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 Down Under, the Melbourne-based house hero Dom Dolla (aka Dominic Matheson).
What’s it like where you are? Here in Melbourne, almost everything is totally locked down, except the essential services such as pharmacies or supermarkets. No groups greater than two can gather than in public, and a “state of emergency” has been announced in Victoria where I live. So, I’ve been ordering most of my groceries online and haven’t really left the house for a while. I’m spending most of my days making music. It’s been a welcome break for me in many ways, as I’ve spent the last few years touring without much of a breather.
What income-producing work have you lost? I’ve lost the majority of 2020’s shows and festivals – U.S. and European Tours, Tomorrowland, Ultra Music Festival – the list goes on. So, financially, it’s certainly not great. But I’m definitely not the only one. So many of my peers are suffering right now… I’m grateful I’ve got a roof over my head and food on the table, and my family is healthy.
What are you doing now that’s ultimately constructive to your music life/career? I’m writing as much music as I possibly can at the moment, spending my time collaborating with friends online and brushing up on a few instruments I haven’t touched in years. It’s difficult to spend any time dedicated solely to your craft, while on the move so much. So I’m pleased to be sitting still for a while.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing? How much the “work-from-home” lifestyle is considered so scary and difficult by many of my friends, who are experiencing it for the first time. It’s really all I’ve ever known working as a producer and a designer before that… so I’ve got plenty of tips and tricks for them. [laughs]
What have you done online? Have you seen any streams that you like from other DJs? I recorded a “Virtual Day Party” with some friends here in Melbourne, which launched in April on Facebook and YouTube. There’s also live sets for Defected and Tomorrowland. I’ve really been enjoying the [Calvin Harris] Love Regenerator sets, as well as sets from MK and Four Tet.
Any theme tunes recommended for the moment? “Live Stream” by Mark Knight, Green Velvet & René Amesz.
Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation? This social-distancing lifestyle isn’t much different from how I spend most of my time, generally, as I’m isolated friends and family quite often. I’d recommend exercising as much as you can, meditating to keep your eye on a lot of the cognitive distortions your brain can fling your way when riding solo… and just generally setting up a healthy daily routine doing things you love – learning an instrument or becoming infatuated by developing new skills! A consistent sleep schedule is hard to maintain on the road, but you can certainly keep it on lock at home. Don’t forget to Facetime a friend or family member daily.
To check out more Life in Lockdown features, click here.
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