There have been many things that we thought might never take off this year. However, online clubbing might just be up there as one of the most surprising results of 2020.
Club Quarantine has swept across the internet, collecting living room dancers from far and wide, ensuring that the music continued to bump despite cities being placed in lockdown. In the future we will very likely see some sort of hybrid experience adopted by promoters and venues who have now seen value in the digital experience of clubbing in the virtual realm.
Club Quarantine was a spontaneous collaborative project formed by a close knit collective of musicians and artists. It has since gone on to reach global audiences and has grown faster than anybody could have imagined. Casey MQ is one of the founding figures behind the series, a musician in his own right he has just released his debut album ‘babycasey‘ – a celebration of leftfield pop, dance music and queer culture. It’s a fun filled affair with a delicately poised lineage which links musical taste and genre.
We had a quick chat about his year and why it’s been so exciting…
Hi Casey, how’s it going?
Hey 🙂 I’m pretty good. Went for a winter walk today listening to the new Taylor Swift album.
So at the end of what has been a remarkable year how are you now feeling having just released your new music?
It feels great to have released this body of work. The concept and ideas behind this album are something I have been thinking about for some time now, so I’m proud and satisfied to have an actualised music project around these thoughts.
How have you managed to prioritise your time this year being split between your own music and that of club quarantine?
The majority of babycasey was finished by the middle of March and we began the mixing stage of the album. So as CQ began to take off, I was able to finalise the mixes with David online. When Club Quarantine was doing eight parties a week, it definitely had my full attention but what was interesting was as the resident DJ, I played more shows in a short amount of time than I ever usually would. At times, it almost felt like I was on a tour in my bedroom.
Were you surprised by the success and reputation it amassed?
Yes. We were surprised when a 1000 people followed the Club Quarantine account by the third day of making the instagram haha
Has there been any defining moments in the club quarantine era which you wish to reflect on?
I think when we had the first Charli XCX party it felt completely outrageous to us. We really made the party for pleasure and something to do at home during lockdown and so seeing the connection it had with people so quickly was heartwarming. It was a wild shock that we were throwing a party online where Charli was playing a set.
Do you see a hybrid method of nightlife existing online post covid?
For sure. I think when CQ moves into the IRL sphere it’s natural that we’re going to have both elements coexist. It would be interesting to have an IRL party where you can see other people tune in from home and vice versa.
Your own music touches upon numerous influences, where does your sound originate?
I grew up learning classical music while also having an adoration for pop music, more specifically, boybands. My classical training often felt separate from the pop fandom I loved dearly, but I think over the years I have been able to see how their relationship has been integral to my work. It’s an ongoing dialogue I’m having with my musical expression.
How do you see your next steps unfolding?
I have been writing a lot lately so I’m excited to continue to develop and really try to improve on how to use my words effectively in my music. Also, I have been practicing piano a lot more! I’m working on playing Joe Hisaishi and Debussy pieces. That practice has been showing up in my writing as well which has been really rewarding to see and feel.