Oyster #98: Diplo
"It's like a giant Florida where everyone is better looking."
Thomas Wesley Pentz — aka Diplo — is as well-travelled as he is musically versed. For five years his close friend Shane McCauley tagged along on all of the Philadelphia-based producer's international adventures, and photographed the people, places and sounds that have influenced and inspired him. Now these images can be seen in a new book, 128 Beats Per Minute (out now through Rizzoli), which also features a playlist for each city.
Alice Cavanagh: Which destination has influenced you the most?
Wesley Pentz: Jamaica is big because I work there so much, but London is the cross roads of all the cultures and sounds [that] I work in. I used to be scared to go there and perform — I thought everyone was going to look down on me. It has the most progressive music scene. It's the place I still get so surprised and influenced by.
How many languages do you speak?
One: English. I can fake Portuguese and Japanese but it's hard after ten or so sentences.
Diplo in the Old City Jersalem, 2008. (Image by Shane McCauley courtesy of Rizzoli)
What is your favourite type of cuisine?
Indian food. I don't eat enough of it but that's the end for me.
In which country/place are you happiest?
I actually love Australia because it's such an easygoing and happy place. I'm so far from home there that I lose my sense of responsibility. I just go to the beach, hang out with girls or chase animals, and you guys love our music. There or Bali or Hawaii, or probably back in Florida. It's where I'll probably end up dying.
Really? Where would you ultimately like to end your days?
In the Caribbean like all the other old weird dudes that do music labels or make Baller art or movies.
Trench Town, Kingston, 2010. (Image by Shane McCauley courtesy of Rizzoli)
Unfortunately, Diplo left Australia out of his selection. "I could never afford to bring Shane — only just recently did I start getting decent money there," he says. "Maybe there will be a bonus DVD [laughs], or at least a zine. I plan on doing a lot more in Australia. It's like a giant Florida where everyone is better looking."
To make up for his slight, we asked him to suggest an Australian playlist.
Diplo's Australian Playlist:
1. Gossip 'Standing in the Way of Control (Soulwax mix)'
2. M.I.A. 'Galang'
3. Spank Rock 'Put That Pussy On Me'
4. Flux Pavillion 'I Can’t Stop'
5. Nicky Van She and Dangerous Dan 'Around the World Again'
6. Iggy Azalea 'Pussy'