Thomas Wesley Pentz, famously known as Diplo, is a beloved American DJ, songwriter, and popular record producer.
He has had an impressive career spanning 25 years and has worked with some of the music industry’s most acclaimed artists. Culminating in a self-titled album Diplo on March 4th, Thomas Wesley Pentz has had a long and dynamic journey to get here. As this is his first release of a solo album in 18 years, fans are excited to hear their next party anthem.
Thomas Wesley Pentz was born in 1978 in Tupelo, Mississippi. As a child, Thomas was fascinated by the Diplodocus dinosaur, and this was the basis from which his stage name was born. While studying at Temple University in Philadelphia, his peers began recognizing his talent as a DJ, and Thomas Wesley Pentz made his first appearance as a DJ in 1997. The musical influences that would inform his style started early. The home-grown rap from his younger years influenced what would become his own production style and the years he grew up in Miami introduced him to the unique hip-hop flavor known as the Miami bass.
After meeting fellow Philadelphia-based DJ Low Budget, the two joined forces in 2003 and started throwing parties under the name “Hooked on Hollertronix.” With total creative freedom, both DJ artists were able to introduce mixtapes and grow in significant popularity. The 2003 mixtape they released titled “Never Scared” reached the top ten albums in The New York Times and Hooked on Hollertronix became a popular sound in party culture. The mixtapes showed an eclectic and striking mix of artists including Björk and Lil Jon.
As Thomas Wesley Pentz’s career continues to this day, his success at one level only elevates him to the next. Building on the momentum and accolades from Hooked on Hollertronix, Diplo landed a deal with Downtown Records and began his collaboration with Switch to create his first full-length album. From there, Diplo was ready to produce his first studio album in 2004 called Florida. Florida reflected the artist’s now well-known mixture of genres including reggae, hip hop, and electronic.
By 2008, Diplo caught a break and his first rise to fame when he worked with M.I.A., a popular British musician, by co-writing the No. 4 Hot 100 hit entitled “Paper Planes.” From there, Diplo went on to work with some of the world’s most renowned hip-hop and pop artists such as Madonna, Beyoncé, Snoop Dogg, Britney Spears, No Doubt, Tripple Redd, Kid Cudi, Shakira, Gwen Stefani, Usher, Ariana Grande, and Justin Bieber.
Diplo made his first Grammy stage appearance and won his first Grammy in the same year, 2015. Winning for his production duo “Where are Ü Now” with Skrillex and Jack Ü for Best Dance Recording and Best Dance/Electronic Album for Skrillex And Diplo Present Jack Ü.
In his 25 years in the business, Thomas Wesley Pentz has built an incredible career, from the days of DJ-ing parties at college to owning and operating his own record label, Mad Decent.
With his creative stage name and childhood years spent in Miami, Florida, Diplo is an excellent example of when art imitates life. Influenced by his experiences, Diplo’s self-titled album is a culmination of who Diplo is, where he’s been, and how far he’s come. Jasper Goggins, president of Diplo’s record label Mad Decent said that this new album is perhaps the best since Florida. He went on to call it fantastic and career-defining for Diplo. Goggins explains how the sheer number and quality of the features and collaborations may make it look like simple engineering from producers, but these are all personally curated by Diplo himself, and it shows his love of people and live DJ-ing.
Diplo will be going on a world tour from March through November 2022 to share his profound and “undying love of DJ-ing”. Featuring songs from the new album, Diplo will perform in a handful of cities in both Europe and in the U.S. Check the tour schedule to attend a performance in a city near you.
The full album Diplo is available now, featuring artists like Busta Rhymes, RY X, Leon Bridges, Lil Yachty, and more. Don’t Forget My Love featuring Miguel is available now.
Photo: Diplo, Main Stage @ExitFestival 2013″ by Exit Festival is marked with CC BY-NC-SA 2.0