Major Lazer

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Major Lazer
Major Lazer himself
Background information
Years active 2008–present
Associated acts
  • Diplo
  • Jillionaire
  • Walshy Fire
Past members

Major Lazer is an electronic music project created by American DJ and record producer Diplo initially collaborating with English DJ/producer Switch. The two parted ways in late 2011. Diplo has since enlisted producers/DJs Jillionaire and Walshy Fire (of Black Chiney) to help with the production and live shows. Their music spans numerous genres, usually fusing reggae and dancehall music with dance genres such as moombahton and electro house.

Major Lazer have released two full length albums – Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do and Free the Universe, released in 2009 and 2013 respectively. They released an EP entitled Apocalypse Soon in March 2014, which featured vocal contributions from Pharrell Williams and Sean Paul. Major Lazer also produced Reincarnated, the debut reggae album by Snoop Dogg under his Snoop Lion persona.


2009–11: Debut album[edit]

Formerly made up of DJ Diplo and Switch, the two were introduced after working with MIA. The duo's first album Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do was released on 16 June 2009, on Downtown Records. It was recorded in Jamaica at Tuff Gong Studios.[1] Vocalists such as Santigold, Vybz Kartel, Ward 21, Busy Signal, Nina Sky, Amanda Blank, Mr. Vegas, Turbulence, Mapei, T.O.K, Prince Zimboo, Leftside and others contribute guest vocals to the album, as well as additional production from Afrojack and Crookers.[2] This is the first release to come out of the label partnership between Downtown Records and Diplo's label Mad Decent.[3] Major Lazer ended a US tour last summer.[4]

The album's first single was "Hold the Line", the video for which, directed by Ferry Gouw, was nominated for a MTV Video Award in the Breakthrough Video category. "Hold the Line" was also featured in the video game FIFA 10. The track "Zumbie" has a music video that features comedian Andy Milonakis.[5] Music videos for the songs "Pon de Floor", "Keep It Going Louder", and "Bubble Butt" were directed by Eric Wareheim. In June 2009, Major Lazer were featured for the first time on the cover of the publication The FADER, in its 62nd issue.[6] Major Lazer performed at the Falls Music & Arts Festival (Lorne, Victoria, Australia) on 30 December 2009, the Coachella Music Festival in April 2010[7] they also performed at the Pitchfork Music Festival in July 2010 and the Sasquatch Music Festival on Monday 30 May 2011. Live visuals were created by Pomp&Clout. Major Lazer performed at the 2011 Outside Lands festival in San Francisco. From February 2013 he is with the song "Get Free" in the Vodafone Germany TV advertisement.

A mixtape with La Roux entitled "Lazerproof" was made available for free download on 26 May.[8] Diplo posted cover art on his Twitpic. It is the character Major Lazer in War Machine's silver suit, Elly Jackson of La Roux in the signature Iron Man suit, and Whiplash, the villain in the Iron Man 2 movie. On 20 June 2010, the group released an EP titled "Lazers Never Die". It contained two new songs and three remixes, by Thom Yorke and others. Switch provided production for Beyoncé's "Run the World (Girls)", which sampled "Pon de Floor".

2012–13: Free the Universe[edit]

Major Lazer's live shows previously included hype man Skerrit Bwoy[9] although Skerrit Bwoy left the group in 2012 to pursue religion. In 2012, Major Lazer began working with Snoop Dogg to produce some tracks that are to be included on his new reggae project. Along with the project came his new alter ego persona known as "Snoop Lion". Switch has left the collaborative effort due to "creative differences" as claimed by Diplo. He departed in late 2011 and was replaced with DJ/Producer Jillionaire and Walshy Fire. In September 2012, Major Lazer announced that its upcoming album, Free the Universe, would be released on 12 March 2013 on Mad Decent. They also announced Fall 2012 tour dates.[10]

Major Lazer partly produced UK singer Rita Ora's debut album, Ora. Major Lazer worked with No Doubt for their sixth studio album, Push and Shove. The album's title track features producers Major Lazer and Jamaican reggae artist Busy Signal, and was released as a promotional single in August 2012. Major Lazer launched their Fall Tour 2012 in October, with shows in Oakland, Washington, D.C., Boston, and New York City, amongst others.

