2020 could use a little chill. This is a notion that must have resonated deeply with Diplo as we saw him release his first full-length ambient album on September 4th. For Diplo, self-isolation and productivity seem to go hand in hand. 

A week prior to the release of his aptly named album, MMXX (2020, in Roman numerals), Diplo exclusively debuted five of his songs on the popular meditation app, Calm. Calm provides its well over 1 million subscribers access to audio recordings that include guided meditations, ambient tracks, breathing practices, sleep stories, and more to help with sleep, anxiety, and overall mental wellness. On their Twitter, they revealed that Diplo’s tracks were produced to bring mental clarity, calmness, relaxation, and focus. Diplo isn’t the first electronic artist to partner with the app. Ellie Goulding and Kygo both released tracks via Calm in 2020.  

Although Diplo is mostly known for his upbeat club bangers, he said that he has been experimenting with ambient music for years. “In some ways, it’s a return to my roots — my first album Florida was all super chill instrumentals,” he said. Diplo described his production of this album as a huge stress reliever and hopes it will have the same effect on its listeners. The album features Good Times Ahead, Lunice, Mikky Ekko, and Rhye. 

In a statement on his Instagram account, Diplo announced that all earnings from the album will be directed to two foundations, BEAM Collective and The Loveland Foundation, in support of the mental health of Black people.

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First all the flights got canceled then schools, restaurants and shops closed.. slowly people or their family members got sick and lost their jobs and eventually we regained some normalcy but it was through the American way… A wake up to the racial problems that don't wait for a pandemic to slow down and in return protests and riots carried on as a last resort in search of some kind of change. Some kind of realization that made us feel normal.. I think it was a reaction to all the anxiety that we had to deal with this year.. 2020 was fucked. We're only 3/4s thru.. who knows when the aliens are going to arrive. This album is the only music I made this year .. it's called 2020. "MMXX" it's about being here this year. For me it's all I had inside me. I didn't want to have zoom sessions, I didn't want to write pop songs. I was just stuck in my house with keyboards and a guitar I barely ever used . I would walk outside Los Angeles and see empty streets and see nervous people and this is what I heard .. but to me this year isn't dark it's not about the negative .. it's about hope . We are all going to remember we did it together and remember what we take from it .. we can look back in a few years and say it was tough but I'm tougher… Everyone might need something different, you don't have to do it alone ..  mental health is something that we don't speak about enough. I'm giving to @_beamorg & @thelovelandfoundation because they can give you a little help where you need it most. I'll be donating proceeds of what we're making from this album .. also working with calm app because they can help find a way for people to listen to these tracks… Making ambient music might be a lot different than what you would expect from me but actually if you know me you probably know it's not. I hope you can tune out for 40 minutes next week when the full album is out but for now.. check out some of the tracks on @calm

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September 8-11, Diplo also teamed up with the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum to play his ambient tracks from MMXX to an exclusive crowd as they learned about astrology and stargazed. 

We could all use a little more mindfulness in our lives. Check out how festivals are making the switch from wasted to wellness!