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Diplo performs at his Mad Decent Block Party at The Rock Musicarium in Islamabad. Photo: Reuters

American DJ Diplo brings music festival to Pakistan to build bridges following Trump tweet

Two-time Grammy winner Diplo, along with a host of other electronic and hip-hop acts, performed to more than 2,500 young people in Islamabad over the weekend

American DJ and record producer Diplo brought his Mad Decent Block Party to Pakistan’s capital over the weekend, headlining a roster of musicians including local Pakistani acts.

For two-time Grammy winner Diplo, playing in Pakistan is a way to foster good relations with the mostly Muslim country after an angry tweet from US President Donald Trump complaining that Pakistan gives “terrorists” a safe haven.

“I think the best way we can do any kind of diplomacy with the Pakistani people is [to] … basically reach out to the kids like we do at the concerts,” Diplo told TMZ last month after the Trump tweet, which has soured US-Pakistan relations.

DJ, rapper, producer Diplo is everywhere

He added that by having US acts connect with the large youth population – an estimated 60 per cent of Pakistanis are younger than 30 – “they can grow into being our allies”.

The Mad Decent Block Party attracted more than 2,500 people to The Rock Musicarium in Islamabad. Photo: Reuters

More than 2,500 young people crowded into an outdoor venue in the capital, Islamabad, to a scaled-down version of the event known for bringing together some of the hottest names in dance-hall, hip-hop and electronic music.

Diplo and SNKM in Pakistan.

Among the headliners were Diplo’s chart-topping side project Major Lazer Soundsystem, DJ Chrome Sparks and Pakistani duo SNKM, who have played the South by Southwest festival and toured with Diplo in the US.

“There’s a lot of bridges being built between here and the US” says SNKM’s Adil Omar, who also has a successful hip-hop career, and a new album and film Transcendence to be released this year.