With the days of pregaming and getting dressed for a night out with friends seeming like a distant memory, people are getting creative with having a good time, giving birth to a new trend — virtual parties.
If you’re connected to social media or just have a pulse, you’ve likely heard of or you’re a part of Instagram, a photo and video sharing application. With the coronavirus keeping us inside, online engagement is higher than it’s ever been, making virtual parties and Instagram live battles the new thing keeping people connected.
DJ D-Nice (real name Derrick Jones), rapper and celebrity disc jockey who has killed turntables at parties most of us could never gain entry to, was among the first to do it. Looking to take a break from anxiety and unite the people, Jones’ “Club Quarantine” Instagram live set did unimaginable numbers reaching 100,000 people. Jones rocked the house of the social masses with celebrities including former Rirst Lady Michelle Obama, Queen Latifah, Diddy, Gabrielle Union and more.
“Thanks to all of you that supported. This has been a great way to keep our spirits high,” Jones said in an Instagram post.
One of the 100,000 viewers was Emmanuela BienAime, a social media influencer.
“Music is healing. It has its way of lifting spirits and that’s exactly what he did. Where else could you be in the same place as Michelle
Obama, listen to everyone from Beyoncé to Teena Marie and it’s all happening for free?” said BienAime.
If being able to see celebrity DJs do their thing live wasn’t enough of a bonus, fans have been able to get another virtual experience money can’t buy. Singers, songwriters, and producers have been going head to head in a battle playing their best hits, all thanks to super-producers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz.
The face-off now known as ‘Verzuz’ has been seen on the Instagram live of artists including Ne-yo and Johnta Austin, T-Pain and Lil Jon, and is scheduled to have music greats like Teddy Riley and Babyface square-off. Each artist gets to play 10 of their most popular songs, with fans judging who takes the round in the comments.
The battles have gone over well with fans garnering excitement and nostalgia all over social media.
Samantha McKenzie, another social media influencer and a music lover, appreciates the virtual entertainment giving her something to look forward to.
“All the greats you can imagine going head to head and finally having the time to compete is showing great camaraderie,” said McKenzie. “It allows us to get up close and personal with the artists which is something we haven’t been able to do before this.”
Even though these new avenues of entertainment have captured the attention of many, will it be able to sustain a period of time post social distancing?
Only time and the coronavirus will tell.