Diplo is a man of many moods. He strutted the red carpet of last night’s MTV VMAs in full Nashville glitter, but his heart still beats at a solid 120 bpm. Today, he takes off the Stetson hat and hops back into club culture to launch Higher Ground, the DJ and producer’s second record label, this one dedicated to all things house music.
“House is where it all came from,” Diplo is quoted in a press release. “Everything we know and love as dance music today started with the masters in Chicago and Detroit almost 40 years ago. The genre has always been incredibly important to me, and Higher Ground is our homage to the legends and opportunity to champion new sounds and artists from around the world pushing the genre forward.”
The label is named after Diplo’s four-track house EP of the same name, released last May. The first official release is a double from Brooklyn duo Walker & Royce, due out in full Wednesday, Sept. 4. Future planned releases include singles from Diplo, Lisbon’s DJEFF, France’s Born Dirty, German duo Andhim, and a new duo called Sidepiece.
Diplo got his start as a label chief 14 years ago with Mad Decent. It has earned a reputation as a taste-making career launcher, delivering weird sounds inspired by trap, dancehall, moombahton and Jersey Club from artists including Dillon Francis, Ape Drums, Lido, Jauz, Poppy, Slushii and more. Diplo made his career as an open-format DJ and producer unafraid to blur genre lines. He has a country crossover EP due out later this year.
Listen to a preview of Walker & Royce’s label debut “Rave Grave” below.