DJ D-Nice's 'Club Quarantine' sees Michelle Obama, Drake groove at biggest virtual VIP party of coronavirus era
The virtual mega-party, dubbed Homeschool at Club Quarantine, started to take on a life of its own as more than 100,000 people showed up for his nine-hour set on March 21
When the coronavirus pandemic first started creeping across the globe, many people were confined to their homes, isolated and frustrated. Almost out of necessity, many artistes started live-streaming their music for their fans as a two-way coping mechanism and DJ D-Nice was one of the first ones to tap into the power of internet's amazing reach.
The celebrated DJ, whose real name is Derrick Jones, started his burgeoning career back in the '80s with the hip-hop group Boogie Down Productions and is well known as the man who discovered Kid Rock and landed him his first record deal. But more recently, the DJ's pioneering efforts in bringing people together during the recent COVID-19 crisis has earned him praise from all corners of the globe, including from some political heavyweights in the United States.
It all started last week, when DJ D-Nice decided to play some music for his friends and fans who were stuckt ho ame due to the coronavirus lockdown. Using the Instagram Live feed as a platform, the DJ originally started by playing some songs off iTunes and interacting with fans in between tracks. But then the sets started stretching into several hours as he started incorporating his DJ console into the listening party. What started with just a couple hundred listeners eventually grew into a sizeable audience of several thousands, thanks to word-of-mouth recommendations and shares.
Soon, tens of thousands of people were flocking to his livestreams and eventually, even VIPs like Jimmy Fallon and Janet Jackson started showing up. “By day four, which was Friday, it just took on a life of its own, you know, where Drake popped in,” said a pleasantly surprised D-Nice. “Everyone’s in it like, ‘Whoa, what’s happening here?’ And then it just started to build and it was building.”
The virtual mega-party, dubbed Homeschool at Club Quarantine, started to take on a life of its own as more than 100,000 people showed up for his nine-hour set on Saturday, March 21, with celebrity attendees that included Rihanna, Lenny Kravitz, Nile Rodgers, Lalah Hathaway, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Dwyane Wade, Janet Jackson, Fab Five Freddy, Michelle Obama, Mark Zuckerberg, and more. Oprah Winfrey even tweeted, “Best party of 1 and 100k I ever been to! Thanks djdnice #ClubQuarantine,” while Missy Elliot tweeted, “Hangover from #ClubQuarantine last night! Every1 was in the building! It really felt like the good ole times! djdnice we needed that energy let me give you your flowers.”
Over 160,000 people joined his six-hour set the following day, making it one of the biggest virtual parties of the coronavirus era. And on March 25, D-Nice streamed another Instagram Live session dubbed the Couch Party, in order to bring national attention to voter registration. The "party with a purpose" was formally endorsed by the former First Lady and it succeeded in securing over 300,000 registered voters. Many VIP guests showed up for this Club Quarantine set as well, among them Rosario Dawson, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Kerry Washington, Selena Gomez, Chris Paul, B-Real, and Black Thought from The Roots.
"I’ve been in the music industry for a long time, but this was a different kind of experience where it was more global," said the DJ, who was thrilled by "the impact that it’s had on people, just through playing great music and allowing people to feel good, feeling connected during this time where we are all so separated.” He also added, "One of my friends told me that they were playing the audio in the [hospital] emergency room to uplift patients and the spirits. Sometimes that’s all it takes to just lift someone’s spirit. And this is a beautiful thing to experience.”
You can follow the enterprising DJ D-Nice on Instagram by clicking here.