Each week, Billboard is polling club DJs, with venues shuttered due to the coronavirus.
This week, we spoke with Fort Lauderdale, Florida, DJ Miik; Madison, Wisconsin’s Tony Ritschard; and Tampa’s Bobby Stoner.
Miik (real name Michael Martorell) has been enjoying a new take on a classic, Gloria Estefan’s “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” (Mauro Mozart remix). “With clubs being closed, I’ve been reminiscing about the last 25 years of DJing and all that amazing music I’ve had the chance to play,” Miik tells Billboard. “Being a Cuban-American native Miamian, it’s obvious that my favorite track is a hot new remix of one of my favorite Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine songs.
“This track literally makes me forget about everything and takes me to a place where the infectious sound of horns and drums take control of my body and make me just want to dance,” Miik muses. “Gloria’s vocals coupled with sickening percussive buildups absolutely feels like Brazil meets Miami!”
Estefan reimagined the original “Rhythm,” along with other catalog cuts, for her Brazil305 album, which debuted at No. 8 on the Aug. 29-dated Tropical Albums chart, the same week that the new version of “Rhythm” bowed at No. 11 on the Tropical Digital Song Sales chart. The original “Rhythm” (credited to Estefan and Miami Sound Machine) reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 27 on Dance Club Songs in 1987.
Miik, who pre-quarantine was a weekly resident DJ at one of South Florida’s largest LGBTQ nightclubs, The Manor in Wilton Manors, just north of Fort Lauderdale, has also been into Ray Rhodes’ and Christian B’s “In Another Life,” featuring Meiko (Dirty Werk extended club mix). He praises, “Dirty Werk’s mix is packed with floor-filling buildups and an electro-charged bassline that’s sure to make the dance floor jump.”
Additionally, Miik has been moving to Jasmine Crowe’s “Sky Is Falling” (Chris Cox radio mix), saying, “One of my all-favorite remixers, Chris Cox, delivers his trademark pop-meets-club style. The song is so catchy that after a few listens, I couldn’t get it out of my head.”
Crowe’s first Billboard chart hit, “Chess Game,” hit No. 28 on Dance Club Songs in January.
Tony Ritschard has been jamming to Zedd and Jasmine Thompson’s “Funny.” “I recall when Zedd spun in Madison (on Oct. 30, 2015) at the Alliant Energy Center,” Ritschard says. “He was great, had a fantastic light show and the energy was amazing. Those were great times.”
“Funny” became Zedd’s 12th top 10 (and Thompson’s second) on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs, hitting No. 7 in August; it currently sits at No. 8.
Ritschard, who would normally be playing at a variety of venues in Madison, including Shamrock Bar and Grill, Woof’s and SS Brats, has also been relishing Kygo and Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” an update of Turner’s 1984 Hot 100 No. 1. The DJ shares, “This song takes me back to The New Bar/Hotel Washington, which burnt down in February 1996. I lost nine crates of records in the fire; not a good day. I recall playing this video when I began spinning in 1986 and thinking, ‘She’s good!’ “
Additionally, Ritschard draws attention to for King and Country, Kirk Franklin and Tori Kelly’s “Together” (R3HAB remix). Ritschard shares, “My sister, Tara, turned me on to for King and Country. I love this track’s vocals, and big thanks to R3HAB for a great dance mix.”
The original “Together” logs its fifth frame at No. 1 on the Christian Airplay chart.
Bobby Stoner (yes, that’s his real last name) has been savoring Dex Experience’s “Don’t Underestimate Me,” featuring Dawn Tallman (Eric Kupper remix). “Tallman’s top-notch vocal and Kupper’s mix are so perfect together,” Stoner tells Billboard. “Very house and great to dance to.”
Stoner, who would normally be playing multiple nights a week at Club Envy in Tampa, also extols the virtues of Topic and A7S’ “Breaking Me” (Mike Williams remix), calling it “a strong track that should be used during peak hours. Very prime time.”
“Breaking” reached No. 4 on Dance/Mix Show Airplay in May and remains at its No. 3 peak on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs.
Stoner, who additionally lends his DJ services to special events at various Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Palm Beach venues, has also been into Neon Trees’ “New Best Friend” (Danny Verde remix). “I have always been a fan of Neon Trees and with a Danny Verde remix it’s just icing on the cake.”
Last week, the original “Friend” hit a new high on the Alternative Airplay chart at No. 33. Neon Trees have crossed over to Dance Club Songs twice, including with another “friend”-ly track, “Sleeping With a Friend” (No. 20, 2014).