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Diplo hits back at accusations of cultural appropriation

Diplo has hit back at critics who have accused his band Major Lazer of cultural appropriation.

The dance band came under fire after the release of 2015 track Lean On, for its use of Indian imagery alongside sexually suggestive dance routines.


Major Lazer have also been criticised for borrowing heavily from different regions' musical genres to create their sound.


However DJ and producer Diplo feels such accusations are unfair because his musical taste was heavily influenced by growing up in multicultural Miami.


"Miami is the most diverse place for human beings I've ever been to," he tells Britain's NME magazine. "When I grew up, no one told me what I was supposed to listen to. On the radio, Miami bass was always the thing for me, and heavy metal - that was big in Florida too. My parents listened to country. Rap was on the radio."


Diplo's Major Lazer bandmates Jillionaire and Walshy Fire are both of Caribbean origin and the electronica musician says he has always been drawn towards the sounds of different cultures rather than rock.


"I grew up and I loved music," he explains. "I didn't think: 'Oh, I'm white, I've got to play a guitar.' I never had a guitar...I wish I got a guitar, then I wouldn't have so much criticism."


Citing punk legends The Clash as a major inspiration, he adds, "For me, the band that's most influential to us is The Clash. Nobody said: 'You're culturally appropriating' when they made Rock The Casbah."


Major Lazer are not the only stars who have come under fire for appropriating Indian culture as Coldplay and Beyonce also caused controversy by including the country's Holi festival of colours in the video for their collaboration Hymn for the Weekend.,