DJ D-Nice recently opened up about his meteoric rise to Instagram fame during a recent appearance on the Spout podcast.
The 50-year-old musician gained a large Instagram following at the beginning of the pandemic due to his widely-viewed live DJ sets on Instagram Live, which were entitled Homeschool at Club Quarantine.
The former Boogie Down Productions member spoke about how his audience grew literally overnight and noted that the experience, although welcome, was something that he was not expecting.
Speaking his mind: 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 like three hours later, I was at like 1.1 million. I don’t know, it was just crazy.’
The beatboxer, born Derrick Jones, did point out that, although he was not prepared for the sudden rise in his audience, he was happy that his fans enjoyed what he was doing.
D-Nice specifically pointed out that the experience was ‘a big jump and it was a big surprise, but the thing that’s great is that it was all natural.’
The rapper went on to detail the early stages of his livestreams, which were mainly comprised of him selecting tracks for his followers to listen to, which were interspersed with personal anecdotes.
Making waves: The musician began hosting livestreamed 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 gaining hundreds of thousands of followers virtually overnight was ‘a big jump and it was a big surprise’
‘In the first days, I wasn’t DJing. I was literally just playing music from the computer into my phone. I just had the phone sitting on my laptop and I would just play music and share stories,’ he recalled.
The musician then noted that, when he began performing actual DJ sets, celebrities quickly caught on and began watching his livestreams, which led to a rapid rise in followers.
D-Nice expressed that ‘when I actually hooked up the tables and started playing and that’s when Drake popped in and J-Lo, everyone was trying to figure this out, like, wait, what is this guy doing? Like, what is he doing?’
He also commented that, although he was happy about the high viewer rate, he was much more excited about bringing people together during the arduous early stages of the pandemic.
Starting slow: The musician noted that, in his first few livestreams, 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 that Friday before, like, the 100,000 and then 165,000 people; it was just about music, man, and everybody felt good to still find a way to stay connected,’ he said.
D-Nice then remarked that he enjoyed seeing the reactions of his followers and said that he was happy to bring a little lighthearted fun into his fan’s lives.
He specifically recalled that on the fourth day of his livestreams was ‘when I started seeing people say, like, they would leave these comments, like, wow, like, this is changing my life.’
The DJ went on to express excitement for having other celebrities watching his broadcasts, and humorously remarked that the ‘only people that are missing are the Obamas.’
Bringing people together: D-Nice also remarked that his fans found ‘a way to stay connected’ though his livestreams; he is seen performing in May
Some of D-Nice’s celebrity fans include Angela Bassett, and Donnie Wahlberg, and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders made notably viewed one of the DJ’s livestreams.
Other musicians who have watched the musician’s performances over the last few months include Rihanna, Nile Rodgers and Janet Jackson.
Last May, the beatboxer was named the Webby Artist of the Year in the Special Achievement category in recognition of his online efforts.
The disc jockey also recently earned the distinction of Entertainer of the Year at the 52nd Annual NAACP Image Awards, which were held this past March.
Serious attention: Several celebrities and other musicians have notably viewed the DJ’s livestreams in the past, including Angela Bassett, Nile Rodgers and Bernie Sanders; D-NICE is pictured in 2020