Major Lazer star fictionalised in new Viceland series
Dawson’s Creek actor James Van Der Beek is reportedly set to play electronic DJ and producer Diplo in a new TV series.
The series will arrive on Viceland later this year and has been described as “Louie meets WorldStarHipHop crossed with This Is Spinal Tap.“
Van Der Beek’s fictionalised Diplo has also described as a “guy who can bring 60,000 people to their feet… but kind of sucks one-on-one”.
The show is written by Van Der Beek, who will also executive produce it alongside Diplo himself. Famed director Spike Jonze will “shepherd” the show.
Van Der Beek previously portrayed Diplo in a Mad Decent Block Party promo video called ‘Day In The Life Of Diplo’. Watch below.
Some commentators objected to the use of Indian culture and imagery in the group’s video for breakthrough hit ‘Lean On’, while their music’s relationship with Caribbean genres like dancehall and reggae has also been called into question.
Speaking to NME, Diplo said his group’s music simply reflects his upbringing in an ethnically diverse quarter of Miami, Florida.
“Haitians, Latinos, Cubans, white kids, Jewish kids and hood kids were all in the same neighbourhood and the same schools,” he explains. “Miami is the most diverse place for human beings I’ve ever been to.”
He also said that he was encouraged to develop a varied taste in music from a young age, saying: “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.”
“I grew up and I loved music,” he continued. “I didn’t think: ‘Oh, I’m white, I’ve got to play a guitar.’ I never had a guitar.”
Arguing, however, that his group might be viewed differently if he did play guitar, Diplo added: “I really fucked that up. I only had turntables. I wish I got a guitar, then I wouldn’t have so much criticism. 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’.”
“I think what makes a great artist is someone who can change the direction of music, not someone who stays the same all the time,” Diplo concluded. “Otherwise music would be so fucking boring.”