DJ D-Nice recently opened up about his meteoric rise to Instagram fame during a recent appearance on the Spout podcasting.
The 50-year-old musician gained a lot of Instagram following at the start of the pandemic thanks to his widely viewed live DJ sets on Instagram Live, which were titled Homeschool at Club Quarantine.
The former Boogie Down Productions member spoke about how his audience literally grew overnight, noting that the experience, while welcome, was something he hadn’t expected.
Speaking Up: DJ D-Nice recently spoke about his meteoric rise to success during a recent appearance on the Spout podcast; he is pictured at the 63rd annual GRAMMY Awards in March
He recalled: ‘I went from 200,000 [Instagram followers] and I woke up the next day and I had 900,000 followers and then about three hours later I was at about 1.1 million. I don’t know, it was just crazy.’
The beatboxer, born Derrick Jones, did point out that while he wasn’t prepared for the sudden rise of his audience, he was happy that his fans were enjoying what he was doing.
D-Nice specifically pointed out that the experience was “a big jump and it was a big surprise, but the great thing is that it was all natural.”
The rapper went on to detail the early stages of his live streams, which mainly consisted of selecting songs for his followers to listen to, interspersed with personal anecdotes.
Making waves: The musician started hosting livestream DJ sets on Instagram Live during the early stages of the pandemic and he quickly gained a large following; he is seen in may
Making an Adjustment: During his appearance on the podcast, D-Nice noted that it was “a big jump and a big surprise” to gain hundreds of thousands of followers pretty much overnight.
‘The first days I wasn’t DJing. I was literally just playing music from the computer to my phone. I just had the phone on my laptop and I would just play music and share stories,” he recalls.
The musician then noted that when he started performing actual DJ sets, celebrities quickly caught on and started watching his live streams, leading to a rapid increase in followers.
D-Nice said that ‘when I hooked up the tables and started playing and when Drake came in and J-Lo, everybody was trying to figure this out, wait, what’s this guy doing? What’s he doing?’
He also noted that while he was happy with the high viewership, he was much more excited about bringing people together during the difficult early stages of the pandemic.
Starting off slow: The musician noted that in his first few live streams, he would “just play music and share stories”; he is seen in 2018
“The fourth day was my favorite day because the fourth day, which was the Friday before, for example, the 100,000 and then 165,000 people; it was just about music, man, and everyone felt good to find a way to stay connected anyway,” he said.
D-Nice then commented that he enjoyed seeing his followers’ reactions and said he was happy to bring a little lighthearted fun into his fan’s life.
He specifically recalled that on the fourth day of his live streams, “when I started seeing people say, like, they would leave these comments, like, wow, like, this changes my life.”
The DJ expressed excitement at the fact that other celebrities were watching his broadcasts, noting with humor that “the only people missing are the Obamas.”
Bringing people together: D-Nice also noted that his fans “found a way to stay connected” through his live streams; he is seen in may
Some of D-Nice’s famous fans include Angela Bassett and Donnie Wahlberg, and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders notably made one of the DJ’s live streams.
Other musicians who have watched the musician’s performances in recent months include Rihanna, Nile Rodgers and Janet Jackson.
Last May, the beatboxer was named Webby Artist of the Year in the Special Achievement category in recognition of his online efforts.
The disc jockey also recently earned Entertainer of the Year at the 52nd Annual NAACP Image Awards, held last March.
Serious Attention: Several celebrities and other musicians have notably watched the DJ’s live streams in the past, including Angela Bassett, Nile Rodgers, and Bernie Sanders; D-NICE is pictured in 2020