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 the west of England, the house-music-making sibling duo, Icarus (aka Tom and Ian Griffiths).
What’s it like where you are? Well, currently it’s a beautiful, sunny morning here in Bristol. I (Tom) have been to the supermarket this morning and, although it was busier than normal, it was pretty much fully stocked and people were calm. Most people are taking this very seriously and practicing the social-distancing guidelines that have been set out. We’re also doing this. We have been working from home, separately. It’s not too bad at the moment as we can do plenty of work on a laptop with MIDI controllers and headphones. We can also interact with peers and fans on social media, which is keeping our spirits up. Since the gyms closed, home workouts have become a thing, too.
What income-producing work have you lost? Yes, like everyone else, we have also had to pull shows. We had been planning a live tour in the U.K. for April, but that was postponed – likely to September/October time, but we’re still figuring the dates out. We’ll just have to see what happens with festivals in the back end of the summer. Needless to say, it’s going to be a tough year.
Are you doing anything now that can or will produce music-related income? We’re trying to, yes. We do remixes, production and mix work for other artists and labels, so as long as some people still want these sorts of things, then we can try to bring in some music-related income. However, like most artists in this industry, the live scene is really our bread-and-butter, so we have the worry that most artists do right now.
What are you doing now that’s ultimately constructive to your music life/career? This situation has made us connect with people much more regularly. We chat to a lot of other producers and artists on social media, which in turn leads to sending music and ideas back and forth, sending them releases forthcoming on our record label for their support, chatting to vocalists about future collaborations, and so on. It’s also a chance to step back and assess where we’re at and where we’d like to go with things. It’s giving us time to plan steps on how to progress, which we may not have done so subjectively if we were wrapped up in our daily lives.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing? How “on-demand” everything is for everyone. Personally, we try to practice awareness on a daily basis and be grateful for all the good in our lives, but I don’t think anyone could have mentally prepared for this situation. We’re so used to being able to access things whenever we like, go where we like, see who we like, and now that’s being curbed – with good reason, obviously – which makes you step back and appreciate how lucky we are in daily life.
Have you done anything online during this time? Have you seen anything that you like? We’ve done some online mixes. We’ve also been watching some DJs online this week. Calvin Harris/Love Regenerator is a good one! We’ve also seen sets from Disclosure and Hot Since 82 b2b Michael Bibi.
Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation? Without wanting to sound patronizing… remembering that we are all in this together and that we will, in time, get through this. Speaking with friends, family and even people you don’t know through social media, or call/text can dramatically lift your mood and let’s others know they’re not alone. I think it’s natural to be experiencing COVID-19-related anxiety at this time. The simplest thing we’ve found for calming anxiety in the moment is deep breathing. If you can catch yourself getting caught up in anxious thoughts, then taking 30 seconds to a minute to feel your feet on the ground, breath in deeply through your nose and slowly out through your mouth can be instantly calming.
To check out more Life in Lockdown interviews, click here.
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