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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 Germany’s Rhineland, the Cologne-based house-music master Ben Delay.

Ben Delay, Nervous Records, Cologne, Germany

What’s it like where you are? We live in a small town near Cologne – and yes, we are locked down like our whole country is at the moment. As I have my studio newly build up in the basement, I luckily can work on new music most of my time. Also, we have a big garden so we are able to play with our little daughter outside.

What income-producing work have you lost? I have lost all of my gigs, as nobody is booking DJs right now and all events are cancelled around the globe. As said before, I can produce new music, but we all know that music is not the main income anymore – it’s the live-DJ gigs. So it’s a big problem for all artists to earn money in these difficult times.

Are you doing anything now that can or will produce music-related income? Music, music, music – that’s all I can do at the moment. And to be honest, I am very privileged that I have the possibility to be working on new music, while many other people already lost their jobs… even if I also don’t know when this whole DJ-thing will be running again… and even if these new tracks become successful, the payment for them will be in about one or two years.

What are you doing now that’s ultimately constructive to your life and/or career? Having as much quality time with my little princess and my wife is the best part of all this, and it makes me even more creative. There is nothing more important than family. The smile of my daughter is the best thing in the world these days and it keeps me working harder than ever before.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing? It’s the little things. We just moved to our new house one month before the lockdown, so we didn’t know anything about our new neighbors. And now everybody in this street is taking care of each other. Some are baking cakes for the neighborhood. Some go to the supermarket for the older people. It’s good to see that the people care about each other when it really matters.

Have you done anything online? Have you seen any DJ streams that impressed you? Of course, I try to keep posting stuff on my socials like Facebook and Instagram, but it’s hard to find new things to post when you are just sitting in the studio every day. I’ve quite enjoyed some of live streams and I liked Purple Disco Machine’s the most.

Any theme tunes recommended for the moment? Monty Python’s “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.”

Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation? Call your family & friends! Keep talking to other people. Take online piano lessons or whatever. Do whatever you always wanted to learn – now you got the time to do all this. And please stay safe – we’ll all get through this somehow!

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

DJ Times Magazine is copyright © 2020 by DJ Publishing, Inc.