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When the Coronavirus shut us down, clubs and festivals ceased, and everyone was essentially forced inside with no definitive end in sight, DJ Times wondered: How is our tribe coping? How are DJs getting by? So, we sent out our “Coronavirus Questionnaire” to DJ/producers from all musical genres to find out.

During the crisis, DJ Times will be presenting the questionnaire responses from talented music-makers from all over the world. Here’s our latest installment, this time from Merry Ole England, British techno titan Alan Fitzpatrick.

Alan Fitzpatrick, We Are The Brave/Apex Faction, Southampton, U.K.
What’s it like where you are? We’ve been in lockdown since the end of March in the U.K. It’s only been a few weeks so far, so I’m just trying to enjoy the downtime as much as possible and not dwell on the negatives. It’s been great spending more time with my family. Ordinarily, I’d be travelling most weekends, so it’s nice to be at home with my wife and kids. We haven’t left the house unless we need to get groceries or walk the dog. It can get a bit tedious, but for now I’m just enjoying the quality time together. This will be the first Easter weekend in 10 years that I won’t be on tour and I plan to spend it in my garden in the sunshine. I’m very grateful to have our family home and outside space, as I know others are not so fortunate.

How are you spending most of your time? I’m mostly just chilling out with my family and pets. We’ve been homeschooling our kids and trying to think of fun activities to keep them occupied each day. The hot weather has helped a lot. We tend to spend most of the day in the garden doing arts and crafts and assault courses. Other than that, I’m indulging my hobbies. I’ve been reading, cooking and baking, playing Call of Duty and FIFA probably bit too much and spending a lot of time in the studio. It’s nice to have the spare time to explore new hobbies and finally tackle some things that have been on my to-do list. I’m learning Photoshop and abstract art, challenging myself on new synths and learning to play the guitar… again [laughs]. I’m really missing going fishing. It’s my No.-1 hobby and so good for relieving stress and pressing the reset button. All the fisheries in my area are closed for the foreseeable, so can’t wait for them to reopen.

Have you lost income-producing work? Yes, a lot of my March gigs were cancelled or postponed, and I don’t have anything in the diary for April/May, so no income for a couple months. It’s quite a scary situation to find yourself in, but I’m lucky to have some savings behind me that I can rely on until things get back to normal. Thankfully, everything at my label, We Are The Brave, is running as normal. We’re a small team and I’m really glad I haven’t had to lay anyone off or make any major changes the company.

Are you doing anything now that can or will produce music-related income? I’m smashing it in the studio. To be honest, my creativity is thriving at the minute. I’ve been working on my own productions and had some wicked ideas for the label.

What are you doing now that’s ultimately constructive to your music life/career? Aside from the productions and studio time, I’m really trying to engage with the fans. I’ve done a couple streams with Beatport, Drumcode and Paradise – all live from my home studio. Before all clubs officially closed, we’d planned a “We Are the Brave Behind Closed Doors” series where we recorded sets of label residents and myself at an empty venue in Southampton. Really glad we did that, as it’s helped us touch base with fans over the past month and a great way to promo our releases.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing? Probably how much I miss my friend and colleagues and normal life. It was a real blow to me in the beginning and took me a couple days to readjust my attitude and mindset. I’m in a much better place now and fully appreciate that we’ve all got to slow down our pace at some point – it’s healthy.

What have you done online? Seen anything you like, so far? I’ve already done a few, actually. You can find them on the Facebook page, YouTube or IGTV. I’m pleased to have raised money for good causes with Beatport ReConnect a couple weeks ago. Really impressed with our industry’s ability to adapt to the current situation. At any point during the day, you can go online and watch a live-stream from a headlining artist. I’ve got a lot of respect for their dedication to their fans. The Four Tet stream was cool – he’s such a wicked artist. I also enjoy re-watching our “Behind Closed Door” series. We had to adhere to government COVID guidelines when filming, so I didn’t catch the other DJs’ sets. It’s cool seeing a club empty, but the DJ is still playing. There’s something quite eerie about it –  looks very impressive.

Any theme tunes recommended for the moment? Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer” for when you’re losing your mind. Bloc Party’s “I Still Remember” for a throwback to the good times before all this kicked off and, finally, The Smiths’ “There Is a Light and It Never Goes Out” for our National Health Service and all the workers on the frontline.

Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation? Stay true to yourself and keep pursuing the things you enjoy. Just try to remember that no storm lasts forever and, if you’re still struggling, imagine how insane the first party will be once the restrictions are lifted. Can’t wait!

To check out more Life in Lockdown features, click here.

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