Major Lazer has teamed up with J Balvin and El Alfa for their newest single, “Que Calor.” Major Lazer has collaborated previously with both featured artists, and the track takes inspiration from each of their home countries. It samples Toto La Momposina’s traditional Colombian-cumbia classic “Curara” and Dominican dembow rhythms. The release is ultimately a feel-good song and the perfect trigger to get the listener dancing. To accompany the single’s release, the artists have also released an energetic music video.
The video starts with J Balvin surrounded by enthusiastic dancers. The setting is muted and dark, but the video then jumps to an ornate and brighter setting. Diplo rises out of fire to join J Balvin and El Alfa on a platform surrounded by flames and dancers, creating a dynamic visual accompaniment to the dance-worthy single.
Disney’s photorealistic reboot of The Lion King may be one of the most highly anticipated cinema events of the year. In addition to all the buzz around the franchise’s 2019 reboot, the film’s star, Beyoncé has given everyone another reason to celebrate with her new companion album, The Lion King: The Gift, which features a host of supporting talent including Major Lazer on “ALREADY.”
This isn’t the first time Beyoncé and Diplo have joined forces, and based on the worldly sonic chemistry they clearly have, it likely won’t be the last. “ALREADY” finds Queen Bey vocalizing over a regal, percussive afrobeat backdrop broken up by spits from Ghanaian producer Shatta Wale. Major Lazer have long maintained how deeply African sounds influence their music—an inspiration they proudly get to showcase alongside Beyoncé on “ALREADY.”
Beyoncé and Diplo last joined forces on 2016’s year defining Lemonade, which would go on to grab nine Grammy nominations. Before that, Queen Bey famously sampled Major Lazer’s breakout “Pon De Floor” on her anthemic 2011 hit, “Run The World.” Now, the pair are reuniting once again, this time on Beyoncé’s highly anticipated Lion King: The Gift companion album with “Already.”
The new track pairs the most in-demand pop star in the world with one of the most sought-after producers in the game, for a collaboration in conjuction with arguably the most anticipated cinema event of the year. “Already” also features Ghanaian-native dancehall artist Shatta Wale. Diplo recently alluded to the collaboration via social media, and now Major Lazer has officially substantiated the news. If Diplo and Beyoncé’s track record over the last decade has proven anything, we might have a new sweeping hit on our hands. Lion King: The Gift lands in full on July 19 to coincide with The Lion King remake’s theatrical debut.
Just over a week before the upcoming installment of Mad Decent Block Party, the label/event brand took to Facebook to confirm the festival’s imminent cancellation.
The rather nebulous announcement attributes the decision to “circumstances beyond our control,” hindering organizers from throwing the festival “the way that it was envisioned.” The hallowed annual event has been a longtime vessel for Mad Decent to show off its illustrious label roster, as well as gather extraneous, up-to-date talent from across the electronic/hip-hop continuum.
This year’s July 20-21 Block Party, pegged to land in Foxborough, Massachusetts, was scheduled to see scene staple performances from the likes of REZZ, Major Lazer (which includes Mad Decent label boss, Diplo himself), RL Grime, Zeds Dead, Billie Eilish, and more across the weekend. Per the announcement, Mad Decent will be issuing refunds to all ticket-holders on or before July 12.
Major Lazer has debuted the video for their new summer single “Make It Hot” featuring Brazilian superstar Anitta. The video is in partnership with BACARDI, with the famous rum brand making several appearances throughout the feature. The song unites Spanish vocals from Anitta with the group’s dancehall-inspired signature sound, with the viewer participating in the party from the video’s onset.
Anitta speaks about the video and working with Major Lazer, noting,
“It’s amazing when you work in synergy with someone who completes you artistically, Having the opportunity to write/compose another song with Major Lazer was really special. We have developed this energy that is similar to being around family and close friends when we work together. It’s good to be able to bounce ideas off each other and that’s something that happens naturally now. I think it’s difficult for anyone to listen to this song and remain still.”
Anitta steals the show, dancing through the feature with the members of Major Lazer making cameos throughout. The video is total sensory overload, making the visuals as colorful as the sonic elements of the track, and ultimately serves as a perfect compliment to the release.
With Diplo’s signature Mad Decent Block Party just a month away, fresh material from the EDM goliath’s very own dancehall collective, Major Lazer, serves as a warm welcome to the impending festival season.
