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Still Mixing It Up While Clubs Are Closed: Duck Sauce, Diplo, Wax Motif & 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 Boston DJ Joe Bermudez, Kansas City’s Ray Velasquez and Miami’s Yissel.

Joe Bermudez
Bermudez has been enjoying the latest from Dutch DJ/producer Brooks, “Say a Little Prayer,” featuring Gia Koka. “The vocal is infectious,” Bermudez says. “You can’t help but sing along. The synths are big and fun and will definitely put a smile on your face.”

The DJ, who regularly plays weekly at such venues as Wild Rover, Hurricanes, Royale and more, has also been into Mo Falk’s “Everybody.” Bermudez muses, “This one is super funky, kind of like Nile Rodgers on steroids. And don’t even get me started on the drop. It hits so hard. It’s easy to picture hundreds of thousands of people losing their minds to it. A true festival banger.”

The busy Bermudez, who plays radio host, too, on Boston pop station WODS (103.3 Amp Radio), has earned five top 10s of his own on Dance Club Songs. The sum includes three No. 1s: “Sunrise,” featuring Louise Carver, 2016; “Ghosting,” featuring Megn, 2017; and “Crazy Enough,” also featuring Carver, 2018.

He is particularly excited about his most recent production, “Teach Me,” featuring Paloma Rush (Kastra and twoDB remix). “The video was shot at Berklee College of Music,” he shares. “We basically did everything I was told not to do in class when I was a student. It was easily one of the most fun shoots I’ve ever done. Shout-out to the Berklee Law and Management Club for helping me put this together.”

Ray Velasquez
Velasquez has been stepping to the newest from Sonikssp (the moniker of Cincinnati DJ Jeromie Esterline), “Shake Your Body,” featuring singer Akira. “It’s a retro-rave dance floor workout,” he beams of the track, due tomorrow (May 8).

The veteran DJ, formerly of New York City before his move to Kansas City, where he plays regularly at MOD, among other venues, has also been listening to the latest from Nebraska (aka London-based producer Alistair Gibbs), “Y’miss Me Baby?” Velasquez refers to the disco-influenced track as a “fierce funky nugget.”

Another deep cut that Velasquez has been enjoying is Francesca Lombardo’s “Call Me Wrong” (Into the Night remix). He says that he loves its “dark and moody nocturnal groove.”

Yissel (full name: Yissel Cabrera) has been dancing to Diplo and Wax Motif’s “Love to the World.” Released April 10, the collab debuted at No. 18 on the April 25-dated Dance/Electronic Digital Song Sales chart. “The funky bassline combined with the ’70s vocal sample [of L.T.D.’s “Love to the World”] is exactly what the world needs right now,” Yissel states. “It’s groovy, catchy and 100% danceable.”

Yissel, who holds club residencies at E11even, Hyde Beach at the SLS South Beach, Basement and more, has also been vibing to “I Don’t Mind,” the latest from Duck Sauce. “A-Trak and Armand Van Helden are two solid producers,” Yissel says. “Together [as Duck Sauce], they make a dynamic duo. This is another feel-good, disco-dance track with hypnotic vocals that’s guaranteed to keep you moving.”

Duck Sauce is likely best known for its ground-breaking hit “Barbra Streisand,” which topped Dance Club songs in 2010.

Additionally, Yissel, who plans to launch livestreams soon, extols the virtues of EDX’s “The Time Is Now,” a cover of Moloko’s 2000 European hit. “The original is one of my all-time favorites, so I might be a bit biased. Still, this one hits differently, and in a good way.”