The 12 Pop Songs You Didn’t Know Diplo Produced
In the last 18 months, Diplo‘s production has been ubiquitous at pop’s highest levels — see hits like Jack Ü’s «Where Are Ü Now» (which peaked at No. 8 on the Hot 100),Major Lazer‘s «Lean On» (No. 4), and Beyoncé‘s «Hold Up» (No. 13). But Diplo — who’s named Artist Of The Year in Billboard‘s new Dance Power list — is hardly an overnight top 40 success; he moved gradually into the mainstream, amassing an impressive series of credits over time. His early work often drew from the sound of international dance sub-genres. His open ears and versatility proved to be an asset — when electronic music entered its major crossover phase, he was well-suited to work with pop artists looking to expand their sound. Here’s a look back at some of his lesser-known productions:
M.I.A. – “Bucky Done Gun”
Diplo worked with M.I.A. several times before the two concocted “Paper Planes,” which went on to become a top five pop hit. The frenetic “Bucky Done Gun” represented the start of their studio collaborations.
Santigold – “Unstoppable”
Diplo produced three songs on Santigold’s eponymous 2008 release, including “Unstoppable,” which Drake later sampled on his So Far Gone mixtape. Diplo reappeared as a producer on several tracks from Santigold’s Master Of My Make-Believe as well.
Robyn – “Dancehall Queen”
Body Talk Pt. 1 helped reestablish Robyn as a dominant force in America: it contained “Dancing On My Own,” one of her most popular songs. Diplo also has a credit on “Criminal Intent” from Body Talk Pt. 2.
Chris Brown – “Look At Me Now” Featuring Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes
Diplo produced this one with Afrojack and Freeschool, and the result still sounds strange and hypnotic years later. It went on to became a top ten pop hit, buoyed by Busta Rhymes’ stunning display of rapping speed.
Beyoncé – “End Of Time”
Diplo first connected with Beyoncé back in 2010 for the martial, brassy “End Of Time.”This year, he appeared twice in the credits for Lemonade
Usher – “Climax”
This is one of Diplo’s finest productions – it came together with Ariel Rechtshaid, who has also earned acclaim for his work with Haim and Vampire Weekend. Usher’s ventures into gleaming electronic soundscapes have been uneven, but this is a seamless fusion.
Rita Ora – “Hello, Hi, Goodbye”
This song was co-written by The-Dream, and Diplo helped out with the production. It’s a great combination of their strengths – delicate melodies from one, unpredictable drums from the other.
Bruno Mars – “Money Make Her Smile”
Diplo landed a credit on Mars’ debut album. You can hear his arena-dance style pulling against Mars’ whiplash funk groove
Tamar Braxton – “One on One Fun”
Listen to the seeds of “Look At Me Now” and “Climax” in this beat: the backbone is composed of the same sort of rising synth tones.
Britney Spears – “Passenger”
Diplo tried something a little different on this song, updating a power ballad form with stuttering electronics.
Madonna – “Living For Love”
Diplo had a number of credits on Madonna’s Rebel Heart album. One of the strongest cuts he worked on was the nu-house track “Living For Love,” which found him collaborating once again with Rechtshaid.
Justin Bieber – “Memphis”
Diplo lent a beat to Bieber for the Journals album. Though the project was overlooked at the time, it provided much of the vocal foundation for the highly successful follow-up,Purpose. Bieber and Diplo also famously collaborated on “Where Are U Now,” a top ten pop hit.
Credits to Billboard.-