Your birthday always seems to feel like a total reset on your life. If it’s going poorly, maybe a new year can mean a new beginning; if things are going well, it can be the start to reach for new heights. In Diplo‘s case, when your year starts off with the entire world (rightfully) hating you for insulting the beloved Taylor Swift and Lorde, as it did in 2014, it pretty much amounts to a turd sandwich wrapped in a bow as a gift. Thankfully, 2015 was a much kinder year for Diplo, and much of it was due to his effort to try to be better. The DJ and superstar producer turns 37 Tuesday, and we felt it was necessary to try to chronicle why 2015 was possibly his biggest year to date.
There’s a certain dubious morality in music and in entertainment at large: If someone is good at their job, people will often overlook the bad things that they do. Diplo has said some bad things to people, many of them women; that is undeniably true and it’s important to remember that. But, if someone goes out of their way to right some of those wrongs, while not an obligation, it’s a good thing to take notice of that, too.
One of the more provocative and ornery musicians working today (a nice way of saying he’s been a sh*t-stirrer in the past), Diplo has spent most of his 2015 more mellowed out (he did have a second child a week after his previous birthday). He spoke to Billboard in April about how regretted his controlling and awful nature during his relationship, both working and romantic, with M.I.A. In Interview Magazine, he even said he wants to drop the name Diplo, explaining that it was to focus solely on Major Lazer, a project that has far more goodwill. Still, it seems like he wants to discard the baggage that he accrued from years of bad behavior in favor of something more positive.
Now, this year has not been without its dustups. In February, he had it out with a few internet artists for not properly attributing a GIF for promotional purposes and, in June, beefed with young EDM upstart Zedd. But for the most part, he’s actually tried to be fairly, ugh, diplomatic about these things, apologizing for both transgressions.