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Diplo’s Unique Relationship with India

It was 2013 when Swedish House Mafia toured India, dropped their celebrated ‘Don’t You Worry Child’, hands, lighters and flashlights went up; and that moment signaled the boom of EDM in India; but the event that changed the narrative of EDM from a growing to an established scene was when Jamaican-American trio Major Lazer toured India in 2014.

At the start of the last decade, the trend of individual EDM concerts was bubbling up in the country, but Major Lazer’s three city tour that spanned across Mumbai, Delhi & Bangalore, changed everything. Their tour brought the zest and flamboyance nobody had witnessed before.

 

Watch 5 Things You Didn’t Know featuring Diplo:

The twerk trinity with their bouncy Moombahton and Bass numbers coupled with their MC style of DJing, manifested an energy that infected huge waves of crowds across the country.  Walshy Fire with his blend of R&B rhythms with reggae, Jillionaire with his House fused Dancehall and Soca, and Diplo with his eclectic high-tech sounds brought the ultimate Caribbean sounds to India. What a followed is a series of Major Lazer India tours with their love for the country kept growing bigger; but there is one artist from Major Lazer whose love affair with India began 12 years before the trio stepped foot on the shores of the Indian Subcontinent in 2014; it was Wesley Pentz, aka Diplo.

EARLY DAYS

Diplo still exhibits his generous roots through the fundraisers that he has been a part of over the years, but back in the day, when he kickstarted his career as a producer in 1997, Diplo was a school teacher and while working as a teacher, he supported many relief causes. His willingness to help brought him to India in 2001 when the state of Gujarat was ravaged by a massive earthquake. He worked with the Red Cross to help rebuild the areas that were affected by the earthquake. During his spell as a relief worker, he took time out, traded his belongings for a bike and spent 5 months making music while wandering across North India where he explored the country exactly how an Indian would. Roadside tea, sleeping under mosquito nets, and travelling between gigantic trucks on highways, he did it all.; Diplo travelled across the Northern and Eastern side of India when India was at the pinnacle of its Industrial boom, and that’s where the love affair began.

FIRST INDIA TOUR

After his explorations of the country in 2001, Diplo didn’t get a chance to visit India until Major Lazer’s debut India tour in 2014. After Armin van Buuren ‘A State of Trance’ Showcase in 2013, Major Lazer were going to be the first famed act to play in the country, and the hype was real!! There was an invitation video that was made urging the trio to come to India, and they listened! The tour was a huge success and the tour gave Diplo the idea of doing something special in the country in the coming years.

LEAN ON

You would be kidding if you said that you don’t know this tune, and you probably know that the video of the tune was shot in India but do you know the reason behind Major Lazer opting to shoot the video in India? Enchanted by their travels across three Indian cities for their debut tour, Diplo and the Major Lazer crew decided to encapsulate the cultural cross-pollination of India into their video for ‘Lean On’. Speaking about their decision to shoot the video in India, Diplo said.

“When we toured there [in India]as Major Lazer, it was mind-blowing to see our fan-base and we wanted to incorporate the attitude and positive vibes into our video and just do something that embodies the essence of Major Lazer. Major Lazer has always been a culture mashup and to us, India feels like some kind of special creature with one foot in history and one firmly in the future.”

The video was released in March 2015, shortly after their tour in December of the previous year; and as we all know, the video was a huge success as it hit the billion club on Youtube while selling over 10 million copies worldwide.

MAD DECENT BLOCK PARTY

The trio’s enchantment with the country continued as they toured India for the second time in 2016, but in 2017, Diplo decided to bring a full-fledged party to India along with his Major Lazer crew. Diplo was keen to shower his love for India again and he said,

“Being able to bring Mad Decent Block Party to India is a huge accomplishment, and all of us in Major Lazer are excited to be back in India bringing carnival to the fans”

Through his Mad Decent imprint, Diplo brought the Mad Decent Block Party to India with some of the biggest names in the scene like Gorgon City, Big Gigantic along with Indian talents like Nucleya, Divine, Reggae Rajahs, Su-real and more. Like their previous tours, the Mad Decent Block Party was a huge success.

“Being able to bring Mad Decent Block Party to India is a huge accomplishment, and all of us in Major Lazer are excited to be back in India bringing carnival to the fans”

SOLO TOUR AND COLLABORATIONS WITH INDIAN ARTISTS

After touring the country extensively with Major Lazer over the years, it was only fair that Diplo experienced a trip all by himself. The famous Life In Colour Festival made its debut in India with Diplo headlining the festival alongside Divine, Ritviz, Smokey, and DJ 4B. Diplo who was the most awaited act on the night of the festival, dropped tunes like “Choli Ke Peeche,” “Amplifier” and “Kar Gayi Chull,” which sent the crowd into a complete frenzy.

His love for India was further affirmed when the headlining performance was followed by collaborations with prominent Indian artists like Ritviz who recreated Major Lazer’s ‘Light It Up’ and Nucleya teaming up with the trio for an explosive Moombahton banger ‘Jadi Buti’ as part of their 4th studio album ‘Music Is The Weapon’.

 Being the supreme purveyor of the ultimate global sound, Diplo’s penchant for exploring cultures took his Major Lazer group to Cuba where they became the first EDM act to play a concert in the country. The free show which took place right outside the newly established US embassy, was a result of Cuba and USA restoring its diplomatic relations. With nearly 5,00,000 people attending the concert, it is safe to say that it was a blast.

The historic event was turned into a documentary called Give Me Future. You can relive the grand party here:

As we look forward to a time without having to wear masks, gathering and partying together, we hope to see the super producer grace India again and do what he does best; make people rave.

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Drum & Bass head with a tinge of hip shake for Disco. A DJ when I am not glued to my screen!

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