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This past weekend, the music community made it very clear that the world isn’t shut down because of Coronavirus — just paused. The pandemic has made it nearly impossible for musicians to physically connect with their fans, but Swae Lee found a way. On Saturday (March 21), he live-streamed a concert on Instagram.
By the end of the show, the star had virtually brought a fan onstage, attracted more than 250,000 viewers, and essentially laid a rough blueprint for how a live show could work on social media. Before Swae did any of this, he made sure to treat his IG Live show as he would a regular one, and called up Nav’s DJ and close friend/collaborator DJ T-Jizzle to deejay it.
REVOLT spoke with T-Jizzle hours after the virtual concert took place to chat about how the show came together, the celebrity guests who wanted to join, and their thoughts about how Coronavirus is affecting the music industry.
How did Swae Lee’s IG concert come about?
He had an idea to do a show. I saw him posted about it on his Instagram the day before, so I knew he was serious about it. Swae and I have been homies for years and I texted him the next morning like, “Yo, I want to be a part of this. I want to DJ it and do a DJ set to get the fans prepped like a regular show.” Swae called me 20 minutes after I texted him and was like, “Bro, you’re the perfect person to do this. I really want to do this. Let’s do it.”
How do you plan a DJ set meant for IG Live?
My thinking was there’s so many people at home right now that are used to hearing that type of music. If you go into a store to shop, they still have uptempo music. They still have a playlist playing anywhere. People are so used to hearing music at different times, so I thought if [he] really wanted to do this concert, he’s going to need that element of the DJ and that energy of getting the crowd hype that he’s accustomed to. It really was simple for me. I needed a reason to go live on Instagram, anyway, and Swae made it convenient to do so.
What equipment did you use?
I used to Pioneer Serato DJ controller. I brought it from my house to the studio, plugged it right in to the studio mixing board with RCA cables, and I was ready to go. When I put it in the board, the sound came out the speakers in the studio. That’s why we had microphones… It was the perfect way to do it.
Why did he choose to do it in the studio?
He recently announced the title of his album… He’s working on his album and we’re also doing music together. He said he had a studio. So, I met him at the studio and we decided to do it there.
Did he walk you through how the show would go?
I got to the studio, set up, and treated it like a real show. When he walked in, he told me what he wanted to do, how many songs he wanted to do, and what order he wanted them in. Bringing fans on the IG Live was definitely an idea of his. He said, “Yo, we can probably bring some fans in.” Lil Durk got clicked in. There we so many people he wanted to click in, but it was moving so fast.
Who else was watching that he didn’t get a chance to click in?
Tyga and MadeinTYO. I think Rosalia, but I’m not sure. Big Sean, as well. Lil Durk actually made an appearance and announced his album was coming soon. It was lit. Some of the stuff was on the fly.
When the show was over, what was Swae’s reaction?
Everybody was super excited and happy. The mics couldn’t pick up us saying this, but, we were like, “This was lit. This is fun.” When it was over, we literally went to each other and said, “Great show,” as if it was a real show. That was our energy going into it. We got a soundcheck, got the mics right, got everything right, and propped the phone up. Swae was sweating. I was sweating. We started cleaning up the studio as if we were cleaning up the stage. It was a great moment for us for sure.
Did you two discuss Coronavirus?
We discussed it amongst each other, just to make sure we all stay safe. Swae and I have a great relationship, so we made sure we saved safe and our team stayed safe. We spoke about it and the impact it’s having on the music industry right now with touring being pushed back, and festivals [being] canceled. DJs like myself are figuring out ways to use social media as an outlet. It just made us feel better about what we did. I think it went viral the way it did because it was organic and it was entertaining. Swae was on tour with Post Malone before Coronavirus. So, that was a good show for people that were anticipating seeing him on tour.