In February 2013, Major Lazer signed with indie record label Secretly Canadian. At the same time, they announced the new release date, 16 April, for their album Free the Universe. They also announced the Free the Universe 2013 World Tour, which will run all spring.

2015–present: Peace is the Mission[edit]

On February 8, 2015, during the ceremony of the grammy awards, Diplo revealed details of the third album of Major Lazer, confirmed incorporations by Ariana Grande, Ellie Goulding, Pusha-T and other artists.

Major Lazer's third studio album is called "Peace is the Mission". [11] The first single, Lean On, is a collaboration with French DJ and producer DJ Snake and features vocals of Danish recording artist . The album is expected to be released on 1 June 2015. [12]



Title Album details Peak chart positions
BEL (Vl)
BEL (Wa)
Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do 95 169
Free the Universe 5 53 9 52 18 34 17 23 45 34 34
Peace Is the Mission To be released
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Title Album details Peak chart positions
Lazers Never Die
Original Don
  • Released: 4 November 2011
  • Label: Mad Decent
  • Formats: CD, digital download
Apocalypse Soon
  • Released: 25 February 2014
  • Label: Secretly Canadian / Mad Decent
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
141 28


Title Album details
Lazer Strikes Back Vol. 1
Lazer Strikes Back Vol. 2[21]
  • Released: 8 March 2013
  • Label: Mad Decent
  • Formats: Digital download
Lazer Strikes Back Vol. 3[22]
  • Released: 22 March 2013
  • Label: Mad Decent
  • Formats: Digital download
Lazer Strikes Back Vol. 4[23]
  • Released: 5 April 2013
  • Label: Mad Decent
  • Formats: Digital download


  • 2009: Major Lazer Essential Mix (available as podcast)
  • 2010: Lazerproof (with La Roux, available as a free download)[24]
  • 2010: Major Lazer Summer Mix (available as podcast)
  • 2013: Major Lazer Workout Mix
  • 2014: Major Lazer's Walshy Fire Presents: Jesse Royal – Royally Speaking (available as a free download)


As lead artist[edit]

List of singles as lead artist, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
BEL (Vl)
BEL (Wa)
"Hold the Line"
(featuring Mr. Lexx and Santigold)
2009 Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do
"Pon de Floor"
(featuring Vybz Kartel)
"Keep It Goin' Louder"
(featuring Nina Sky and Ricky Blaze)
"Jump Up"
(featuring Leftside and Supahype)
"Original Don"
(featuring The Partysquad)
2011 98 Original Don
"Get Free"
(featuring Amber Coffman)
2012 39 3 17 29 59 7 56 Free the Universe
"Jah No Partial"
(featuring Flux Pavilion)
"Watch Out for This (Bumaye)"
(featuring Busy Signal, The Flexican and FS Green)
2013 40 5 8 14 4 7 23 161
  • SNEP: Platinum
"Bubble Butt"
(featuring Bruno Mars, Tyga and Mystic)
39 24 11 67 65 196 56
"Scare Me"
(featuring Peaches and Timberlee)
89 37
"Keep Cool (Life Is What)"
(featuring Shaggy and Wynter Gordon)
"Aerosol Can"
(featuring Pharrell Williams)
2014 37 32 Apocalypse Soon
"Come On to Me"
(featuring Sean Paul)
10 36 21 60
"Lean On"
(with DJ Snake featuring )[29]
2015 4 47 13 29 3 15 2 21 48 Peace Is the Mission
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Other charted songs[edit]

List of songs, with selected chart positions, showing album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
"All My Love"
(featuring Ariana Grande)
2014 187 194 The Hunger Games:
Mockingjay, Part 1
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Guest appearances[edit]

List of non-single guest appearances, with other performing artists, showing year released and album name
Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"Push and Shove" 2012 No Doubt, Busy Signal Push and Shove
"Pressure" 2013 Chase & Status Brand New Machine
"We Make It Bounce" 2014 Dillon Francis, Stylo G Money Sucks, Friends Rule


