Sunset Artist Spotlight: Major Lazer

written by Amanda Cosenza

photo by Alex Perez

Saturday May 27th Major Lazer will be closing out the main stage at Sunset Music Festival in Tampa, Florida. The group was founded back in 2009 with Thomas Wesley Pentz (Diplo) and David James Andrew Taylor (Switch). Switch left the group in 2011 and was replaced with Christopher Leacock (Jillionaire), and Leighton Paul Walsh (Walshy Fire).

The trio took the world by storm in 2015 with their third album, Peace is the Mission, which had the single “Lean On” with French Producer DJ Snake and Danish singer-songwriter MØ. The song was a major hit, instantly becoming the anthem of the summer. It is the third most streamed song on Spotify with over 978 million streams and currently has over 2 billion views on Youtube. The group is currently working on their fourth album, Music is the Weapon, for which they have already released hit singles from like “Cold Water” featuring Justin Bieber and “Run Up” featuring Nicki Minaj.

What makes the trio stand out is that their music is fueled by the dream of “making the world smaller by making the party bigger.” They are on a mission to bring their music to dance floors across the world. Last year they performed a free concert in Havana, Cuba for which over 400,000 people showed up. The historic show was captured in the documentary “Give Me Future” which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

Here are some of my favorite songs from Major Lazer:

Lean On (featuring MØ):

Not only is “Lean On” featuring MØ one of their most popular songs, it was the anthem of my entire 2015 summer. It also wasn’t until months after singing the lyrics wrong that I realized the chorus actually says “Blow a kiss, fire a gun.”

Powerful (featuring Ellie Goulding & Tarrus Riley):

For anyone who has ever been hopelessly in love, “Powerful” featuring Ellie Goulding and Tarrus Riley is one of those songs that you play on repeat singing passionately along. The song is the perfect combination of passionate lyrics, strong vocals, and soulful instrumentals.

Get Free (featuring Amber of the Dirty Projectors):

Digging a bit deeper into their musical vault, “Get Free” featuring Amber of the Dirty Projectors was released in 2012 and is a song that will touch your heart. The song features beautiful vocals and a powerful message of hope that things can get better.


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