Keeping Art Alive

It’s no secret that COVID has had a severe impact on the present (and probable future) state of many industries. Of these, live music definitely took one of the harder hits. Concerts were some of the first once-regular occurrences we saw swiftly canceled once isolation began. Despite the challenges in front of them, many musicians have been using their creativity to make light of a dim situation. 


We spoke with five artists that are doing their part to keep art alive in the midst of this pandemic. Continue reading to hear what they’re up to and, while you’re at it, check them out on your favorite streaming platform!


Heavy Hearts:



C: How has the postponement of live music performances affected you/your relationship with your fanbase?


HH: It’s definitely caused the industry to lean a little bit harder on social media and come up with new and interesting ways of interacting with an audience. Especially with having a new release coming out soon it’s been a challenge trying to find new ways to promote a new record other than playing shows, and everything else that’s usually included in an album cycle.


C: What actions have you taken to stay active?


HH: I’ve mostly been writing new material and tracking early stages of demos on my computer. I’ve also been trying to rework some older songs into acoustic versions. Rewriting older songs usually helps motivate me to write newer material as well.


C: What advice do you have for other artists who are struggling to find motivation and creativity during this time of self isolation?


HH: During this difficult time it’s important to keep yourself busy and motivated but it’s also important not to put too much pressure on yourself. There will be days where it’s hard to find inspiration but it’s more beneficial to step away from a project temporarily and come back to it later.


Links:

Instagram

Facebook


Planet Mercury:



C: How has the postponement of live music performances affected you/your relationship with your fanbase?


PM: It’s definitely been tough having to postpone/cancel gigs for the time being. The toughest part is that we were in the beginning stages of planning a tour and not knowing how the situation will be in the next few months or even the next year makes it extremely difficult to plan. We’ve always tried to stay as active as possible on social media though so now is just a time to utilize that even more. While it’s been tough not being able to play live, we have still been staying connected with the people that support us online. We are definitely eager to be able to play live and hit the ground running when things are back to normal.


C: What actions have you taken to stay active?


PM: Live streaming is a cool feature that we have tried to utilize. Before restrictions got very tight, we were able to do a live stream of a full set which was a lot of fun. We are also doing a raffle for a really cool piece of merch that we got from our supplier. It’s a Planet Mercury jersey that’s in the style of a Bruins jersey and people seemed pretty excited about that. We used it as an opportunity to announce our plans for recording our debut full length album. It helps that we had a ton of songs in the works before this all started so this gives us time to figure out ideas and work on our parts individually until we can meet up and practice together again. 


C: What advice do you have for other artists who are struggling to find motivation and creativity during this time of self isolation?


PM: It can be pretty hard to stay motivated when you’re just staying inside all day. Going for a walk, while social distancing of course, is something that helps us recharge and sometimes when you aren’t focused on being creative, some really cool ideas can pop into your head. We’d also say to not stress out too much if you aren’t able to be as creative as possible right now. Things aren’t normal and everyone is adjusting so if you aren’t able to get the creative juices flowing, it’s probably best not to force anything. 

Links:

Instagram

Facebook


NONEWFRIENDS:



C: How has the postponement of live music performances affected you/your relationship with your fanbase?


NNF: I think it definitely could have had a negative impact on our relationship with our fanbase, but we are doing a good job at consistently pushing out content to stay active and get our name out there.


C: What actions have you taken to stay active?


NNF: We’ve been very active on our social media accounts to not only try to keep others interested but keep ourselves occupied as well.


C: What advice do you have for other artists who are struggling to find motivation and creativity during this time of self isolation?


NNF: One thing that’s been working for me is forcing myself to create something every day. Whether it be poems, melodies, chord progressions, drawings, pretty much trying to do anything I can to keep exercising my creativity.


Links:

Instagram

Facebook


Aaron Rizzo:



C: How has the postponement of live music performances affected you/your relationship with your fanbase?


AR: Shows being canceled has definitely taken a toll on my fanbase. Physically being able to shake someone's hand or hug them after a show is really important to me, it is the easiest way for me to engage in conversation with my fans and truly show them how much I appreciate their support. Most of the magic happens IN a room, not over my phone's camera.


C: What actions have you taken to stay active?


AR: I have recently embarked on the "2020 Social Distance Tour." This is a tour I am doing exclusively over instagram and Facebook live. I am going live from different rooms (venues) around my house, treating each live stream as a show on tour. We've made exclusive, limited edition tee shirts for the tour as well! The front features a hand drawing of myself singing in front of my phone on a tripod, whereas the back has the name of the tour and drawn pictures of the different dates. At the end of the day, it's an effective way for me to stay connected with my fans in a real, meaningful way. Having a consistent "touring schedule" gives them a DAILY thing to look forward to, something to break up the madness in the new cycle. 


C: What advice do you have for other artists who are struggling to find motivation and creativity during this time of self isolation?


AR: My biggest piece of advice is that no-one should be forcing themselves to be creative right now. Creativity is only half as good when it's forced. Just because you have a ton of free time does not mean that you need to fill that time with songwriting, recording and live streaming. Let yourself be bummed out. There's no reason to hate yourself for not staying on top of your music. Unfortunately, we live in an age that tells young musicians and artists that if they aren't posting, streaming or commenting on other people's content, then they are going to disappear into the ether, never to be heard from again. This simply isn't true. This pressure is what drives many artists to the point of falling out of love with their craft. This is a really traumatic time for musicians and other artists alike, so the most important thing for us is to take care of our mental well being. The songwriting can come later. Move at your own pace, and everything will be okay!


I'd like to point out how incredibly resilient and adaptive the music community has been since this pandemic hit. Even without the option of live performances and in-person studio sessions, Myself and many people I know have been incredibly busy with different remote projects, zoom-based sessions, and other out-of-the-box musical endeavors. That in and of itself is wildly uplifting and inspiring. It makes me really grateful to be a part of this community!


Links:

Instagram

Facebook


Bre-L:



C: How has the postponement of live music performances affected you/your relationship with your fanbase?


The postponement of all of my live gigs was definitely tough! Not only was I making my living by doing regular bar shows, but I was also in the middle of rebranding artistically when Covid19 hit. I had planned my first official show under my new name and image for mid March, when suddenly BAM - we weren’t allowed to leave our houses. As a former piano bar player and stage addict, my shows were always my favorite part of my musical process, so I hated the idea of giving up that interaction and connection with my fans. 


C: What actions have you taken to stay active?


BL: One thing I found that helped me think of creative ways to stay in front of my audience was to take my favorite things about my shows and make them applicable online. I have started doing weekly piano bar live streams, where my audience can pick from my list of songs, and I’ll sing whatever they want to hear. I love being able to talk to people through the stream and read their comments on the chat. Of course it’s not the same, but hey it's better than nothing! I’ve also been really intentional about being a part of some of the digital music festivals that have been popping up recently. Working with other artists and being featured on their platforms has really motivated me to make my music as strong as possible in order to appeal to their audience. 


C: What advice do you have for other artists who are struggling to find motivation and creativity during this time of self isolation?


BL: My advice to artists looking for motivation to stay creative during this time is to just do what comes naturally. Trauma experts have stated that forcing yourself to uphold the same level of activity during a world crisis can have negative effects on your mental health. We are all handling this pandemic differently, and it is important to recognize that your mental and physical well being are more important than anything you can produce. So If you feel like you’re at a place where your creative process will help you cope and bring you joy, then set goals for yourself based on what will be the most beneficial to you. Give yourself grace during this hard time. When you are kind to yourself, the best music will naturally follow.


Links:

Instagram

Facebook


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Written by Caroline Moll

Troika Online Media
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