Umami Burger and Diplo Jump on the Stars-and-Fast-Food Partnership Bandwagon

The chain is helping him promote the new Major Lazer single with 'Oh My Gawd' meals

Diplo in a kitchen
Umami! And Diplo. Umami Burger
Headshot of T.L. Stanley

Diplo may know his way around the recording studio, but he’s helpless in the kitchen. The Grammy-winning producer confuses a toaster for a microwave and can’t flip a burger to save his life.

Thank goodness for delivery.

Diplo, touting his nonexistent “chefing skills” and commiserating about quarantine, stars in a gently self-deprecating video for a collaboration between his electronic dance music trio, Major Lazer, and Umami Burger.

The partnership promotes the group’s new single, “Oh My Gawd,” with two branded meals from the specialty chain. It joins a growing number of celebrity-meets-fast-food deals like rapper Travis Scott and McDonald’s and TikTok sensation Charli D’Amelio with Dunkin.

It’s also a continuation of Umami’s close ties with A-listers from Hollywood, music and food circles like Jaden Smith, Cindy Crawford, Jon Bon Jovi and Alton Brown. Those alliances have raised more than $150,000 for various charities, according to Sam Nazarian, founder and CEO of the chain’s parent company, SBE Entertainment Group, and $1 from every Major Lazer sale will go to the nonprofit Big Green.

For Diplo and his DJ cohorts Ape Drums and Walshy Fire, the restaurant deal helps them hype “Oh My Gawd,” featuring Nicki Minaj and Mr. Eazi.

“Without touring, we’ve had to find new ways to connect with fans and share our music with them,” Diplo said in a statement.

Nazarian noted that “artists and business owners across the board have taken a hit. The impact Covid-19 shutdowns have had on the restaurant and live events industries has been enormous.” The alliance with Major Lazer “was a unique opportunity to support an artist we love and bring together two industries deeply affected by the pandemic.”

In the digital short film with Umami Burger, he tries but fails spectacularly to recreate the chain’s limited-time family meals called “Oh My Gawd” and its meatless option, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” 

Inspired though definitely not prepared by Major Lazer, the boxes contain items like jerk burgers, Impossible burgers, thin fries, special sauce, coleslaw, vegan chicken sandwiches, artist bandanas and QR codes for the song. The combo meals were created by Umami’s chief culinary officer, Martin Heierling, and will be available this month from the restaurant’s Los Angeles, Oakland and Chicago locations through DoorDash. 

@TLStanleyLA T.L. Stanley is a senior editor at Adweek, where she specializes in consumer trends, cannabis marketing, meat alternatives, pop culture, challenger brands and creativity.