HBO’s new EDM comedy will be like ‘Human Traffic meets Entourage’

When the news first broke in January this year, it seemed more like satire than reality. Was HBO really developing a half-hour sitcom about EDM, with Jay-Z, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith on board as executive producers and Irvine Welsh – the literary prodigy of Scotland’s gutters – writing the script?

“We’ve been working on stuff and trying to get something together,” Welsh confirmed to inthemix recently. “It’s a comedy about the rise of a DJ through the world of electronic dance music, from humble origins to becoming a superstar DJ… The idea’s to make it very character driven as well – you’ve got [touchstones] like Human Traffic and Project X and that kind of territory, and Entourage is another one too, you know, about the people that are around them.”

Welsh has proven chops in the worlds of both dry, dark satire and club culture: clubs and dance music have featured heavily in many of his novels, from Trainspotting and Porno to Glue and short story collection Ecstacy, and he’s even tried his hand at DJing and producing. But Welsh won’t be in charge of the music for Higher, when it does eventually move into production: that job will go to the UK’s second wealthiest musician Calvin Harris, who came from humble beginnings in Dumfries, Scotland, two hours south of Welsh’s native Edinburgh.

“Hopefully he’ll do the music for it,” Welsh told inthemix. “Obviously he’s got a wealth of experience in that kind of world, so he’s not just a music supervisor, he’s a script consultant as well.”