This spring, Major Lazer released “Lean On,” a single off of its newest album, Peace is the Mission. Currently #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, its electronic beat and upbeat vocals make it the perfect song to blast on the car radio, windows down, on a trip to the beach.
Major Lazer is a group known for its fun, summery beats. The band, composed of Diplo, Boaz van de Beatz, and a few others, typically creates electronic music infused with reggae and dancehall. Previous hits include songs like “Hold the Line,” “Pon de Floor,” and “Get Free” — all songs that showcase lead vocals associated with the Caribbean sound. “Lean On” features MØ, a Danish electro pop artist, as the lead singer. Though the song is a little different than Major Lazer’s usual island sound, its easy-to-follow lyrics and calm electric tempo makes it a catchy, summery hit.
Contributing factors to “Lean On’s” viral appeal are the lyrics and meaning of the song. The last line of the chorus goes, “We all need somebody to lean on,” followed by a cool mashup of the lead’s voice. While other songs that come out during the summer might mention other (sometimes, inglorious) themes, Major Lazer’s song has a meaningful and relatable message. The song’s emphasis on relationships and happiness is directly tied to the relaxed nature of reggae.
The assimilation of different cultures is what makes Diplo and Major Lazer a couple of my favorite artists. Not only does Diplo create music that sounds like actual reggae, he also adds his own electronic flair to it. He is one of the few DJs who will create a song like “Lean On” at the same time as “Roll the Bass,” a song with a quick, African-like dance beat. He is not afraid to surround himself with different people and different sounds, which is why I would love to see one of his singles become the song of the summer.