COVID-19 has undoubtedly disrupted many industries, including our beloved music industry. Album releases have been postponed, and all live shows have been canceled until an unknown later date, putting artists’ already tenuous livelihood on shakier ground. But, things aren’t all doom and gloom. Artists are working harder than ever to share their music and connect with fans through creative livestreams, quarantine collaborations, and more.
We wanted to get a real glance at what it means to be a musician during this time, so we gathered a group of Sofar alumni, spanning Sydney to Seattle to Toronto, to weigh in. Twice a week, they’ll be sharing their thoughts on different topics related to this crazy time we’re all in.
This week we asked them:
Nature is something that always inspires us and is continuing to do so through this time. It's also been really inspiring to witness other artists getting creative and finding new ways to connect with audiences. Kathleen has started to pick up the guitar and Aubrey is learning to bead and even create a new merch line with LVDY earrings!
- Kathleen and Aubrey of LVDY, Denver
Livestreams have actually been pretty inspiring. Being able to read what people are thinking while I’m playing and conversing with fans in a new, more intimate way has been very rewarding. I’ll probably continue to do livestreams even after self-isolation becomes more relaxed.
Seeing other artists and friends create new things — music, visual art, dance, etc - and collaborating with others has also been very cool.
- Yasmin Williams, Baltimore
I’ve had more time to listen through a lot more albums lately and I’m getting a lot of inspiration from the new bands I’ve been finding. I’ve been finding new artists every day that make me wanna get up and practice my music.
- Clarence James, Austin
Our biggest inspiration has come through reflection — reflecting on where we’ve been, how much has changed for our future plans, and learning to adapt to the “new” normal. We've always done live videos on social media, so when everyone started going live, we didn’t feel we had a place there, or at least a place to be heard. We spent two years on the road touring aggressively and it’s taken a little while for our minds to catch up to where our hearts want to be (on the road and performing).
We’re learning to see our creative visions through new lenses and making new plans for the future of our artistry. The reset has been nice for processing. We've done a lot of reflecting on where we want to go in the future and what we want to bring to the table.
- Myra of Stereo RV, Seattle
Video games! Friends who aren't musicians! Nature! Meditation! Reading! Lots of things I never did as much of when I was playing gigs all the time. I feel fueled as a person and like there's more music that will come out of me. And I think that music will be better.
- Kiaran aka Kubla, Toronto
I'm inspired so much now by stillness, which in the past has been such a struggle for me to grasp. Usually I have allowed in all of the many reasons artists have to get distracted. However, during this stay-at-home period, I've been really learning how to enjoy my own company.
- NDUKA, NYC
Inspiration during this time has come from the situation itself, which has forced me to be creative in ways I didn’t know I could be. Other artists new and old always inspire me.
- Miracle Foster, Dallas
Thanks to these artists for sharing with us, and we’ll be back on Thursday to talk with them about how they're taking care of themselves through this weird, challenging time.
In the meantime, join us daily in Sofar’s listening room for livestreams, where you can donate directly to the performing artists.