Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:40 pm
Credit Zack Smith
I'm spending June in New Orleans, digging into the soft wet earth of American music. A week in, I feel like I've barely begun to explore. The minute I try to say what draws me to New Orleans music, I realize that the core of it is always changing. It's not just the variety, though I love that in the first few days here, I caught classic blues on Frenchmen Street, a wild bounce night downtown, my longtime favorite Susan Cowsill singing Dusty Springfield covers in the Garden District, and a brass band on the corner in the French Quarter.
The music made by Thomas Wesley Pentz, better known by his stage name, Diplo, is one part club-music mashup and one part pop music forecast. In 2009, he took bubblin' — a syncopated house style born in the clubs of Holland — as inspiration and collaborated with fellow DJ Switch, his partner in the group Major Lazer, to make the dance-floor hit "Pon de Floor." But he wasn't done with the bubblin' sound yet. In 2011, he used that song as basis for "Run the World (Girls)," a single by the pop star Beyonce.