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D-Nice is thankful music kept us going during the pandemic

“I’m looking forward to continuing to DJ in-person again,” DJ D-Nice told REVOLT for Black Music Month. “I love feeling the energy of the crowd and the human interaction that we all lacked this past year.”

D-Nice Getty

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Derrick Jones, also known to the world as D-Nice, is a revolutionary in the music industry for bridging the gap between online communities and music during the pandemic with Club Quarantine. What started as a few virtual parties here and there to flex his talents as the legendary hip hop DJ he’s been for years blossomed into a movement with thousands of viewers including Rihanna, Drake, Former First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Diddy and more.

Now, what started on Instagram will be taken off of our phones and into the real world with the Club Quarantine Live series, which will be Live Nation Urban’s first live event of the year. “It’s going to be an experience! We want people to come as they are, and celebrate life and positive vibes with their friends and families,” D-Nice said excitedly about the event. Kicking off in Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl, Club Quarantine Live will feature guests such as The Isley Brothers, Common, Trey Songz, Deborah Cox, Amerie, Kiana Lede, and more.

“Black music is genre-less. If you are a Black artist and play music — no matter the genre — then that is Black music,” D-Nice told REVOLT. “Black Music Month is not just the celebration of genres like R&B and hip hop. It honors the legacy and contributions of Black artists who play any kind of music. Many of today’s recognized genres are rooted in Black music.”

For Black Music Month, REVOLT spoke with the revolutionary DJ himself about using music as a healing tool, and his upcoming performances at Club Quarantine Live and more. Check out our conversation below!

How do you see the landscape of music changing once pandemic orders are officially lifted?

Music has always brought people together and now more than ever, people are craving that connection once again. There will be significant demand for live in-person music experiences.

Where did your love of music come from, and when did you decide to go full throttle into becoming a DJ?

My passion for music came from the effect it has on people and how it brings communities together. I got my start as a DJ after leaving the industry for over a decade. I was in a place where I missed the vibe and fellowship you have with other artists.

One day, Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest invited me to one of his sets he was spinning in New York City around 2003 or 2004. I was in awe of how you could play classic records that left people feeling happy. I left feeling inspired but wanted to put my own spin on things. I wanted to put my own style and spin on deejaying since I not only loved classics but current artists.

How has music been used as a sense of comfort this past year?

Music has always brought people together in various ways by uplifting and providing a sense of comfort during a tumultuous year. It gave people hope when they could see celebrities such as Michelle Obama, J. Lo, or Drake in the same virtual party as them. The fact that everyone was talking and sharing virtual stories created a community and that social interaction people had been longing for. Music, especially this year, helped bridge the gap between old and young.

How did you believe you’ve served as a pillar of hope with your Instagram live parties?

As a DJ, there’s nothing like live music and feeling the energy from the crowd. Club Quarantine created an atmosphere that was comparable to a live event, which gave people that social interaction, and a shared experience to celebrate.

How did Instagram and social media platforms help when it comes to music and community?

Instagram and social media allowed people to communicate and interact with each other during a time when the world was on pause. I was so grateful that I was able to use my platform to create a space to bring joy back into myself, but also create a communal space for people around the world. Technology created memories we can all say we lived through together.

A year out of the start of the pandemic, tell us about Club Quarantine Live at Hollywood Bowl.

It’s going to be an experience! We want people to come as they are, and celebrate life and positive vibes with their friends and families.

What are you looking forward to the most?

I’m looking forward to continuing to DJ in-person again. I love feeling the energy of the crowd and the human interaction that we all lacked this past year. I can’t wait to see people dance and celebrate life again.

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