Major Lazer have been on a steady climb since 2009, when its original Diplo and Switch incarnation released their debut, Guns Don’t Kill People, Lazers Do to minimal acclaim. (In fact, the album was considered something of a flop at the time.) Things started to change after “Pon De Floor” became a hit in 2010, and by the time Free the Universe landed in 2013, the group — now consisting of Trinidad’s Jillionaire and Jamaica-born Walshy Fire, alongside Diplo — had really taken flight. Their blend of EDM and island vibes has arguably been the single biggest influence on Caribbean music of all shapes in the last few years, while their insane live show has made them one the most popular acts on the international festival circuit.
But this was this year that they reached world-domination level, attaining global ubiquity with “Lean On,” a track that even your mom probably knows, and which is now the most streamed song ever on Spotify. They also managed to release another album, too, in Peace is the Mission, featuring Tarrus Riley on the follow-up single “Powerful.” The dancehall influence was less apparent on tracks like the genre-less “Lean On,” but, listen closely, and it’s in there.
For a play-by-play of Major Lazer’s epic year, see Jillionaire’s countdown of his Top 15 moments of 2015. —Jesse Serwer