Profile: Diplo

November 2016

Key Facts

Date of Birth: 10/11/1978
Birthplace: Tupelo, Mississippi, USA
Residence: USA
Status: Active
Career: 2003 – present




Thomas Wesley Pentz, better known by his stage name Diplo, is an American DJ, record producer, rapper, singer, songwriter and record executive based in Los Angeles, California.


Born in Tupelo, Mississippi, he is of German and English descent. As a child, the family moved around and he spent the majority of his youth in Miami. It was here that he got a taste for the characteristic Miami bass. in 1997, he began attending the University of Central Florida, which was followed more studies in Temple University in Philadelphia. It was here, that he first garnered attention as a DJ.


After frequently running into fellow DJ Low Budget, the two began throwing parties under the Hooked on Hollertronix moniker in 2003 as a way of maintaining control of what they were able to play during DJ gigs in Philadelphia. The success of these parties allowed the two to release mixtapes, both separate and together, gathering acclaim across the country. Never Scared, a mixtap, was named one of the New York Times top ten albums of 2003, and the Hollertronix name became synonymous with parties featuring guests like Maluca Mala, Bun B, Spank Rock, M.I.A., among others.


His solo debut, Florida, which was released on the Ninja Tune imprint, Big Dada Records, featured a more reflective sound. It was not long before his Hooked on Hollertronix parties would provide him the success necessary to move to the next logical step and build a studio where music would become his full-time focus. Diplo, therefore built “The Mausoleum,” a video studio, recording studio, record label office, gallery, and event space in Philadelphia. and since has been used by artists like Christina Aguilera, Shakira, M.I.A., Santigold, Spank Rock, Plastic Little, Blaqstarr, Paper Route Gangstaz. The space has also hosted concerts by Glass Candy, Skream, Boys Noize, Nicos Gun, and more.


During his rise to fame, Diplo worked with British musician M.I.A., an artist who is credited with giving him exposure in his early career. Later, he and fellow M.I.A. producer Switch created a Jamaican dancehall project and cartoon series titled Major Lazer. And along with producer and DJ Skrillex, formed the electronic duo Jack Ü.


Diplo has also worked on production and mixtape projects with many other pop artists, such as Gwen Stefani, Die Antwoord, Tinie Tempah, Britney Spears, Madonna, Shakira, Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, Usher, Snoop Dogg, and other.


He founded and manages record company Mad Decent, as well as co-founding the non-profit organization Heaps Decent. His 2013 EP Revolution debuted at number 68 on the US Billboard 200. The song was later featured in a commercial for Hyundai and is featured on the WWE 2K16 soundtrack.




2016 Grammy Awards for Best Dance Recording and Best Dance/Electronic Album (Both award won with Skrillex).



Fun Facts

His stage name is short for Diplodocus, a long-necked herbivore from the Jurassic period.


He’s got a silhouette of the creature tattooed inside his right forearm.


Diplo has travelled over 1 million miles or 40 times around the world.


Among other jobs, he has worked as a schoolteacher in Philadelphia.