THR Names Music's 35 Top Hitmakers
This story first appeared in the Feb. 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
“Whose stupid idea was this?” It is midway through Diplo’s Trap Hawk Down tour, and the 34-year-old Grammy nominee for producer of the year is wondering what led him to spin sets in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Atlantic City and New York City -- in 12 hours or less. The idea, of course, was his. And he sold out all four shows. If you don’t recognize Diplo’s name, you’ll now know his work. Born Thomas Wesley Pentz, he put his off-kilter touch on Justin Bieber’s “Thought of You,” Bruno Mars’ “Money Make Her Smile” and Usher’s “Climax.” Diplo’s set, like his producing style, is a whirl of reggae, rap, pop, house, baile funk and dubstep -- an aesthetic he honed working with M.I.A. (He’s behind her buoyant single “Paper Planes,” which scored him his first Grammy nomination in 2008.) Since then, he’s worked with everyone from Beyonce to 2 Chainz to No Doubt. “I’m always doing tours and working and traveling,” says the charismatic globetrotter. “I’m different than the other producers because I’m always out in the street.”