change from the gangland violence that was a part of his life and music. After a transformational experience with a Rastafarian priest in Jamaica, Snoop was rechristened Snoop Lion and set out to make a reggae record. The biggest thing in mainstream reggae right now is Diplo’s dancehall alter-ego Major Lazer. Diplo is executive producing the album and early tracks feature Diplo’s unmistakable trademark bounce in the production.
Current.TV: New Orleans Bounce
Diplo’s M.O. can be gleaned from the non-profit he founded for underprivileged Australians. In their own words:
“Heaps Decent is an initiative committed to finding and nurturing the creativity of underprivileged and Indigenous young people and emerging artists. By providing resources and opportunities, Heaps Decent supports the development of high quality Australian music with a unique identity. Heaps Decent aims to be nationally and internationally recognized as a creative connector of young artists, a producer of innovative music and instrumental in the unification of the Australian music scene.”
Diplo doesn’t come off as a dilettante producer. He tours incessantly and has a reputation for breaking new styles of music. In this investigative piece commissioned by Current.TV, Diplo goes underground in New Orleans to learn more about the Bounce scene.
Even while promoting the latest, greatest and strangest in new music, Diplo has a knack for tapping into our latent nostalgia and reconfiguring it into some next level sh*t. One can only imagine the conversations Diplo and Skrillex had while touring Canada by train last summer on the Full Flex Express that led to their latest collaboration Potato. According to the press release, Potato is a partnership between Iconic TV (the producers behind Jay Z’s Life + Times website), Diplo, Skrillex and world champion turntablist A-Trak to produce a series that recaptures the glory days of early music television for a contemporary audience. Iconic TV bills itself as a “multi-channel network” and ranked five out of 138 YouTube channels that received a combined $100 million in funding from Google. In the words of Co-Founder/CCO Michael Hirschorn, “The new terrain lies in between TV and the Internet. It requires a nimbleness and, where appropriate, a humility to be open to all the change that is approaching.” Diplo’s Blow Your Head segment features video premieres, an insider’s look at live event culture and will probably look great on mobile.
The Warehouse Project
Set in the historic Manchester, England, The Warehouse Project is an attempt to resurrect the best parts of the city’s underground warehouse party scene. The legacy of famous acid house and rave clubs like The Haçienda is reborn in flash parties thrown with state-of-the-art technology in unusual spaces. Diplo appears in this documentary about the project discussing the roots of electronic dance music.
The Creator’s Project
Art installation titled Origin by United Visual Artists with music from Scanner
A$AP Mob and Clams Casino at The Creator’s Project
A partnership between Intel and Vice resulted in some really expensive-looking high-tech interactive exhibits staged in the middle of music festivals around the world. The Creator’s Project sought out Diplo in this documentary about his creative process.