ARTIST PROFILE

Major Lazer

Name: Taylor and Pentz

Birthday: November 10, 1978

Fav Dish: greek souvlaki

A conceptual EDM act based around a fictional character, Major Lazer launched in 2008 as the digital reggae/dancehall project of Diplo, the globetrotting, tastemaking DJ/producer whose previous collaborations included work for M.I.A. and Santigold. Recorded at Jamaica’s Tuff Gong studios, Major Lazer’s debut album, Guns Don’t Kill People… Lazers Do, featured producer Switch as a member. Vocal contributions came from noted dancehall stars including Vybz Kartel, Busy Signal, Mr. Vegas, and Turbulence, as well as Santigold, Nina Sky, and rapper Amanda Blank. Much anticipation and online chatter were fueled in part by the novelty video/song “Zumbi,” featuring the comedian Andy Milonakis, the frenetic, legitimate lead single “Hold the Line,” and a goofy, invented back-story about a renegade Jamaican commando with prosthetic laser arms who was allegedly a Zombie War veteran and vampire-fighting C.I.A. operative (but was demonstrably a rampant Twitter user). The album was released in June of 2009 as a joint venture between Downtown Records and Diplo’s Mad Decent label. Lazers Never Die, an EP with two new songs and three remixes, followed in 2010, along with Lazerproof, a collaborative mixtape with the English electropop duo La Roux. In 2012, Snoop Dogg joined Diplo for the digital reggae single “La La La,” released under the name Snoop Lion, while Switch announced he was leaving the project. Diplo carried on with producer Jillionaire, joining the group for Free the Universe, the group’s sophomore album. The 2013 release featured Wyclef, Bruno Mars, Vybz Kartel, and Shaggy on its long guest list. Sean Paul and Pharrell Williams joined the party for the 2014 EP Apocalypse Soon. The 2015 album Peace Is the Mission featured the massive hit “Lean On” plus chart-topping guests like Ariana Grande, Ellie Goulding, and 2 Chainz. It was also supported by an animated series that aired on the FXX cable television network.

Major Lazer has been defined as a tool for one of EDM‘s unique, collaborative music projects. To add to the dynamics and mystery behind the project, Lazer was created by a team of two producers, DJs Switch, born Dave Taylor, and Diplo, born Thomas Wesley Pentz, to provide cause and reason for the music.

Major Lazer had been a renegade Jamaican commando during the Zombie War of 1984 and was rescued by the US military after he lost an arm in battle. In an effort to replace the arm, the military developed experimental lazers as a prosthetic limb for the Major. For repayment, Major was expected to work as a secret renegade soldier under the eye of M5 and the CIA. His cover was a night club owner from Trinidad.

He needed help creating his first LP so he asked producers Diplo and Switch to assist.

The two released the Major Lazer record in Jamaica. Their first release was Guns Don’t Kill, Lazers Do in 2009. It included tracks with various vocals from many well-known artists such as Busy Signal and Turbulence, rapping from Amanda Blank, and even work from comedian Andy Milonakis.

Major Lazer knew how to party and drove a powered skateboard. As part of his plan to rid the world of evil, they used futuristic dancers. Obviously, Major’s character provides any reason to put on an eccentric show.

Today, Taylor and Pentz are renowned producers, founders, and owners of several music labels. Major Lazer plays on; you can catch him at various tours throughout the country today.

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