Diplo Releases ‘Swamp Savant’ Project: Listen To His Collabs With Lily Rose, Parker McCollum & More

Diplo’s six-track project features collaborations with Lily Rose, Parker McCollum, Koe Wetzel, Morgan Wade, Sturgill Simpson and more.

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Melinda Lorge

Melinda Lorge is a Nashville-based freelance writer who specializes in covering country music. Along with Music Mayhem, her work has appeared in publications, including Rare Country, Rolling Stone Country, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Wide Open Country and more. After joining Rare Country in early 2016, Lorge was presented with the opportunity to lead coverage on late-night television programs, including “The Voice” and “American Idol,” which helped her to sharpen her writing skills even more. Lorge earned her degree at Middle Tennessee State University, following the completion of five internships within the country music industry. She has an undeniable love for music and entertainment. When she isn’t living and breathing country music, she can be found enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.

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Posted on April 30, 2023

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Diplo; Photo Provided

Diplo has officially released the second installment of his country music collections. On Friday (April 28), the award-winning DJ and music producer dropped his newest album, Diplo Presents Thomas Wesley: Chapter 2 — Swamp Savant

The six-track offering, out via Columbia, is the follow-up to Diplo’s 2020 Gold-certified country-themed album Diplo Presents Thomas Wesley Chapter 1: Snake Oil

While Diplo is known for his electronic dance hall music and for working alongside pop artists like Britney Spears, Madonna, Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, Snoop Dogg, Bad Bunny, and more, he is also deeply rooted in country music. The 44-year-old talent was born in Mississippi, attended high school in Tennessee, and lived in the deep swamp areas of Florida. 

Swamp Savant

Diplo; Photo Provided
Diplo; Photo Provided

Diplo, whose real name is Thomas Wesley Pentz, returned to The Sunshine State to become reacquainted with living a simpler lifestyle so he could find inspiration for his latest body of work. He now credits the new album as being “the greatest single piece of work I’ve ever done.”

“To prepare for this new Thomas Wesley project, I went back to my father’s house in Florida, and I spent six months learning guitar, getting in touch with nature, working his boat when the shrimp were running on full moons at the trailer park,” Diplo shared in a statement. “I tried on a lot of cowboy hats. I rode a lot of motorcycles and horses basically reflecting on my whole life and career and connection with this music…there was a lot. It all started in the swamps I was raised in. This is the greatest single piece of work I’ve ever done. I can promise you that.”

On Instagram, Diplo also highlighted the work that went into creating Diplo Presents Thomas Wesley: Chapter 2 — Swamp Savant, writing, “I went to Nashville and had to take out every manager and A&R out to dinner until my credit card was maxed. I called every favor from my rapper friends…. went everywhere from Kentucky and Texas and tracked down all the coolest artists, and asked everyone to give me a chance and to be on my new project. I looked back at my life and the things I learned as a songwriter… then I researched every way I was good at breaking the rules in my career and tried some new tricks….”

Diplo’s First Ventured Into Country Music In 2019

Diplo first ventured into country music in 2019 with the release of “So Long,” featuring country singer Cam. After dropping the song, he announced that he had planned on releasing more country collaborations. His first project featuring his country alter-ego Thomas Wesley came with Diplo Presents Thomas Wesley Chapter 1: Snake Oil. The collection features songs like “Heartless” with Morgan Wallen, “Dance With Me” with Thomas Rhett and Young Thug, and “Lonely” with Jonas Brothers.

Diplo 'Swamp Savant' Album Art
Diplo ‘Swamp Savant’ Album Art

Diplo Presents Thomas Wesley: Chapter 2 — Swamp Savant features previously shared tracks “Use Me (Brutal Hearts” featuring Dove Cameron and Sturgill Simpson (reborn as Johnny Blue Skies) and “Wasted” featuring Kodak Black and Koe Wetzel.

