Coronavirus is everywhere. It’s impossible to go on social media without running into death tolls, photographs of overflowing hospitals, or at the very least, a meme. We all know that things aren’t ideal for anyone right now, but some industries are faring worse than others, the music industry being one of the most challenged so far.
Without performances, merchandise sales, and an active fan base, musicians have nothing. Thanks to the impacts of crucial social distancing measures, the music industry is plummeting into a hole it may not be able to scrabble back out of for a long time. But what about local musicians? What happens when they can’t perform or pay their bills?
I’ve gathered some of my site’s favorite artists to talk about the impact of current events on their careers and creativity over my next few posts. Want to know how your favorites are faring, or what you can do to help? Read on!
Responses have been edited for grammar, length, and clarity.
“If we were to give any advice, it would be to keep that creative spirit engaged. And wash your hands.”
Based out of Asheville, North Carolina since 2017, Bad Ties takes PoJazz to a new level with their experimental mix of spoken word, jazz, and post-punk to create a brand new style of beat poetry. The work of Garland Wells (Poet), Jacob Moran (Producer), Billy Reed (Bass), and Jason Chrisman (Tenor Sax) is truly one of a kind, and I had the pleasure of reviewing their fourth LP, Music 4 No One Vol. 1.
Bad Ties wants to say “hello, everyone! As a band that thrives in a live setting, us dudes in Bad Ties have had to really go back to the drawing board this past month to figure out what we’re going to do to stay afloat in this bizarre climate. With such an oppressively somber mood cast across the entire globe, we’ve had to cancel many shows we had scheduled to promote the new album we put out. It sucks. It sucks for sure, but we’ve tried to look at this as an opportunity to work on new music, videos, and a full-fledged stage production we’ve had kicking around the attic for a little while now. So, if we were to give any advice, it would be to keep that creative spirit engaged. And wash your hands. Please.
“It’s important to stay busy and keep the music going! “
Marley Wildthing is a singer-songwriter originally from Austria, but she moved to Prague in 2015 and heard her wild side calling from the music industry. Since, she has played festivals like Austria’s Nova Rock as well as venues all over Europe, New Orleans, and California in the United States. In June 2019, Marley released “Tunnelvision,” which I truly enjoyed writing about!
Marley’s way of life has definitely changed due to the virus: “As a full-time musician playing every night, my life turned upside down with the closing of all bars and venues. But I don’t want to let it put me down—I’m writing some new songs for an EP with my partner, practicing my music skills, and organizing solo live streams and open mics. It’s important to stay busy and keep the music going! I also notice that people are much more positive and understanding with each other, and many want to support the arts, which is great!
If you want to support me, just follow me on Facebook or Instagram, where I have information on a Crowdfunding campaign for our EP!”
“For me, the hardest thing is not being able to share my music person-to-person and connect with people that way.”
Flo Petite is an independent artist with a lot of personality! She creates songs inspired by conversations, relationships, current events, and just about anything else. I reviewed her quirky and fun Pride Month release, “Gay.”
Flo’s career has been put on hold because of the virus: “I was on a tour right before everything got really crazy, and even had one of my shows cancelled. For me, the hardest thing is not being able to share my music person-to-person and connect with people that way. Furthermore, not knowing when I’ll be able to do so again. But thanks to social media, we’re still able to share our music in tons of different ways! I recently did an Instagram live session, and it was so much fun. Being an active fan on social media, streaming their music, maybe buying some merch if you have any extra funds to spare are all great ways to support musicians right now. But as a solo artist and the sole writer of my music, I’m appreciating this time to write. This last year has felt like a constant whirlwind for me, and it was hard to find time to sit down and delve into songwriting. It turns out I have more to say than I thought!”
You can help Flo get through this difficult time by listening to her music and buying merch here.