DJ Deanne, celebrating her 20th year delivering the beats, will be the third and final DJ for Quarankiki 3.0 on Saturday, April 4, to support the artists and staff from Hydrate Nightclub
and Elixir Bar in Chicago's Boystown neighborhood impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Pre-Kiki starts at 9:30 p.m., featuring three world-renowned DJs: Alex Acosta, GRIND and Toy Armada. These three will shift roles on April 11, as they each will grab a two-hour slot as the Kiki DJ.
DJ GSP (Greece) kicks off the party April 4, starting at 10 p.m. – with the live stream available via Zoom. DJ Tom Stephan (London) is on tap from midnight to 2 a.m., and Deanne starts at 2 a.m.
"I love the Quarankiki; the concept is so perfect for Hydrate," Deanne said. "They always find a way to do what others are doing, but better and from the heart. It's really special in this unprecedented time of separation, isolation, and uncertainty that there is a way that we can all interact with each other safely, and with music as the thing that brings us together.
"I'm thrilled for Saturday. Hydrate is my family and anything I can do to help, I will. This week it just happens to be by keeping the children up way past their bedtime."
Deanne, who lives in Tampa, has DJ residencies at Hydrate, Xion (Atlanta), Reload (Los Angeles), and Distrkt C (Washington D.C.). She has been DJing at Hydrate for the past six or seven years, usually three times a year.
"The first time I DJ'd at Hydrate, I was so excited," she said. "I am originally from Indiana and Hydrate was the closest big club, where all the biggest and best DJs were playing. I always knew that I wanted to play there. I had tried to get in for quite some time, so when they finally gave me my shot, I was over the moon. It was exactly what I imagined it would be: a very special room to play in. That's when our love affair began."
Deanne spun at Hydrate last December, just before Christmas – and she was scheduled to be at the Boystown bar in late-March.
"I have so many great memories at Hydrate," she said. "Every time ... the crowd, the energy and the staff are on point."
And then there was New Year's Eve in 2017. "Something was in the air that night and magic happened. I probably played one of the best sets of my entire career. That's in my head forever," she said.
"Chicago is my favorite city and I would totally live here ... if it wasn't so freaking cold."
On Saturday, her after-hours sounds will be supporting those affected by the pandemic.
"What a group," of DJs scheduled for Saturday, Deanne said. "GSP and Tom are both amazing, each with their own signature sound. I will be bringing my own after-hours vibe that is typically very drum and energy forward. Given the situation, I will select some tracks that speak to our shared experience and try to invoke some emotion and/or healing. In the end, I just want people to dance, have fun and let go."
Deanne joined the pre-Kiki Q&A last Saturday – and was in the stream until the wee hours of the morning.
Last week's Kiki DJs each delivered amazing sets, Deanne said. "I was having cocktails, Face-timing other friends who were logged in (to the stream), and (was) dancing along with everyone else. I stayed until the end and had a hangover the next day.
"I love seeing everyone living it up at home – dressed up, comfortable, natural, happy, and/or chill. You can feel that we are all connected and sharing this experience."
The first two Quarankiki virtual dance parties have raised more than $17,000.
"We have to be so focused on keeping ourselves safe in order to keep others safe. It's kind of a weird that in order to best help you have to stay away from each other," she said. "I know that many are struggling with the loss of income, suffering from mental health issues and impacted by the illness itself. The impact of this is still something that we won't know for some time and that's a little scary. I think we should do anything that we can do to help others get through this. Whether that be donating to fundraisers set up to assist people financially, check in with friends and family more often or just engage with people online more to let them know that they are not alone. For any personal livestreams that I do, I will be setting up a GoFundMe campaign to different non-profits that are able to directly help during this crisis.
"I want to do my part to help raise money for the Hydrate staff, but also I want to make sure that I am able to keep spinning to keep people connected to the music and, more importantly, to each other. I am very honored and grateful to be playing this weekend."
Deanne's style is very party specific. For example, "my tea dances, prime time and after-hours events all sound different, though recognizably me, I think," she said. "While I have a general idea of where I want to go musically, I'm always watching the crowd and adjusting my set accordingly. I have had many residencies over the years, so I am quite comfortable and very much enjoy delivering a set that has a distinct beginning, peak and closing. I'm not afraid of dramatic arrangements, drop-outs, or moments of nearly explosive intensity. But, I have my tender moments, too. I want to keep people engaged and dancing, and I if have the opportunity to 'get to' someone at some point, then I have achieved something special."
The Quarankiki is definitely something special, and definitely something not to be missed.The links to join and to donate are at hydratechicago.com.