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]