28. Diplo

DJ, founder, Mad Decent

The Synthesizer

Diplo (né Thomas Wesley Pentz) is the mind behind Mad Decent, which is the label behind Baauer, the DJ whose track "Harlem Shake" was the contagious YouTube song-and-dance craze early this year. Diplo shares the secrets of the Shake: "We sold nearly 1 million copies, but spent under $5,000 on marketing. How? We gave the song away to begin; we didn’t fight pirating; and when a spark happened, we just added fuel to the fire. So many labels are going out of business. We bring it back to where it counts: releasing exciting music."

Here's Diplo himself.

Here's Diplo's collaborative project (originally started with fellow DJ/producer Switch), Major Lazer.

Here's Diplo-as-curator, from his BBC Radio show, "Diplo And Friends."

[Portrait illustration by Denise Nestor]

Add New Comment


  • Pwder4me

    Yea bravo Diplo, you successfully took credit for Bauuer's Harlem shake. It sounds like you invented the idea of giving a track away for free too...

  • Fuckyou

    Who decided this list of most " creative" people? Your credibility died with Diplo " earning" the 28th place.

  • guest

    (originally started with fellow DJ/producer Switch)
    originally started with fellow dj
    originally started with>>originally

  • Adudeadudeadudedude

    I think the "here's diplo as a curator" soundcloud link is actually a guest mix my rl grimes on diplo's radio show...

  • Guest

    Curator - exhibition organizer: somebody who organizes and chooses the items in an exhibition

  • Whatbagley

    Harlem Shake was an accidental hit, one that Diplo was hardly responsibly for.

  • Tyler Fastcompany Gray

    Baauer was just walking down the street in Williamsburg one day, tripped on a sidewalk and fell on a drum machine, which just played this song? It's a viral hit. But that doesn't mean it was an accident. 

  • djshoprite

     It was an accidental mainstream hit... it was popular within the trap scene almost instantly.  However, even with it's popularity within the trap scene, it is hard to say whether or not it would have ever had the opportunity to go viral without mad decent support all along...