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Still Mixing It Up While Clubs Are Closed: Alok, INNA, Oliver Heldens & More Stay-at-Home DJ Picks

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 Las Vegas-based DJ CHICO; South Florida’s Paul Elalouf; and West Hollywood, California’s Dawna Montell.

CHICO (aka Ronnie “CHICO” DiCicco) has been enjoying LP’s “The One That You Love” (KDDK remix). “LP [Laura Pergolizzi] is one of my favorite vocalists,” CHICO tells Billboard. “Her voice is as captivating as her writing and overall talent and creative style. This particular remix has the full vocal and keeps the original chord progressions and guitars. If you don’t know LP, you’ve got to check her out.”

“Love” lifted to No. 12 on the Mexico Ingles Airplay chart last month.

CHICO, who would typically be playing at a variety of Las Vegas venues such as Bellagio, Cosmo, Tuscany and more, has also been into Alok and Vintage Culture’s “Party on My Own,” featuring FAULHABER. The DJ muses, “I love the production on this one, with a vocal that sits perfectly in the track. It has that Meduza/Goodboys feel. At the drop, the bassline just punches through, which is exactly what you would expect from Vintage Culture.”

Additionally, CHICO, who’s been using the coronavirus-induced downtime to gear up for a relaunch of his Sextronica After Dark mix show, dishes on INNA’s “Nobody” (Ferki remix). “What can I say, except another amazing summer jam by INNA,” CHICO marvels. “The Ferki remix has me playing it alongside similar tracks that have that signature bass sound and deep brass stabs that keeps the track pumping. INNA’s vocals are incredibly sexy and on point, as always. As soon as I heard this one, I felt like I was back in the club.”

Paul Elalouf
Paul Elalouf has been liking Zonderling and Magificence’s “Apart.” “This is pure fire,” Elalouf tells Billboard. “Soaring vocal snippet with a track that doesn’t quit. Massive.”

Elalouf, who regularly holds a weekly residency at Twist in South Beach, Florida, and makes monthly appearances at various venues in the Miami metro area, has also been into Dosem’s “Tower.” The DJ raves, “Absolute techno-progressive monster. Huge peak/late night vibes featuring a chugging track with a touch of old-school acid.”

Elalouf, who keeps busy programming for Netflix, as well as managing his children’s band Exigent, also praises Oliver Heldens’ and Funkin Matt’s “Somebody,” featuring Bright Sparks, citing its “smooth male vocal riding on top of those buttery Heldeep beats.”

Dawna Montell
Dawna Montell shouts out Choices’ “Less Is More.” “I love this track for the message. It’s perfect for the times we are in,” Montell tells Billboard. “The way the track builds is just so groovy-good.”

Montell, who’s been a resident at The Abbey in West Hollywood for 20 years (the club is currently relegated to operating as a restaurant, without dancing, due to the pandemic), has also been savoring Chocolate Puma’s “Rebels on the Run,” featuring Grace Tither. The DJ shares, “Great track, and I love the use of the horn sample from OutKast’s “SpottieOttieDopaliscious.” Definitely a solid piece of work.”

While Chocolate Puma’s track has yet to chart, “SpottieOttieDopaliscious” bubbled under Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs in 1999.

Montell, who boasts over 40 years of experience as a DJ, also talks up the latest from OFFAIAH, “Play It by Ear” (club mix), saying, “OFFAIAH gives us another one of his grooving basslines, with an irresistible melody and a catchy vocal.”