Diplo Biography

Wesley Pentz, Tupelo, Mississippi, USA. This Philadelphia-based producer/DJ grew up in the deep south of America, and the influence of the region’s home-grown rap and electronica styles has played a key role in shaping his production style. After studying film in Florida and Philadelphia, Pentz moved to the east coast where he began expanding his DJing activities while holding down a day job as a social worker. His unusual alias was derived from the childhood nickname Diplodocus, bestowed on Pentz because of his love of dinosaurs. In the early 00s he launched the Hollertronix club and music enterprise with DJ Low Budget, and recorded a plethora of 12-inch singles, EPs and mixtapes under different pseudonyms, including Diplodocus, Wes Gully, Wes Diplo and Diplo. The 2003 Diplo/Low Budget collaboration Never Scared received excellent reviews and helped propel the duo’s names to wider attention. The 2004 project Florida was a semi-successful attempt to mix rap, trip-hop, pop and reggae into a cohesive whole, and included guest slots from UK singer Martina Topley-Bird and dancehall icon Vybz Kartel. His production and remix activities included work with M.I.A. (the influential 2004 mixtape Piracy Funds Terrorism, Volume 1) Gwen Stefani, Kanye West, Beck, Bloc Party, Justin Timberlake, and Daft Punk. He also released a mix of the Beatles’ version of ‘Twist And Shout’. In 2006, Pentz launched his own label, Mad Decent, with the Brazilian group Bondo Do Role the most notable success.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.