As of late, Thursday nights in Detroit have become another evening of music and dancing. One weekly event has caught the eye of many music lovers—Joyride. Hosted by Artificial Gravity and Drive’s owner—Diallo Smith— Joyride has gained traction over the past few months. What started out as a couple of Movement after parties has quickly turned into a bumpin’ weekly event that has managed to stay off the beaten path.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Ariel Corley, one of the masterminds behind Joyride, to discuss her plans for the event, as well as how far it has come in such a short amount of time.
We started at the beginning, way back in May of 2014, right around Movement weekend.
“It all started last year when I met the owner of Drive, Diallo Smith. Drive just moved from their old location on Woodward to Griswold in the Penobscot Building. The doors hadn’t even been opened yet. We first started talking about doing an after party for Movement weekend in 2014. However, we did not do an after party in 2014, but in 2015 we did two.
The Sunday night of Movement we had DJ Heather, Colette and Rai Knight. Monday night we had Moon Boots, Christian Martin, Option4, Golf Clap, Doug English, Ross Regs and Holographic. After that, the owner wanted us to start doing a weekly there based around house and techno.”
Artificial Gravity’s motivation behind the event is extremely refreshing.
“The main two reasons I’m doing shows at Drive is because the owner is a true believer in the Detroit House music scene. The other reason I love putting on shows at Drive is because people that come don’t think they have to do drugs to do fun. I’ve DJed at too many places with people that looked zombied out on things they took.”
For those of you not familiar with the venue, Drive is short for Drive Table Tennis Social Club. So, yes, you guessed right—it is a bar filled with “ping pong” tables. It is not your typical “club,” so it has taken the underground music scene to a whole new level while still providing the beats one expects from Detroit.
Their goal? Organic growth.
“You don’t see too much organic growth down in Detroit anymore. Most shows are about flashing lights and leaving a lot of great locals behind. Starting in November, on the first Thursday of every month, we will be having more artists from out of town coming in and DJing, as well.”
And with that, Ariel has built strong connections and relationships within the music scene that has only strengthened Joyride in the process.
“Since this event has an organic feel, I get to have a more personal connection with everyone that keeps bringing them back. People that I bring to the event help me on every level, from promotion to setting up.”
Detroit is filled with amazing “local artists” that, believe it or not, are not always established staples in every venue around the city. So, to see an event (and a company) that is intent on showcasing those artists and building themselves from the ground up is a breath of fresh air.
Now, as with anything, there are challenges and, of course, rewards.
“It’s hard to explain, but I guess the most challenging would be trying to have a vibe that doesn’t become stale. People like things they are used to, but also like new things too. It’s really all about trying to figure out the human mind. My favorite part is meeting new people and hearing their stories. I get to meet new people that are working on their dreams and goals. You feel inspired just by being around them.”
Joyride is an up and coming event in Detroit that everyone should keep an eye out for—both for the music and the company.