Viceland’s original short What Would Diplo Do?, starring James Van Der Beek as Diplo and Dillon Francis as Diplo’s friend Jasper, is now streaming on Hulu. The show, which had also been streaming on Viceland for free prior to the Hulu addition, premiered last August as a hilarious tongue-in-cheek series offering a glimpse of “the life” of the superstar DJ.
In the time since the show’s aired, the Dawson’s Creek alum’s grade A impersonation has even seen great success on Twitter. James Van Der Beek’s @_diplo_Twitter handle has gone on to entertain an entire industry with witty criticism and clever comebacks.
Finnish artist Darude struck gold with “Sandstorm” in 2000, the lead single off of his debut studio album, Before the Storm, that would go on to not only garner platinum certification, but to become one of the most easily identifiable electronic tracks ever produced. The iconic 16 note melody has become fodder for memes and fan videos on the Internet, a testament to the song’s longevity in the 17 years since its release.
Darude describes “Sandstorm’s” foundation in a recent interview with VICE, noting that he was “more of a club goer” prior to his introduction to music production in 1996/1997. Darude credits the clubs as the sources of the “spark” that would lead him to eventually begin producing music: “There was many a night where I went to the club, come 3:30 when people started to be kicked out, I basically ran home, turned on my computer, and started making music, having just heard something I’d really liked.” This experience led to creation of his signature sound.
The 16 note melody that has since come to define “Sandstorm” arose as a product of Darude’s experimentation, created on an Atari SD two-years prior to “Sandstorm’s” finishing. When Darude presented the bones of “Sandstorm” to record producer Jaakko Salovaara, the track quickly reached completion, requiring only two-days of studio based brainstorming. The interview offers an in depth look at the production behind what would then be, and what has since remained a landmark release.
The most important day of every week: New Music Friday. As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed.
Slander and Sullivan King team up for a mercilessly heavy-hitting dubstep collaboration, “Welcome to the Fire.”
Vice Media created Thump in 2013 as an outlet dedicated toward quality dance music journalism. It’s since become a highly respected player within the electronic community at large for its clever content and well-rounded music curation.
Alas, it appears the saying “all good things must come to an end” applies in the website’s case, as Vice has chosen to shut it down as part of a company-wide restructuring which saw the layoff of 2% of its staff. About 60 employees in total were cut from the company, with electronic music the stories related to dance culture now being absorbed into the fold of Vice’s primary outlet.
Thump ended its run with plenty of wit in the form of a “final post” that paid homage to Arca1000000’s intriguing taste in boots, per a Tweet from one of the site’s editors, Michelle Lhooq.
Diplo’s knack for expanding his brand across different forms of media is as strong as his proclivity for exploring diverse genres. From TV commercials to his immensely active social media presence, the dance music magnate leaves no cultural stone unturned. Now, it seems that Diplo has set his sights on a new frontier – syndicated television.
Viceland has ordered six pilot episodes of What Would Diplo Do?, a scripted, comedic take on the prolific producer’s outlandish lifestyle starring James Van Der Beek in the titular role. The series was inspired by last year’s Mad Decent promo film A Day in the Life. When the network surprised the team with a pitch for the series, all parties were quick to jump on board.
In addition to assuming the starring role, Van Der Beek will serve as a showrunner and executive producer alongside Diplo, Kevin Ksatsu, and director Brandon Dermer. Though the show will be fully scripted, there will be room for improv within the creative team.
Both Van Der Beek and Diplo are known for their self-deprecating meta-humor and the show will likely feature much of the same.
“I’ve enjoyed deconstructing my own image quite a bit over the years, but to have the chance to do it with a global megastar like Diplo who’s letting us to do something fun and ridiculous that few people have the balls to allow is crazy,” says Van Der Beek. “The show doesn’t take itself too serious, but it’s not cynical.”
What Would Diplo Do? will also feature input and oversight from Viceland co-president, Oscar winning filmmaker, and Kanye video director Spike Jonze. Jonze said the following regarding the program’s origins:
“When James was in the office a few weeks ago, he told me the story lines he had sketched out, they were, of course, funny; one even got me emotional which made it that much more funny. This idea has gotten inside James which makes me really excited to see what he makes and happy to have it on our channel.”
Network execs have described the show as “hilarious” and “weird,” adding that Van Der Beek’s interpretation of Diplo is like “a modern cipher into which we can read the whole of human existence…or not.”