Diplo’s Major Lazer unveils “Que Calor,” featuring J Balvin and Dominican dembow pioneer El Alfa, alongside a brand new video today.
Following previous collaborations with both featured artists “Que Calor” takes inspiration from each of their home countries, sampling Toto La Momposina’s traditional Colombian-cumbia classic “Curara” and Dominican dembow rhythms. The Jamaica-via-Dominican Republic cousin of reggaeton is rooted in dancehall riddims and hip-hop sounds and has been taking the Latin world by storm thanks in large part to El Alfa and his collaborators.
Directed by VMA and BET Award winner Colin Tilley (Kendrick Lamar, Future, Nicki Minaj) and choreographed by fellow VMA winner Calvit Hodge, the video stars Major Lazer’s Diplo and Ape Drums as well as Balvin and El Alfa alongside two of the band’s legendary Lazer Gyals, Sara Bivens and Helen Gedlu.
The new track follows summer release “Make It Hot” featuring Brazilian superstar Anitta and is the latest from Major Lazer’s forthcoming and highly-anticipated fourth album. The tracks are the latest examples of a rising trend of collaborations between Latin music’s biggest stars and global dance artists, and a continuation of Major Lazer’s longstanding celebration of Latin music, notably with the Daddy Yankee remix of their 2013 smash “Bumaye,” and collaborations with Machel Montano, Kali Uchis, Pabllo Vittar and more.
Major Lazer is named for the group’s fictional figurehead, a one-armed, Jamaican Zombie War commando with an experimental lazer arm and a secret identity as a Trinidadian dancehall club owner, embodying the group’s mission to free the universe with music. With the help of his longtime allies, Major Lazer has gone on to release 2009’s Guns Don’t Kill People…Lazers Do and 2013’s Free The Universe successfully reaching billions across the world with their message of world peace. In 2015, Major Lazer returned with Peace Is The Mission, this time enlisting friends from across the globe in an effort to achieve his goal of making the world smaller by making the party bigger.
This new era marks the reappearance of the Major Lazer character from the beyond (designed by Ferry Guow). Major Lazer has found enlightenment and given up his physical body, returning to spread the message of Lazerism with the help of Diplo, Walshy Fire, Ape Drums and the Lazer Gyals. His message has taken the form of music and his teachings the form of songs for Diplo and Walshy to put down on record. He anointed the Lazer Gyals as high priestesses of dance. Together they will spread his message near and far.
At Major Lazer’s helm is global superstar Diplo. As one of pop’s most in-demand producers, Diplo has worked with Beyonce, Madonna, Robyn, M.I.A. and many more. Earlier this year Diplo unveiled a new country project, Thomas Wesley, and released its first track, “So Long,” featuring Nashville superstar Cam, followed by a performance at Stagecoach. At the first-ever Stagecoach Late Night, he welcomed Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus for the live debut of “Old Town Road,” and promptly shared his remix of the viral hit. Most recently, Wesley unveiled the video for “Heartless” featuring Platinum artist, songwriter Morgan Wallen. “Heartless” is the second of several forthcoming collaborations due to appear on Diplo’s country EP coming later this year. Further recent releases include Major Lazer being featured on Beyonce’s “ALREADY” alongside Shatta Wale from The Lion King: The Gift soundtrack. Additionally, the release of deep house Higher Ground EP and the debut of a brand new show at his Coachella headline set, and the Europa EP for which Diplo hand-selected a cast of rising European artists. Diplo also finds himself exercising his collaborative spirit with the psychedelic supergroup LSD with Sia and Labrinth, streamed more than one billion times to date, and the Grammy-winning house project Silk City with Mark Ronson. With three albums under their belt, Major Lazer continues to fight for peace and freedom through music.