dvsn night shift coachella recap Coachella 2019 Levi's
Highsnobiety / Scott Rhodius

Tucked away off the Sunset strip in Los Angeles is the Levi’s Haus of Strauss; a cozy bungalow-turned-event-space whose inconspicuous litness invites comparison to the neighboring Chateau Marmont across the street. Past its unassuming exterior is a spacious dancefloor bleeding into a lush backyard, gilded by a canopy of colorfully-lighted trees— here gathered a couple hundred lucky insiders one Wednesday night in April per a secret invitation to Night Shift, a special night of R&B hosted by Canadian duo dvsn, with the help of Levi’s and Highsnobiety.

Kicking off the evening, LA’s own DJ Orange Calderon set the tone as guests quickly poured in and waited in line for custom Remy Martin cocktails and tacos. A set that began with low key numbers from newcomers like Summer Walker and Pink Sweat$ soon eased into crowd-pleasers by Drake, Ty Dolla $ign, and Ella Mai before culminating in beloved throwbacks from Destiny’s Child and Justin Timberlake.

By the time Nineteen85 took over the turntables, the crowd was loose and the dancefloor was full of folks ready to get their body roll on, including the likes of artist ILoveMakonnen and social media star Cameron Dallas. From start to finish, the dvsn producer’s DJ set was stacked with cherished R&B classics spanning from the 90s to now, from Jodeci and Lauryn Hill, to Lloyd and T-Pain, to Jeremih and SZA— and dozens in between. Whether packed onto the dancefloor or huddled around the DJ booth, everyone was positively tapped into every track, especially when Nineteen85 and his MC gave a nod to their OVO brethren and threw it back to Drake’s Take Care glory days with an impassioned party-wide singalong to “Crew Love.”

The energy of the room evoked the best kind of house party: turnt but intimate, a good mood in the air, and every song hit exactly right. Taking the initiative to plan such a small-scale, specialized event in between two bombastic weekends of Coachella speaks to what dvsn feels is their creative purpose. “Intimacy is key. One of our biggest goals is to do things that people will always remember and keep talking about,” the duo tells Highsnobiety, “We love creating moments that matter.”

Indeed the night felt special, and the commemorative dvsn Levi’s jackets produced specially for the occasion— a classic light wash with subtle silver screenprinted lettering noting the date of the event, that fans could get custom-embroidered for free on site —helped make that tangible. “People loved them so much they started stealing our samples off the wall!” they recall, “Style, clothing, [and] design help bring to life what dvsn is all about and loves. Doing a collab with a classic brand like Levi’s was a dream come true.” Seeing the crowd, including the artists, decked out in their matching denim cemented the sense of communion in the room that night.

dvsn vocalist Daniel Daley continued to stoke the evening’s positive communal energy. He joined his counterpart onstage to the tune of Usher’s “U Got It Bad,” and conducted another crowd sing-along before diving into a short-but-solid set of dvsn’s own songs, for which the excitement in the room reached a fever pitch. After performing “Think About Me” and “Too Deep,” dvsn plucked their friends Sevyn Streeter and Jessie Reyez from the crowd for spontaneous performances that delivered both strong vocals and smiles aplenty. They also previewed a new, unreleased song called “In Between Us,” which they had first teased live at Coachella just days prior.

"Collaborations are in the works, and the new album is coming soon,” the duo shared with us. The enthusiasm on the part of the artists and audience alike at Night Shift was palpable and felt genuine. “We love doing events like this. We like having the freedom to do things our way,” dvsn says. “It’s cool to make the music, but way more fun when we get to be fans.”

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