“My wife and I really looked forward to the living room dance parties with the kids,” one reader tells us in our Best Of survey. Yep, when joy felt like a match too wet to spark, getting through lockdown was about the little things—like online parties that helped us follow the prophetic words of Lady Gaga and “Just dance. It'll be OK.”
Of course, most days it still doesn’t feel OK, but the dancing helps—and the virtual party wouldn't be bangin’ on without the local DJs who took to Zoom, Twitch and other online platforms to help make your living room the hottest dance floor east of Montreal. “It’s like a little show: As I’m playing I’ll throw up different odd videos,” says TK Thorpe (AKA DJ OKAY TK), one of the earliest online adapters, of what you can expect when you tune into his stream. Rife with memes—not to mention a cross-genre style—his weekly streams, which happen Tuesdays at 5pm, Thursdays at 8pm and Fridays at 7pm on Twitch, are a little bit about good music and a little bit about connection. “I feel like we’re oddly drawn to one another,” he offers as his theory of why we want to watch each other do things through screens.
“The thing about Twitch, I feel like your personality comes to play in more often than being out at a public event. There’s a lot more engagement,” says Thorpe, who’s probably the most prolific live-streaming DJ in town. “You wanna shout people out when they come into your room, make them feel welcome, make them wanna be there, let your personality shine, have a room that’s clearly unique.”
Though the wax-spinner has made a slight return to IRL showcases, he doesn’t plan to give up his livestream sets anytime soon (blessed be for those of us still not ready to hit up a nightclub): “I love the internet, I love technology and I think this is just another thing I wanna add to the bag.
“It’s invigorated my love for music,” Thorpe says of his time hosting events online. “I’m just doing it to have fun, to continue to organize and to spread good music.” Head to twitch.tv/heyokaytk to join the party.