DJ Maj of TobyMac’s Diverse City Band recently rolled out a Family Dance Party on his Instagram stories @playjamusic to bring people together and create community while so many are dealing with feelings of isolation due to COVID-19 stay at home mandates. The party was so successful that he has expanded the concept and partnered with several high profile music festivals and artists including TobyMac, Chris Tomlin and more via their Insta story social media platforms.
“Originally I didn’t plan to do more of these parties, but after the first one, the response I got from people who were really struggling with being at home, who lost jobs, who were fearful of what is happening, opened my eyes to how this could really help some people and start a conversation about mental health – something I’ve been passionate about for years.” After personal loss and soul searching, Maj embarked on a personal journey in what he calls “the language of vulnerability.” The result was the result was the launch of www.djmaj.com/gethelp in 2019 to help nudge people toward tools to create community and advocate for vulnerability, honesty, and transparency.
With suicide and depression/anxiety rates on an upward trajectory already, the COVID-19 crises has only worsened this trend, with rising call volumes at crises centers across the country. In March 2020 alone, the Disaster Distress Helpline saw a 338 percent increase in call volume compared with February 2020.
With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, DJ Maj is excited to continue the parties each weekend and is now also doing virtual meet ‘n greets @playmajmusic to connect more on a personal level after each party. The current May schedule includes Blanca, @OfficialBlanca (5/1), TobyMac, @TobyMac (5/2), Gotee Records, @Gotee (5/8), TobyMac (5/9), Mandisa @MandisaOfficial (5/14), TobyMac (5/16), We Are Messengers/@weare1movement (5/22), and TobyMac (5/23), with more dates to come! Get all of the latest information by following @playmajmusic on Instagram or at www.djmaj.com
As DJ Maj states, “It’s ok to not be ok. But, not having to tools to process times of personal loss tends to result in an emotionally calloused existence. It all accumulates and we eventually pop. I’ve learned the importance of keeping the connection between our hearts, our emotions, and our minds unsevered. When we pause, examine, and dialogue, it begins the process of healing in many forms. I hope this tune and these Family Dance Parties can continue to bring joy, inspire, and provoke healing.”
Additional song information is available at www.djmaj.com/feelagain.
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