See below for more collaborations on Diplo Presents Thomas Wesley: Chapter 2 — Swamp Savant

Diplo, Lily Rose – “Sad in The Summer”

Written by Lily Rose with labelmate Griffen Palmer, Geoff Warburton, Ben Johnson, Diplo, King Henry, and Picard Brothers, “Sad in The Summer” is all about enjoying the moment with a summer fling, despite the possibility of moving on from that person when fall comes along.

In the uptempo number, Rose flaunts her signature alto vocals over fast-past guitar picking, pedal steel, and hand claps before Diplo tackles an instrumental that takes listeners back to the disco era. 

Diplo, Dove Cameron and Sturgill Simpson – “Use Me (Brutal Hearts)” 

“Use Me (Brutal Hearts)” features vocals by singer/songwriter and actress Dove Cameron and country singer/songwriter Sturgill Simpson, who, for the track, is reborn as Johnny Blue Skies. In this tune, Cameron takes the first verse while Simpson captures the lyrics of the second. The two artists share a message that love isn’t necessary when it comes to the exchange of two people who just want one night together.  

An accompanying video for the track has also been released and features Cameron starring alongside Sean Penn, who plays the role of Johnny Blue Skies. The two are shown mouthing out the lyrics while in a bar and strip club. Diplo, meanwhile, is shown making his way through the joint.

Diplo, Paul Cauthen & Sierra Ferrell – “Rain On My Mind” 

Diving deeper into the country sphere, “Rain On My Mind” begins with acoustic guitars as Cauthen showcases his deep set of vocals on the track. The infectious song finds Cauthen and Ferrell wishing to run away and get lost together somewhere without a care.  

Yeah, I wanna go deep, behind the pines / Rain on my mind girl, rain on my mind / Wanna get lost, hard to find / Rain on my mind girl, rain on my mind,” Cauthen sings, showcasing his storytelling vocals throughout the hook of the chorus. 

Diplo, Morgan Wade – “Never Die” 

Morgan Wade teamed up with Diplo for the dreamy “Never Die.” The song finds Wade showing off her edge and raspy vocals while singing about a love that didn’t last. 

What a time to be alive / Running crazy with you through the night / Almost believed all of your crazy lies / Said we’ll never die, we’ll never die,” Wade sings throughout the chorus of the track. 

Diplo, Parker McCollum – “Lonely Long” 

McCollum guest stars on “Lonely Long,” which finds him sharing an uplifting message to the heartbroken that “You won’t be lonely long.”

With a melody reminiscent of a Lumineers’ track, the combination of Diplo’s electronic accompaniment alongside McCollum’s Texas twang makes for a collaboration that is unlike anything else. Keeping it simple, McCollum gets the point of the song across as fans find the two artists exploring uncharted waters with a track that’s worthy of a second listen. 

Diplo, Kodak Black & Koe Wetzel – “Wasted” 

“Wasted” features a heavier rock beat in comparison to the other songs on the album. With rapper Kodak Black and country artist Koe Wetzel combining vocals, the tune is a distinct feature of the pack of songs. 

According to Complex.com, “Wasted” came about during a musical session, which had Blacke singing the beginning version of the song on an iPhone’s built-in recorder. Diplo, then, built the beat of the track before the two artists wrangled Wetzel to help complete the song. 

“Wasted” was Diplo’s first new Country release since 2020’s Diplo Presents Thomas Wesley Chapter 1: Snake Oil. The track also includes an accompanying video directed by long-time collaborator Austin Peters.

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Melinda Lorge is a Nashville-based freelance writer who specializes in covering country music. Along with Music Mayhem, her work has appeared in publications, including Rare Country, Rolling Stone Country, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Wide Open Country and more. After joining Rare Country in early 2016, Lorge was presented with the opportunity to lead coverage on late-night television programs, including “The Voice” and “American Idol,” which helped her to sharpen her writing skills even more. Lorge earned her degree at Middle Tennessee State University, following the completion of five internships within the country music industry. She has an undeniable love for music and entertainment. When she isn’t living and breathing country music, she can be found enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.

See more posts from Melinda Lorge