COVID-19 has ravaged the music industry. Streaming is down, tours are on hold, and festivals are canceled. The artist community is hurting, of course, but how, exactly, are creatives dealing with this public health crisis?
Rather than speculate, we reached out to a grip of artists, rappers, producers, and singers for Audiomack to get their perspective on staying busy, their financial situations, and everything in between.
Editor’s Note: To read the full version of this piece, head on over to Audiomack World.
How are you staying busy?
KIRBY: My biggest focus is remembering this too shall pass. I know it doesn’t seem like it now, but no pain is forever. We will come out of this more innovative and creative, and the touring market will more than likely have a surge. I also think this serves as a reminder to me always to diversify my income. I’m an artist, I love music, and I love what I do. But as a businesswoman, I know music can’t be my only financial investment.
What has been the greatest or most sudden change to your music career over the past week?
Rema: Normally, I’m an indoor guy. I only go out when a city needs me on stage. Recently, I’ve had more time to understand the level my mind and grace has taken me to and how to put my behavior, speech, and confidence in accord. Usually, I make music while I’m on the road getting that bag, which is fun, but now there’s more chill to it, and I can take my time to explore my sound engineering skills.
What is your primary focus right now?
Jesse Royal: Well, my biggest focus right now is just staying healthy, staying out of harm’s way, keeping all of I and I’s friends and family aware, up to date on the current situation. As well as remaining grounded, not letting fear take control of I and I… There’s been many situations on Earth, and there will be many more situations on Earth.
How are you using the internet to continue to collaborate? Or have you been creating more in isolation, and how has that affected your process?
K Camp: Haven’t even been recording these past weeks. Giving my mind time to regroup and then I’mma jump back in on the next album. With artists, it’s as easy as sending emails. As I said, weed and Xbox got my vibe at the moment. And good turkey sandwiches on Hawaiian rolls and chips.
How has coronavirus and the world’s response to the virus affected your creativity? Your drive? Your desire to make new music?
JAHMED: The coronavirus has been quite impactful. I had a slot on the SXSW lineup, but unfortunately, I didn’t make a debut due to the virus and them pulling the entire festival. Hearing about SXSW for the majority of my life, it was one of those “I made it here” moments. Also, I had to postpone my release party for my album THEBOOFMOBILE, but eventually, that will still happen, so it’s not as bad. [As] far as creativity, it’s not that big of an obstacle. I’m constantly bouncing ideas or coming up with song concepts even if I’m not in front of a mic or a studio.
How has your financial situation been directly affected? How are you dealing with these changes?
Rucci: Man, the fucking coronavirus is fucking up a lot of money for a lot of us. Show-wise… I just got my mom a house, and now I got to think forward about how I’mma manage my money so I can pay rent. I’ve been figuring out how to manage my overhead in the future just ’cause I don’t know how long this gon’ last. I’m literally just saving, tryna be smart, so I ain’t gotta be worried when shit is on lockdown.