Each week, Billboard is polling club DJs, with venues shuttered due to the coronavirus.
With clubs closed across the country and Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart on hiatus, we’re asking reporting club DJs what they’ve been listening to lately, while at home, of course.
This week, we spoke with Detroit DJ Captn20; Los Angeles’ SRO; and Las Vegas’ Marc Stout.
Captn20 (real name: Nick Haddad) has been enjoying Tony Arzadon and Kendall Huggins’ “Right Now,” from the former’s new album of original music, From Within. “This track has great energy and the synthesized vocal is perfect,” Captn20 tells Billboard. “It’s great for any club setting or just to get hyped to at the gym. Tony is a super-talented DJ, producer and remixer and ‘Right Now’ brings back a more signature sound from him as a producer, which I love.”
Captn20, who would normally be DJing in Detroit at the exclusive Cash Only (where he helped design the sound and lighting experiences), as well as nationally at such venues as Omnia (Las Vegas), Oxford Social Club (San Diego) and Mariel Underground (Boston), has also been into Kaskade and Colette’s “When I’m With You.” “Kaskade never disappoints,” Captn20 marvels. “Bringing back OM Records legend Colette on this collaboration is exactly the sound that gives you those old-school goosebumps. Deep, sexy, groovy vibes all day.”
“When” hit No. 14 on the Dance/Electronic Digital Song Sales chart earlier this month, marking the first Billboard chart appearance for Chicago-native DJ Colette since 2008, when “If” reached No. 5 on Dance Club Songs.
Additionally, Captn20, who’s been occasionally livestreaming during the pandemic, divulges that he’s a fan of Claude VonStroke’s “I’m Solo,” featuring Barry Drift. “In true Detroit fashion, VonStroke puts out another epic banger with crushing, booty-shakin’ baselines and those wonky synths we love so much,” Captn20 muses. “Plus, Barclay [VonStroke’s real first name] shot a pretty awesome video for it while quarantined in his home, which he shot, directed and produced with his 12-year-old daughter. So dope.”
SRO (real name: Steven Robert Oaks) has been house-partying to Chris Lake’s “I Remember.” “This song is the perfect balance of catchy lyrics, tension and a drop that you will always remember,” SRO tells Billboard. “When I first heard the track, the bassline and the ‘I remember’ lyric were both stuck in my head for days. It’s universal and great for daytime and nighttime sets alike.”
“Remember” rolled in at No. 18 on Dance/Electronic Digital Song Sales and No. 39 on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs in May. If the track sounds familiar, that’s because it samples Ralphi Rosario’s Chicago house classic “You Used to Hold Me,” which reached No. 42 in 1987 on the now-defunct Hot Dance Singles Sales chart; remixes, crediting vocalist Xaviera Gold, took it to No. 9 on Dance Club Songs in 1994.
The Los Angeles-based SRO, who holds club residences at Avalon (Hollywood), Micky’s (West Hollywood) and The Executive Suite (Long Beach), also shines a light on Tituss Burgess’ “Dance M.F.,” featuring Imani Coppola. The DJ shares, “Every summer brings Pride season. This year the celebrations have been mostly virtual, but that hasn’t stopped the music. Openly gay artist Tituss Burgess brings to the club world his first dance record. The remixes by Danny Verde and DJ Spen and Michele Chiavarini bring retro and circuit vibes to the track.”
Additionally, SRO extols the virtues of Sunstars’ “Be Alright.” “My favorite part of this track is after the first drop during the second breakdown, when the piano hits,” SRO says. “We’re reminded that we’re ‘gonna be alright,’ it builds up and then the fun house hits. I cannot wait to unleash this two minutes-and-nineteen seconds of pure energy on club crowds again soon.”
Marc Stout, who scored a top 10 on Dance Club Songs last summer with “Our Song Comes On” (featuring Jessica Sutta; No. 8), has been loving Claptone and Mylo’s “Drop the Pressure” (Purple Disco Machine remix). “It’s a perfect combination: Claptone, Mylo and Purple Disco Machine equals amazing,” Stout gushes to Billboard. “I’ve been playing Purple Disco Machine records during my opening sets, and the headliners love the vibe it sets before they go on.”
Stout, who would normally be spinning at XS and Encore Beach Club in Las Vegas, is also liking Paul Woolford and Diplo’s “Looking for Me,” featuring Kareen Lomax. The DJ says, “Diplo is one of the best all-around DJs/producers, always on his A+ game. He nailed this with Paul Woolford. I think the best part is DJing with him. He always changes it up.”
“Looking” launched at No. 18 on Dance/Electronic Digital Song Sales and No. 24 on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs earlier this month.
Stout, who curates mix shows on two SiriusXM channels (Diplo’s Revolution and Utopia) and can be heard on Hollywood Hamilton’s nationally syndicated Remix Top 30 Countdown, additionally dishes on his work with Katy Perry’s “Daisies” (Marc Stout remix). “This is one of my favorite remixes I have been involved with,” Stout says. “The label reached out to me the day after I found out XS and Encore Beach Club would close temporarily due to COVID-19. My daughter Mia already loved the song, so it was a bonus for her daddy to work on this project. I wanted to make something that works for radio/mix show and nightclubs. I’m very thankful to be a part of this.”
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