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 Baltic Coast, hitmaking tropical-house pioneer Felix Jaehn.
What’s it like where you are? Yeah, I’m pretty much locked down. In Germany, we’re still allowed to leave the house as long as we don’t have contact with more than one person – so, that’s cool. I live in the countryside, so I feel like I’m blessed anyway these days. I can still go outside, I can go to the beach, I can go for a run in the forest, and I have the nature around me to keep me calm, so I’m really grateful for that. I also have a beautiful home. I have a home studio. I have my family around me, so I’m allgood and have nothing to complain about. Just trying to see the positive and make use of this time.
Have you lost income-producing work? Of course, yeah — I’m a DJ. I was planning to tour this summer and a lot of festivals I was booked for have already been canceled and more soon are probably going to follow. So, it’s crazy. I can’t even put it into words [what’s it like] being a DJ and not being able to tour… it’s insane. It’s like the DNA of who I am and what I do. But, luckily, for my income from streaming and radio plays and stuff… I still make enough money, so I don’t have to worry about my personal income. I’m more worried about the people around me that are working in the live sector or photographers, tour managers, musicians, and so on. So it’s definitely a tough time for the live business and for all the DJs.
Are you doing anything now that can or will produce music-related income? Yeah, I’m finishing up my album. I have much more time in the studio and I’m working on music, so it should be allgood. Lots of music is coming.
What are you doing now that’s ultimately constructive to your music life/career? I’m producing, I’m writing, I’m finishing music and also I just moved promo even more over to social media. I was supposed to be on a promo trip for Europe right now for my new single “SICKO,” but obviously everything got canceled. So, what I do now is I do interviews like these via the phone and I do a lot of Skype interviews for TV and phoners for radio, and I go live on Instagram a lot and post way more now on my social media than I did before… just because I have more time and I’m not traveling as much, so I’m trying to just use the time and still stay connected with everybody and spread my vibe.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing? I was actually really happy to see that I’m quite content, even though we have to be distant from each other. Also, I realized that for the past two or three years, I’ve already been self-isolating myself. Back then, it was due to anxiety and panic attacks and stuff like that, and I just didn’t feel comfortable enough to go out, so I was always by myself reflecting, meditating, trying to figure things out and now I finally did. Like, I had an eight-week break in winter and I went to a mindfulness retreat and I have no more questions. I’m good, I’m happy, I’m peaceful, mindful, and present, and everything. Now that I have to be isolated, I can actually enjoy it because I’m happy all by myself. Obviously, I’m missing people and I’m missing hugs and physical contact and I miss being inspired by other people, but I’ve actually noticed that at this point I have no problem being alone at all.
Are you doing anything online? Have you seen anything that you like from other DJs? I started DJ streams on my Instagram account every Sunday at 6 pm CET, which is making this time feel more normal for me, and for my fans, as well. So what I’ll do is I’ll just DJ on Insta Live for like 45 minutes, and I even have special guests on the stream. I had Kungs on the stream already, I had Steve Aoki on the stream already, and some other friends. We’re just putting on a show and playing records and I’m trying to spread the good vibes via social media now. It’s a lot of fun. I love how everybody’s getting creative. One thing I thought was a really cool idea was when Don Diablo live-streamed from his pool. It’s just a fun idea and rare location, so it’s cool. I’m doing them outside in my garden and I’m trying to spread some open-air spring vibes.
Any theme tunes recommended for the moment? I’ve been listening to Michael Jackson’s “Heal the World.” I think that’s the vibe right now – heal the world and make it a better place for me and for you and for the entire human race. I hope, and I actually do believe, that besides all this struggle with the healthcare system and also with the economy and the financial problems of millions, if not billions, as a human race, hopefully, we’ll come out of this more united and more peaceful and more aware of who we are and also more aware of our relation to mother earth. I think it can be a really healing time as well.
Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation? My advice for mental health issues is always meditation. To me, it’s key. I started it three or four years ago. I meditate in the morning, I meditate at night, and it’s helping me so, so much to stay present and to stay positive. There’s various apps like Headspace, or Calm — I use the Plum Village app which is actually for free and it offers a lot of guided meditations and I can really recommend that. It just takes like 10 minutes every day, and it changed my life, so if you have struggles with mental health, anxiety, panic attacks, whatever, just give it a try. It’s only 10 minutes a day and it’ll change your life.
To check out more Life in Lockdown interviews, click here.