By Fiona Connor
He’s the American DJ who visited Aotearoa over summer to drop sets at some of our biggest music festivals - but Kiwi fans wouldn’t have been blamed for needing to do a double take at Diplo as he walked out as the headline act at Plane Sailing in Auckland last week.
The music producer thought up a clever joke ahead of playing his set after bumping into a lookalike backstage.
After realising some similarities in their appearance, the pair took a photo together.
Then Diplo had an idea - and asked his new friend if he wouldn’t mind jumping up on stage before he came out to see if anyone noticed.
But little did he know his doppelgänger was actually Villiany frontman Neill Fraser - who is more than familiar when it comes to getting in front of a crowd.
Neill said: “I thought he was joking, getting a photo of us together was funny enough. I’ve been getting the Diplo doppelgänger thing for years but he saw it and thought it would be hilarious so why the hell not.”
After agreeing to play a part in the practical joke, he walked out in place of Diplo to the sound of screaming fans eager to catch a glimpse.
In footage posted to TikTok, Neill is seen amping up thousands of revellers in the audience, with one commenter dubbing Neill ‘Dupe-lo’ - genius.
The rock singer says: “I treated it the same as going out for a Villainy gig to get the party started.
“Another day in the office, just Diplo’s seat this time around. I don’t think the crowd knew any better either.”
Villainy recently released their hit track ‘The Launch’ which is currently #2 in New Zealand’s rock radio charts and has been for the last 8 weeks.
The group have since linked up with drum and bass producer Trei who is set to release a remix in the near future.
Neill said: “If I’d gone behind the decks the gag could’ve gone forever. But like Diplo said, I can’t DJ so we milked the confusion for as long as we could.
“Mad respect to him risking the front of his set to put me out and do something silly.”