Based out of the stereophonic heart of Los Angeles, Erez Safar - a.k.a. Diwon (pronounced dee-wan) is an American DJ, producer, and songwriter. Diwon blends Yemenite music with electro hip-hop and dancehall, and draws inspiration from the Middle Eastern musical canon. A prolific producer, Diwon releases a clutch of albums every year. The Producer/DJ has remixed everyone from Dizzee Rascal and Miike Snow to Snoop Dogg and Stevie Wonder. Diwon has been highlighted on MTV for his blend of hip hop and dancehall. Most recently MTVu featured his single “The Takeover” starring Andy Milonakis, which TV Guide recently highlighted as “What’s Hot.” 2DOPEBOYZ & Vibe Magazine's allhiphop.com have presented Diwon's rap flips of 80′s inspired sonics. Dubbed a "buzzmaking beatsmith" by The DJ Booth, URB said that “Diwon is something else…in a profound kind of way,” calling his sound titillating and "juicy for the ears." The Village Voice described his productions as "adventurous and banging."
Diwon’s unique blend of world music and beat-driven cultural rarities give his work its distinct sound. Diwon is a global artist. He's known to New York audiences for his mix of Middle Eastern samples and Baltimore club beats. Diwon is renowned on the Internet for his remixes of pop acts like Lana Del Rey. On the inside, Diwon has the heart of a true-school hip-hop head. His music can be likened to a hybrid of Diplo and Cheb i Sabbah. Diwon’s beats are strongly influenced by the musical traditions of his mother’s family, whose roots lie in the ancient Jewish community of Yemen.
In the past year Diwon produced Y-Love's "See Me" EP, which boasts club-friendly tracks influenced by Chuck D, Major Lazer, and Nicki Minaj. His latest projects are a collaboration with Harlem-based emcee Kyle Rapps, which include an EP inspired by Drive dubbed Tyrone Gosling and a forthcoming LP/mixtape entitled Syndication built entirely out of samples from classic TV. Its first single and music video, "Mr. Rogers," premiered on Okay Player. He also produced the Remix Retrospective album featuring various artists including Akon, Damian Marley, La Roux, and Stevie Wonder.
Diwon's forthcoming debut solo EP, "Try Stopping," drops this fall and features Open Mike Eagle, MC Paul Barman, D. Black, and Tim Fite. The beats are the classic Diwon mix of cerebral and party-rocking, with hard-hitting hip hop drums melting into psychedelic strings and guitar. It's the producer as auteur as every track takes you through the emotional space of the artist, like Kanye or Godard. "Try Stopping" sets the stage for Diwon's future LP, "New Game," which will feature Shaka Dee, Andy Milonakis, Y-Love, and Doodlebug (of Digable Planets) to name a few. Who can say what that will sound like? It's a big world, and Diwon is global.
In addition to his music, Safar is dedicated to bringing diverse people together through education workshops and public appearances with his artists. Safar collaborated with Rohan Marley on a music video promoting harmony in Brooklyn, which garnered praise from public officials such as Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. He coordinates workshops at educational institutions of all levels, from New York City public schools to universities across the country.
Safar serves as CEO of Bancs, an American independent hip hop and dance record label, and Shemspeed, an independent recording label and promotional agency devoted to producing and developing dynamic multicultural artists and interactive media. Safar is also the producer of the extremely successful annual Sephardic Music Festival that takes place in New York City every December.
Safar began as a radio personality at WMUC (University of Maryland’s campus radio station) in 2003, alongside popular music insider Peter Rosenberg. Soon after, Erez created Modular Moods and his first signed artist debuted on the Top 40 CMJ Music Charts. He has since performed across the globe, negotiated deals with Warner Brothers and Sony, and continues to sign the most dynamic and inspiring artists to Bancs Records and Shemspeed Entertainment. Safar has been selected by The Forward as one of the Top 50 Most Influential Jews and has been featured in countless publications and TV programs including the New York Times, BBC and CBS. His businesses have been profiled in Bloomberg Business Week, Time Magazine, and on NBC. His artists have performed with stars such as Snoop Dogg, Lou Reed, Idan Raichel, and Eminem; they’ve been profiled in Rolling Stone, SPIN, The New York Times, and XXL; and they’ve been seen and heard around the world on Conan O’Brien, CBS, and BBC World programs.
"His company has graced Billboard magazine and he has been featured from NPR to USA Today to name a few media outlets; A combination of sounds, Erez Safar known as Diwon has become the change that rappers, electro-beat and world music lovers have been craving." - Music International News