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Diplo Returns to His Roots for His Self-Titled Album – A Record 25 Years in The Making

His first “proper” album since 2004’s Florida, his new self-titled album is the culmination of a 25-year career for iconic producer Diplo.

Maria José Govea*

It’s been a long time coming, but this month has finally seen acclaimed US producer Diplo release his first full-length record of electronic music in 18 years, officially unveiling his self-titled album.

If you’ve spent any time over the last 25 years listening to music, the chances are close to perfect that you’ve had your life influenced by Diplo’s creations. Having first launched his career in the early years of the 21st century, it didn’t take long for Diplo to become a prolific force of the music industry.

Releasing his debut album, Florida, in 2004, countless EPs, mixtapes, and singles soon followed, as did collaborations and releases with other artists. Before long, Diplo was almost inescapable, with his work being heard as an in-demand producer, remixer, and live artist, in addition to his name being involved in projects such as Major Lazer, Jack Ü, LSD, and Silk City – just to name a few.

However, the last couple of years found Diplo once again returning to work as a solo artist, unleashing his first solo record in 16 years in 2020 by way of Snake Oil.

A surprising country release, Snake Oil saw Diplo utilising his birth name of Thomas Wesley for the project which saw him working with the likes of Orville Peck and Leon Bridges. But again, it didn’t stop there, with the release of the ambient MMXX album just a few months later.

Now though, Diplo is back with a force, sharing his first-ever self-titled album, and first “proper” album in almost two decades with his newly-released self-titled project.

First announced back in February, Mad Decent label head and frequent Diplo collaborator Jasper Goggins explained that the new album was not only a “fantastic and cohesive self-titled work”, but one that will stand tall as a “career defining moment” for the producer.

“The features and collaborations may look like contemporary industry algorithmic engineering, but this album is actually purpose built for Diplo’s favorite places to play in the world,” Goggins added, “A testament to his almost absurd and undying love of DJing live in front of people.”

Indeed, the record does almost seem custom-built for the modern age, with previously-released singles such as “Don’t Forget My Love”, “Forget About Me”, and “Don’t Be Afraid” all featuring world-class artists such as Miguel, Aluna Francis, and Jungle, respectively.

But elsewhere on the record, the collaborations keep coming. The likes of Leon Bridges, Elderbrook, and Seth Troxler all make appearances, as do hip-hop heavyweights such as Lil Yachty and Busta Rhymes – just to name a minuscule few.

But Diplo is about more than just combining musical icons in the hopes of striking gold, it’s all about going back to the roots of the artist that became a household name thanks to his dedication to the world of music. In truth, Diplo is the product of a three-year deep-dive back into the house music genre that first blew the artist’s mind when he was first exposed to it as a teenager. After 25 years in the game, it’s all come full circle as Diplo returns to his roots, releasing the record via Sweat It Out and Higher Ground.

Even the release of the record is a return to Diplo’s roots, with its arrival coinciding with a run of special shows around the world in celebration of the album. Kicking off in Barcelona on March 4th, the coming days will see the three-time Grammy-winner also performing in Paris and Copenhagen, and includes a special return to Fabric in London – the first European club to book him in the early years of the century.

At its heart though, this new self-titled release is a record that hasn’t just been in the works for three years, but truly, an entire career in the making. After all, it’s impossible to craft a record such as this – which pays tribute to the entire genre of house music, its trailblazers, its clubs, and iconic records – without first becoming an icon of the genre. And with Diplo, that’s exactly what he’s done.

Diplo’s self-titled album is out now via Sweat It Out and Higher Ground.

Diplo – Diplo tracklist:

1. Don’t Forget My Love (with Miguel)
2. High Rise (featuring Amtrac and Leon Bridges)
3. Your Eyes (with RY X)
4. One By One (Extended) (Featuring Andhim and Elderbook)
5. Promises (with Paul Woolford and Kareen Lomax)
6. Right 2 Left (with Mele, featuring Busta Rhymes)
7. Humble (with Lil Yachty)
8. On My Mind (with Sidepiece)
9. Don’t Be Afraid (with Damian Lazarus, featuring Jungle)
10. Let You Go (with TSHA, featuring Kareen Lomax)
11. Forget About Me (Nite Version) (with Aluna and Durante)
12. Make You Happy (with WhoMadeWho)
13. Waiting For You (with Seth Troxler, featuring Desire)
14. Looking For Me (with Paul Woolford and Kareen Lomax)