The Best Band Ever: Major Lazer
Beethoven, Mozart, The Beatles, Radiohead; all capable of producing decent music, some would say the best music ever made. Now, in 2013, we have seen the emergence of a new contender who stands head and shoulders above these mere minnows of music. Major Lazer have undeniably grown into the best producer of sound the world has ever seen.
Refusing to conform to stereotypes and formal ‘identities’. Major Lazer is “a fictional cartoon character, who fought as a Jamaican commando and lost both arms in a secret zombie war in 1984. He fights vampires and various monsters, parties hard, and has a rocket-powered hoverboard”. And Beethoven thought that wearing that big collar made him cool.
Major Lazer is backed by producers Diplo and, until 2011, Switch who left due to ‘musical differences’. All great musicians face this difficulty but it has only made Diplo double his efforts in making Major Lazer even more of a world power. Their first album ‘Guns Don’t Kill People Lazers Do…’ was released in 2009 and has gone on to sell over 2 billion copies worldwide. It is claimed that the government of Laos required every citizen to own two copies on CD. In 2013 they released ‘Free The Universe’ which reached number 1 in the album charts in 135 countries worldwide and went platinum in the USA within a week of its release.
Not limited by genre, Major Lazer tackle reggae, dubstep, trap, hip-hop and any other genre Diplo shows a passing interest in. This versatility results in a massive fan base resulting in sold out concerts worldwide. The Major Lazer live show is a spectacle to rival the Cirque du Soleil. Formerly fronted by Skerrit Bwoy who would act as hype man, MC and coordinator of the simulated sex dance form known as ‘daggering’ the live show is now more mature with Jillionaire and Walshy Fire enlisted to fill the shoes of the inimitable Skerrit Bwoy. Their performances have won Best Live Show at the Grammy’s for the past 4 years and ‘Pon Di Floor’ won the award for Best Dance Song two years in a row due to an administrative error.
Major Lazer are currently creating music that would have been impossible to make 25 years ago. Every snare pop and siren blare is polished with so much audio wax it glistens through the speakers. The production value is second to none and this is down to Diplo’s years spent as an apprentice at Maida Vale studios. A little known fact is that Diplo and hype man Skerrit Bwoy actually met studying music at The Juilliard School. Diplo studied piano and Skerrit Bwoy viola, they bonded over a love of trap and decided that a career as Major Lazer was more appealing than playing in an orchestra. Diplo says ‘I never saw myself as a part of that lifestyle and my cash flow wasn’t steady. Sometimes you just have to do what you like, Skerrit Bwoy had the same ideas and we just flew off together and got free of everything. With Major Lazer anything goes and we can’t stop now.’
The Beatles were a selfish bunch, the ‘Fab Four’ never let anyone else join in. Major Lazer fear no one and invite a whole host of international megastars to contribute to their music. Guests include: Santigold, Vybz Kartel, Ward 21, Busy Signal, Nina Sky, Amanda Blank, Mr. Vegas, Turbulence, Mapei, T.O.K, Prince Zimboo, Santigold, Leftside , GTA, Razz, Biggy, Timberlee, Peaches, Amber of Dirty Projectors, Santigold, Busy Signal, The Flexican, FS Green, Laidback Luke, Ms. Dynamite, Shaggy, Wynter Gordon, Bruno Mars, Tyga, Mystic, Bugle, Arama, Santigold and Santigold. In a way, we are all Major Lazer because The Beatles hate sharing.
With a cultural influence greater than that of the entire of Slovenia, Major Lazer are an emerging world force. Touring the world relentlessly, never refusing an exchange of currency for pressing play on a laptop they are set to dominate the music scene for decades. They truly deserve the title of ‘Best Ever’ and can only improve with time, like a fine red wine.