We've all looked at these famous DJs and thought the same thing: are they just posers pressing buttons?

That's the question asked in What Would Diplo Do?, a show produced and endorsed by Diplo, all about just how much of a douchebag Diplo can be.

It was born out of a successful tour commercial in which James Van Der Beek - of Dawson's Creek fame - played the DJ and the director loved it so much, the star is now the writer, showrunner and star of an entire Viceland series.

The best part? Diplo's totally on board.

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So how on earth did this show come about?

[The commercial] was a lot of fun ... I never really thought it would be anything more than that. But. I mean ... people seemed to like it.

I went back and thought about it and...that's when it hit me; this could be 'musical genius sucks at life', because it's Viceland and it's Diplo, and Wes is totally on board with it like; 'Take the piss out of me, take the piss out of DJ culture." I thought that it could be this really fun little whacked-out experiment where we told tales about life through the eyes of a clown.

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And Diplo's somehow totally on board with you making him look like a bit of a douchebag?

He's smart enough to understand that taking yourself too seriously among his audience and his generation in general is kind of the kiss of death.

He's also confident enough in his abilities as a musician to not really care, and he's just an experimental, forward-thinking kind of dude.

So are we supposed to hate Diplo or root for him? What's the point of the show?

The point of it is to get people to laugh, entertain for a little bit and just take some wild swings that you maybe couldn't take if you were trying to come up with an entirely fictional person.

We have these amazing building blocks of truth and then we get in the writers' room and fill in the gaps with complete fiction. It just made us laugh.

The real guy is incredibly sharp, he's a real craftsman. He's incredibly focused and a real hard worker, but for our purposes we just thought it would be funny to make him kind of dim, like selectively stupid.

We decided he should also be able to channel wisdom but only at the most inappropriate moments where everybody just kind of rolls their eyes and thinks, "Oh f*** you," when he does it.


What was it that swayed you into making the show?

What I really liked about it, is how music - especially dance music - it brings people together in a way that very few things do, like, physically together in an era where people can get whatever content they want from the comfort of their own couch.

This kind of music brings people to a specific physical place and they cram together and they're looking for some kind of emotional experience.

There's room in music for that kind of aggro, flaunting music where people are bragging about their cars or money or whatever, but in electronic music there's a lot more room for vulnerability.

The songs that people are throwing their hands in the air to, people are singing things like, "Don't let me down, Where are you now that I need you? I need somebody to lean on," and that, to me, is interesting.

So exploring - even in a fictional way - the mind of a guy who can manifest that kind of stuff and have that many people throughout the world legitimately connect to it ... seemed like a really fun challenge.

And is writing/showrunning what you're aiming to do in the future?

I loved it, yeah. The collaboration is incredibly rewarding. I always say it's the most fun team sport I've ever played.

So I'll definitely be doing it more in some capacity. Maybe not running the show but producing and developing and certainly writing some more.

So how are you feeling about the finished product and how the reception's been?

[The reception's] been beyond anything we could've hoped for, kind of across the board. Even real high-brow magazines that are trying to not like something like this kind of have to admit it works.

I'd love to say that I don't care what people think about it, and at the end of the day you can't make it for anyone but yourself ... otherwise you just get lost. But after being mired in the details ... to see people writing thoughtfully about it was really, really validating, and I have to say I'm still a little overwhelmed by how much people really seem to like it. I'm really humbled by it, it's been a great experience.

LOWDOWN:
What: What Would Diplo Do?
When: Starts Monday, 7.30pm
Where: Viceland

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