"Major Lazer has threatened to work on a new album for some time now, though there is still no official word on when that might come to fruition.”
That’s taken from a Billboard article last month announcing the release of “Let Me Live,” a typically infectious summer single from the DJ supergroup created with U.K. producers Rudimental and featuring vocalists Anne-Marie and Mr. Eazi. The key word in the statement is “threatened,” which makes it sound like Major Lazer is waiting to be properly provoked before dropping another collection of club-banging, dancehall-infused jams. It’s almost as if repeating the massive success of 2015’s Peace Is the Mission and its monster single “Lean On” is a foregone conclusion.
Maybe that’s because Major Lazer has dropped several singles since announcing that its fourth studio album would be titled Music Is the Weapon three years ago, including the Justin Bieber No. 1 “Cold Water” and last year’s catchy collaboration “Know No Better” with Travis Scott, Camila Cabello and Quavo. Dance music fans have assumed those tracks, and others such as party-starter “Run Up” with Nicki Minaj and PartyNextDoor, would land on the new album, but instead they got the six-track Know No Better EP last summer. “I shifted my goal to just make singles, because no one really buys our albums,” Diplo told Billboard at the time. “What’s our platform that works? It’s streaming. The audience controls music now. That’s in our favor.”
Diplo and Major Lazer teammates Walshy Fire and Jillionaire are constantly touring and traveling, together and individually, and learning what sounds work in different parts of the world. That musical research allows them to do much more than splash reggaeton or West African beats into a track for the English-speaking audience. They’re better armed to create hits for different audiences around the world.
Major Lazer will get to test out all those sounds on an ideal audience in Las Vegas at XS and Encore Beach Club, with the latter hosting a Sunday set. Clubbers cruise in from all parts of the globe to experience Wynn Nightlife’s ever-broadening array of headliners, but Diplo and Major Lazer remain the chief curators of new musical blends, tour guides for what comes next in the genre.
MAJOR LAZER July 8, 11 a.m., $30-$50. Encore Beach Club, 702-770-7300.