Year Artist Track
2010 Gyptian "Hold You" (Major Lazer Remix)
Cajmere "Percolator" (Major Lazer Remix)
2011 Beastie Boys "Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win" (Major Lazer Beastie Remix Edition)
2012 Hot Chip "Look at Where We Are" (Major Lazer Remix)
"Look at Where We Are" (Major Lazer vs Junior Blender Mix)
No Doubt "Settle Down" (Major Lazer Remix)
The Prodigy "Smack My Bitch Up" (Major Lazer Remix)
Popcaan "Party Shot (Ravin Part 2)" (Major Lazer & ETC!ETC! Remix)
Bruno Mars "Locked Out of Heaven" (Major Lazer Remix)
2013 Bunji Garlin "Differentology" (Major Lazer Remix)[30]
Dada Life "Boing Clash Boom" (Major Lazer Remix)
Konshens "Gal A Bubble" (Major Lazer x Bro Safari x ETC!ETC! Remix)
Jack Beats "KYD" (Major Lazer X Jack Beats Remix)
Machel Montano "The Fog" (Major Lazer & Grandtheft Remix)
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis "Can't Hold Us" (Major Lazer Remix)
2014 Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike "Stampede" (Major Lazer & P.A.F.F. Remix)
Busy Signal "Watch Out For This" (Major Lazer Remix)
Davido "Skelewu" (Major Lazer & Wiwek Remix)[31]
Flipo "Doh Tell Me Dat" (Major Lazer & Jr Blender Remix)

Television series[edit]

A Major Lazer animated series will premiere on April 16th on FXX. Diplo serves as co-creator and executive producer of the show. [32]


  1. ^ Dacks, David (6 May 2012). "Major Lazer Shoots To Thrill • Interviews •". Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "Major Lazer (Diplo + Switch) to Release "Digital Reggae" LP | News". Pitchfork. 13 March 2009. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ Deluca, Dan "The songs of summer", Philadelphia Inquirer
  5. ^ "Major Lazer, Zumbie Video", Filter magazine
  6. ^ FADER, The (16 June 2009). "We Part (and Make Magazines)". The FADER. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Major Lazer, La Roux Team for Mixtape | News". Pitchfork. 24 May 2010. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  9. ^ Serwer, Jesse (1–7 April 2010). "Skerrit Bwoy". Time Out New York. Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  10. ^ "UPDATE: Major Lazer’s Free The Universe Release". 11 September 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2012. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ a b "Major Lazer – Australian Charts". Hung Medien. 
  14. ^ a b "Major Lazer – Austrian Charts". Hung Medien. 
  15. ^ a b "Major Lazer – Belgium (Flanders) Charts". Hung Medien. 
  16. ^ a b "Major Lazer – Belgium (Wallonia) Charts". Hung Medien. 
  17. ^ a b "Major Lazer – Danish Charts". Hung Medien. 
  18. ^ a b c d "Major Lazer – Danish Charts". Hung Medien. 
  19. ^ a b c "Major Lazer – Dutch Charts". Hung Medien. 
  20. ^ "Major lazer homepage". Major lazer. 
  21. ^ "Major Lazer – LAZER STRIKES BACK Vol. 2". Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  22. ^ "Major Lazer – LAZER STRIKES BACK Vol. 3". Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  23. ^ "Major Lazer – LAZER STRIKES BACK Vol. 4". Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  24. ^ "Lazerproof". Mad Decent. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  25. ^ a b "Major Lazer – French Charts". Hung Medien. 
  26. ^ a b "Major Lazer > UK Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  27. ^ "Major Lazer – Billboard". Billboard. 
  28. ^ "RIAA - Gold & Platinum Searchable Database - March 10, 2015". Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  29. ^ "iTunes - Music - Lean On (feat. MØ & DJ Snake) - Single by Major Lazer". iTunes. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  30. ^ "Major Lazer "Watch Out For This (Bumaye)" feat Busy Signal, The Flexican & FS Green [OFFICIAL". YouTube. 12 April 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  31. ^ Gossett, Eric. "Major Lazer Teams Up With Wiwek To Remix Davido's 'Skelewu'". Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  32. ^ "Major Lazer cartoon series to premiere on FXX next month". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 

External links[edit]