In what started as a project to repackage reggae and dancehall to the dance music masses, the Diplo-led trio—which also sports the talents of Walshy Fire and Ape Drums—has blossomed into an auditory melting pot of cultures, fusing musical and visual inspirations from around the globe. Major Lazer’s new single, “Make It Hot,” does just this, finding common ground among Eastern and Latin sound palettes all within a trudging moombahton beat.
Rio de Janeiro’s very own Anitta supplies vocals, which not only puts a much-needed sheen on the amalgamation of sounds present, but slathers the summer-ready beat with Major Lazer’s patented brand of grinding EDM swag.
Hosted at the Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts on July 20 and 21, this year’s Mad Decent Block Party is headlined by Major Lazer, Billie Eilish, G-Eazy and Miguel. Tickets to the event can be found here.
Diplo, the DJ-turned-pizza-authority recently joined Barstool’s Dave Portnoy as the first electronic artist in over 600 episodes of Portnoy’s One Bite pizza reviews. In the episode, Diplo drops his review of an artisan pie from Sotto 13 in New York, while Portnoy does the same, between an anecdote involving Diplo, the cameraman and, unsurprisingly, a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit after party.
The ‘za reviews are topped with a taste of what’s to come at the Super Mega Ultra Giant Mad Decent Block Party Festival. Splayed across July 20-21 at the New England Patriots’ Gillette Stadium, this year’s outdoor party needs not an ounce of bolstering, with headliners like Billie Eilish, Miguel, and Major Lazer on the roster.
TLDR: Diplo’s final thoughts on the pizza: Mad Decent.
Tickets to the Mad Decent Block Party are available here.
In recent weeks, Jillionaire quietly slipped away from Major Lazer and was replaced by Ape Drums for the group’s ramping performance schedule. The move came without much fanfare until the news officially broke on June 3. A few weeks ago, when Major Lazer began promoting the concept for their new Lazerism LP, Dancing Astronaut reached out to Diplo for comment on Jillionaire’s absence from the video. The request went unanswered until news officially broke—then Diplo reached back out to us to provide some more clarity on the situation.
According to Diplo,
“Jillionaire is always part of the team. Ape Drums is helping with production on some tracks (he’s done a few songs with us before) so he is going to tour with us as well…it’s like John Mayer joining the Grateful Dead.”
More details on Lazerism are expected to surface in the coming weeks, and Ape Drums’ stylistic influence within the dancehall group should begin to show. Over the years, group and it’s rotating members have always maintained a collective ethos, so even while Jillionaire is off on new pursuits, his place in Major Lazer seems indefinitely open.
Replacing the Feel Up Records helmer in Major Lazer’s live lineup is longtime close affiliate of the group, Ape Drums. Jillionaire’s departure started to become apparent in a recent social media post hyping Major Lazer’s hotly anticipated new LP, in which he was clearly absent. Now, following Ape Drums’ live debut at Major Lazer’s Governor’s Ball performance this past weekend, Jillionaire’s retirement from Major Lazer is all but confirmed, thus marking the end of an era, and the beginning of an exciting new one for the legendary electronic group.
While he may be best known as the Master of Ceremonies for Major Lazer, Walshy Fire is also a producer and DJ of his own accord, and now he’s ready to put forth his debut solo album, ABENG, along with the LP’s first single, “No Negative Vibes.”
The title of the album refers to an instrument crafted from an animal horn that was taken from Ghana to Jamaica. Slaves would use this instrument to communicate over long distances in a way only people within their community could understand.
This title is quite profound provided that Walshy’s presence in Major Lazer gives the group real authenticity. Diplo and Switch (two American DJs) started Major Lazer back in 2008, but Walshy was born in Kingston, Jamaica, a city where Major Lazer draws heavy musical influence. After the extreme success of “Lean On“, Walshy and Major Lazer began touring all over the world including Africa, which had an acute effect on him as a producer.
“The intention [of ABENG] is to make the Caribbean and Africa have a conversation that is louder, and in the same studio or the same stage, at the same time,” Walshy says.
Just as the abeng traveled from Africa to the Carribean, the music of those two regions have shared influence for decades, evolving into styles like dancehall, soca, and reggae. On “No Negative Vibes,” Walshy has included vocal work from fellow Jamaican artist Alkaline and Nigeria’s own Runtown for a pleasant, uplifting slow jam.