Major Lazer is an American electronic dance music trio, which includes record producer Diplo, and DJs Jillionaire and Walshy Fire. It was founded in 2008 by Diplo and Switch, with Switch leaving after three years in 2011. He was then replaced by both Jillionaire and Walshy Fire. Its music spans numerous genres, mixing reggae with dancehall, reggaeton, soca, house and moombahton.
Major Lazer has released three full-length albums: Guns Don’t Kill People… Lazers Do in 2009, Free the Universe in 2013, and Peace is the Mission in 2015. They have also released two EPs: Apocalypse Soon in March 2014, which featured vocal contributions from Pharrell Williams and Sean Paul, and Know No Better in 2017, which featured appearances from Camila Cabello, Quavo, Travis Scott, and J Balvin, among others. Lazer has also notably produced Reincarnated, the debut Reggae album by Snoop Dogg under his “Snoop Lion” persona. In March 2018, Billboard named Major Lazer as number five on their 2018 ranking of dance musicians titled Billboard Dance 100.
On July 22 (2016), a new track titled “Cold Water”, featuring vocals from MØ and Justin Bieber, was released by Major Lazer. It debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, and number 1 in several other countries including on the UK Official Charts, making it their most popular single yet. On September 30, 2016, “Believer”, a collaboration with Dutch production duo Showtek, was released as the second single from Major Lazer’s upcoming fourth album. The album’s title, Music is the Weapon, had been announced in May 2015, and was set to have “a few more club songs, a few more festival songs” than Peace is the Mission, but to be “in the same spectrum.”
On December 6, 2016, Major Lazer released a promotional single for Music Is the Weapon, titled “My Number”. The song is a collaboration with Bad Royale that samples “54-46 That’s My Number”, which Pitchfork describes as “a genre-defining classic from legendary ska/reggae group Toots and the Maytals.”The song contains newly recorded vocals from frontman Toots Hibbert specifically designed for Major Lazer, changing the original lyrics to incorporate the group into the song while keeping the original melody.
Following the success of singles “Cold Water” and “Believer”, Major Lazer released their third single titled “Run Up” on January 26, 2017. The song features Canadian musician PartyNextDoor and rapper Nicki Minaj, serving as a follow-up to the tropical, laid-back sound of “Cold Water”. Music is the Weapon, however, still failed to arrive, prompting rumors that Major Lazer would not be releasing an album after all. However, in 2018, Diplo stated that the album will be released in 2019 and that it will be their last.
On June 1, 2017, Major Lazer released a six-song extended play titled “Know No Better” along with the title track as a single which features Camila Cabello, Travis Scott & Quavo. The EP’s second single, “Sua Cara”, was later announced. It features Brazilian musicians Anitta and Pabllo Vittar. Several remixes of the EP’s title track have since been released.