The role of a producer in the music industry is typically thought of as the person or persons who create the backing tracks for an artist to sing over. Defining one’s career as a producer is then about defining one’s sound as distinct from others. But not everybody plays by those rules.
Among producers working today, few have re-defined the role of producer as much as Diplo, who dropped his latest EP, Express Yourself, yesterday. If asked to identify Diplo’s defining aesthetic as producer, one would be hard pressed to look at his production credits and find any consistent sonic thread.
Sure, Diplo makes tracks for the club—many of them referencing genres like house, Baltimore club, baile funk, and dubstep—but while he's always referencing dance music, Diplo is ultimately a master curator, negotiator, delegator, and A&R for of-the-moment sounds and the originators behind them.
Looking at Diplo’s best productions, it becomes clear just how variously he has impacted the music industry—from his early work with future superstar M.I.A., to trance collaborations with Tiesto, and chart-topping hits with Chris Brown. There isn’t a harder working, more dynamic figure than Diplo, and these are the tracks that prove it.
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Written by Stefan Nickum (@t3nd3rman)