Diplo: the Beat Master Who Runs in Hyperdrive

Diplo: the Beat Master Who Runs in Hyperdrive

When I talk to Diplo (A.k.a Thomas Wesley Pentz) in L.A., the electronic-music trailblazer and one of today’s most influential producers, he’s just finished helping his 6-year-old son build a Millennium Fal- con. It’s a rare domestic moment for the music mogul, who’s had a monster year and shows no signs of slowing down.

The previous week, he’d spent time here in the studio, then was flown out to do shows in Las Vegas, Surrey, B.C., and Alaska—where he played the state’s largest outdoor electronic-music show ever (dubbed “Diplaska”)—then back to Vegas again. Tomorrow he’s heading to Europe to play 17 shows in 14 days, sometimes doing two a day: a concert with his band Major Lazer, then a solo Diplo set in a nightclub. He’s psyched to have a day and a half off in Ibiza— “That’s a big deal,” he tells me—but says he’ll spend it shooting a music video for his record label, Mad Decent.

It’s a pretty standard schedule for the 37-year-old, who’s also won two Grammys for his DJ collaboration Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack Ü (including one for the track “Where Are Ü Now,” which finally made Justin Bieber cool); released Spotify’s most streamed song ever with Major Lazer & DJ Snake with MØ (“Lean On”); played historic concerts in Pakistan and Cuba (the latter for 450,000 people); invested in the pro Arizona United soccer team; run a traveling music festival, produced two tracks on Beyoncé’s Lemonade album… Well, you get the idea.

Physically, he works out six days a week. “I’ve been doing Bikram yoga for 10 or 15 years,” he says. “No matter where I go, there’s always a studio, and I don’t need to know the language because I know the moves.” He does yoga about twice a week and mixes in some strength training on the remaining days. “My favorite place to work out is Parque de Arpoador, in Rio—a little beach between Copacabana and Ipanema with an outdoor gym that has weights made of concrete and metal poles. You don’t need much.”

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