Diplo’s musical creds speak for themselves, remixing: Gwen Stefani, Le Tigre, DJ Shadow (amongst others) and producing for Kano and the very fine M.I.A. to name only shows this guy has a talent or two.
Renaissance Man meets Bart Simpson down South
Wes Pentz aka Diplo was born in Tupelo, Mississippi. Most of his childhood was spent in Florida, where his father still owns and runs a bait shop. His youth was spent discussing ‘gators with his uncle, working in pop’s store and dreaming of dinosaurs living hidden out in the swamp. As he grew up he began to channel these obsessions into music (Miami Bass being a touchstone, of course) and film.
After a brief stint at film school and a season out on the shrimp boats, the need to escape from America for a while led to some time in Japan, from where he sent the beat doodles he had been working on to Big Dada in the UK and was promptly signed. He returned to the US and moved to Philly where he and another DJ, Low Budget, began their now-legendary Hollertronix sessions. The Hollertronix mix cd, “Never Scared” followed and later in the year the lost classic “Epistemology Suite” EP became his first release for Big Dada.”Florida” followed soon after, the debut album which he described as “based loosely on Wiliam Faulkner’s ‘Go Down Moses’ with a definite red clay shrimp and manatee dirty south feel.” Featuring vocals from Martina Topley-Bird, Vybz Cartel, PEACE, Pantera Os Danadinhos and Sandra Melody it showed the breadth of Diplo’s imagination and the depth of his influences. It was welcomed ecstatically by those who found it but is still to reach the audience it deserved.
Since the record was released, Diplo has: – Toured with Prefuse 73, RJD2, Roots Manuva and M.I.A
– Performed in: Brazil, Japan and China (as well as the more run-of-the-mill places)
– Made the following critically-acclaimed and hard-to-find mix cds: “Favela On Blast” “AEIOU” Vols 1 & 2, M.I.A.’s “Piracy Funds Terrorism” and “Hollertronix 2”
– Has produced for: Kano and M.I.A.
– Has remixed: Gwen Stefani, Le Tigre, DJ Shadow (amongst others)
– He’s even started writing a regular Dirty South column for Hip Hop Connection