Updated March 26, 2020: Riding off the success of his virtual dance parties, DJ DNice just partnered with music streaming service Spotify to share a carefully curated playlist with hits to get the function started in the comfort of your own home. Michelle Obama won't be there, but you know the vibes. Shots on me!
This article was originally published on March 24, 2020.
It’s officially springtime, but our usual nice-weather shenanigans are on what I fear may be an indefinite hold due to the global spread of the coronavirus. Instead of wearing less and going out more at bottomless brunch with our friends, to quote Drake himself, most of the world is stuck indoors. Thanks to one talented DJ with the power of technology at his fingertips, however, the turn up lives on. Welcome to Club Quarantine!
DJ D-Nice (@Dnice on Instagram), real name Derrick Jones, is the creative genius responsible for the international experience that is Club Quarantine. Last Wednesday, the DJ hit his Instagram page, offering a livestream of hits for his followers. At first, Jones' immediate followers were the only ones plugged into the Instagram Live event, but word quickly began to spread around the internet. Daily, the viewers increased, and on Saturday, Jones' IG Live was populated by over 100,000 Instagram users.
It wasn't the first livestreamed event put on last week — John Legend, Chris Martin, and Miguel hosted respective at-home concerts — but it was without a doubt the most star-studded. Club Quarantine is open to all, no cover, and it boasts the most VIP of VIP sections that any club has ever seen.
Everyone who is everyone in Hollywood popped by to enjoy the internet function. Naomi Campbell, Rihanna, Ava DuVernay, Halle Berry, Mary. J. Blige, and Oprah Winfrey stopped by to shake something. Music mogul Diddy virtually sipped Ciroc with Lenny Kravitz and Usher. There were even special appearances from some of the most high-profile people in politics; Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders were present and accounted for. And you know my forever First Lady Michelle Obama came through with a two-step of her own.
"I was at home self-isolating," Jones told Gayley King of the origin of the dance party on an episode of CBS' This Morning. "I realized that outside of missing my family, the other important thing to me was the crowd, DJing for people. And I woke up at four in the morning and just decided that I wanted to throw a party."
"It was supposed to just be for my friends on Instagram," the DJ continued. "And then I noticed that the crowd started to grow. John Legend was in there!"
Other virtual partygoers included Jennifer Lopez, Drake, Dave Chappelle, and even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Like I said, the most VIP crowd you could think of.
Jones has been DJing for years, and his mastery of his craft shines in Club Quarantine. Hot take: anybody can be a DJ — my permanent status as the master of the AUX cord suggests as just much — but to be a good DJ, you have to know how to read the room and set the tone. For Jones, that means being able to mix karaoke-worthy '80s deep cuts (hello, New Edition, Gap Band, and Maze!) with niche reggae and soca records that will have everyone at home whining their waists before grounding us in mainstream hip hop once again.
Club Quarantine has been a daily experience, with Jones clocking in around 5 p.m. every day to spin his bevy of tracks. Now at over a million followers on Instagram, the DJ is promising to keep the party going for as long as he can to make the world happy while promoting social distance to keep people safe.
"The whole experience was fun," Jones said on This Morning. "It wasn't just the music. The whole experience of just escaping what's going on today for just a few hours."
If you want to rub elbows with the rich and famous online and get your dance on, check out Jones' Instagram every evening — he'll be on the 1s and 2s again. Clubbing ain't dead, y'all!
COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic. Go to the CDC website for the latest information on symptoms, prevention, and other resources.