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Tory Lanez talks going viral with Quarantine Radio

Rapper and singer Tory Lanez broadcasts his "Quarantine Radio" Instagram show from his home.

Rapper and singer Tory Lanez broadcasts his “Quarantine Radio” Instagram show from his home. (Photo: Tory Lanez)

Going stir-crazy in quarantine? You’re not alone. Celebrities are cooped up in their homes across the country just like the rest of us. As we collectively navigate this uncharted territory, USA TODAY presents Quarantine Diaries, which give readers a peek into how our favorite stars are spending their time at home.

Today’s diarist is rapper and R&B singer Tory Lanez, who amid the coronavirus pandemic has gone viral with millions of new followers on Instagram and upwards of 350,000 simultaneous viewers for his popular “Quarantine Radio” Instagram Live show, where he plays sound clashes (or music mashups), hosts dance competitions and welcomes famous friends – including Justin Bieber, Drake and Timbaland. Lanez recently released his latest music project, “The New Toronto 3.” Here’s what a day in the life of the 27-year-old’s quarantine is like in his Florida home. – As told to Anika Reed

12:30 p.m. I tell myself every day that I’m gonna wake up at 9, but then I wake up at like 1 or 2 or 12. When I do wake up I get flooded by a bunch of calls and people that work for me and my manager and a ton of deliverables. Even if we can’t physically be in certain places, there’s a ton of things that I have to do in the morning, emails that have to get sent out, contracts that have to be signed.

1 p.m. I smoke marijuana medically. I have bad anxiety sometimes. In the morning I don’t have an appetite usually, because to go to sleep at night sometimes I smoke. But the other day I did make a discovery that I can eat fruit in the morning. I cut up some strawberries, grapes, some orange, stuff that tastes good.

2 p.m. When I’m not with my 3-year-old son, which is the most important thing to me, the first thing I’m doing is recording my music, because I record all my stuff myself. I have a studio in my house. It’s either that or I’m video editing – I’m editing all the music videos that you guys ever see of me that ever come out. Either doing one of the two. I like to keep myself busy.

3 p.m. Pasta bolognese is one of my favorite dishes, however with the quarantine I haven’t been able to go to this particular restaurant (that serves it). There’s been a series of Caribbean dishes and fast food that I eat, whatever is available.

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How I’m staying active: I box a lot. I’ve been at the crib, boxing and just trying to stay fit. I’ve got weights in my house. I do a lot of calisthenics workouts. I don’t like to go to the gym regardless, so it’s not really a thing I’ve needed to stay in shape. The only thing I’m probably losing on is cardio right now because I’m not about to be running down the street and catching the virus.

4 p.m. We do Quarantine Radio every other day. The first time I did it, I didn’t even have a mic. I saw what DJ D-Nice was doing and I just wanted to play music and have some sound clashes with some of my friends. I didn’t even think it was going to be big. The first time I went on, it was like 7,000 people in there. It feels like we’re in a club.

How ‘Quarantine Radio’ started: I did this sound clash (Editor’s note: a music mashup) with my friend, and it was all old pop songs from the ‘90s, like ‘NSYNC and Britney Spears. So we were going at it and people found it entertaining that I knew al these records. And then Bryson Tiller came in to the Instagram Live. Then randomly Justin Bieber came in. He was my third guest. Justin Bieber came in and was like “Yo, Tory, I just wanted to let you know I love you, dog, I was just listening to (your song) ‘Say It.’” So then more people started watching. It lasts as long as viewers wish it to, usually about four hours.

 

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8 p.m. I’ve always lived in Florida and a lot of my family lives in Toronto, so we’ve always talked on the phone, regardless. Now that this is going on, we just try to stay on a communicative basis. We talk to each other no matter what’s going on. I always make sure I talk to my dad. My mom died when I was 11, so I’ve always been big on keeping in touch with my family. Every evening I take the time out to say goodnight to my son, sometimes even reading a book with him.

10 p.m. We go on a break for Wendy’s at some point. There’s a Wendy’s up the block from me. I need to stop eating the No. 6, it’s probably not healthy for me at this point. Then we’ll come back and talk about what we did (on Instagram Live). We’ll sit back and see all the results.

Tory Lanez is recording new music while he quarantines.

Tory Lanez is recording new music while he quarantines. (Photo: Tory Lanez)

11 p.m. to 2 a.m. I play some video games, I’ll watch some TV and I’ll get back to editing or recording. I try and stay in the house and stay away from people while this whole quarantine thing is going on. I’ve been watching “Tiger King,” but I just got into where it gets good, the sixth episode. He’s just going rogue. 

How I’m feeling: I have mixed feelings. I’m a creative and more outgoing person. Being with my fans is really important to me, which prompted me to create “Quarantine Radio” in the first place, to go on live and spend time with them. I’m a very family and friend-oriented person, so making the most to connect while separated is what I’ve been focused on.

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