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Major Lazer

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About Major Lazer

Major Lazer is a digital dancehall DJ project that was created by American DJ and record producer Diplo. The character of Major Lazer was created originally as a front for collaborations between Diplo and DJ Switch. Major Lazer blends Jamaican reggae dancehall music with electronic beats, heavy sampling and guest vocals.

The two DJs met through working with M.I.A. and went on to release their debut effort, Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do, in 2009 after recording it in Jamaica. The album featured guest vocals from the likes of Busy Signal and Turbulence and the first single, Hold The Line, was nominated for Breakthrough Video at the MTV Music Video Awards. They played a series of dates in Australia in late 2009 and toured the USA extensively throughout 2010 and 2011, becoming regulars at festivals such as Pitchfork and Outside Lands.

Lazer released a number of EPs and mix-tapes during this period, working with the likes of Thom Yorke, electro-pop duo La Roux and Beyoncé on projects. In 2012 they began to collaborate with Snoop Dog on his new Snoop Lion material. At around the same time, DJ Switch left the project and was replaced by DJ and producer Jillionaire. The collaboration continued to utilise more unique world music in its own dancehall style, bringing in elements of Brazilian baile funk and Angolan kuduro to add to the Jamaican and reggae roots. They became one of the hardest-working acts on the scene throughout 2012, constantly playing dates across the country and collaborating with numerous recording artists in between their own gigs.

The digital character of Major Lazer has a fully fleshed-out back-story involving cryogenic sleep, shadow government agents, invaders from deep space and the ultimate fight for Earth's freedom. Digital animations and videos tell the Major's story at live shows while DJs Diplo and Jillionaire do their thing on stage. Their 2013 album, Free The Universe, reached the top 40 in both the UK and US album charts and featured guest appearances from Bruno Mars, Shaggy and Wyclef Jean amongst many others. In between working on tracks for their own album, they also found the time to co-produce Rita Ora's latest album as well as the latest release from No Doubt. DJ Diplo also runs Mad Decent records, which released Snoop Lion's Reincarnated album and was responsible for the wildly popular Harlem Shake single.