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 this period, DJ Times will continue presenting the questionnaire responses from talented music-makers from all over the world. Here’s our latest entry, this time from Ireland, the Dublin-based future-house practitioner Jay Pryor.
What’s it like where you’re living? I spent seven months of lockdown in the U.K., but recently decided to come home to Ireland for a change. I started lockdown a month before we were advised to, as I was convinced I had COVID (still am). In both countries, things are quite similar. I have to restrict movement for 14 days here in Ireland, but after that I can meet with friends, go out for a bite, etc.
How did you spend most of your lockdown time? During lockdown, I did the regular – making music, watching TV, video games, etc. But I tried to focus on myself as much as I could. I’ve been battling demons for a while and I felt it was a really good time to acknowledge those demons, as opposed to finding a way to distract myself from them. I think a lot of people have started to look inward from this experience, which is hugely important. On a lighter note, I also started a weekly mix series called “Sunset Sessions from My Balcony,” which would be accompanied by a London city backdrop and a can of Guinness every Friday.
What important gigs have you lost? I had gigs lined up over summer that I lost out on. I had just gotten my U.S. visa and was about to head to Miami Music Week, but couldn’t because there were murmurings that we’d be put into lockdown. It was a strange time because I had to make a gut choice: Go and risk being stuck in Miami for months? Or stay home and play it safe? I’m glad I stayed because I would’ve been broke sleeping in Miami hotels for seven months!
Are you doing anything now that can or will produce music-related income? Not really. Thankfully, I have income from streaming royalties from independent releases, but if I didn’t have that I’d be fairly shafted. It’s a really tough time to do what I do right now – I’m just grateful I’ve been able to stay afloat, as there are many who haven’t been so lucky.
What are you doing now that’s ultimately constructive to your music life/career? I just released my new single, “Aside.” This one signifies a shift, sonically and visually. I’ve spent years working on this music and the majority of lockdown pinning down the messaging behind the branding/visuals. I’m really excited about this next phase and it’ll be a story to tell the grandkids… that it all came from being in lockdown.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing? Probably that the vast majority of our population hadn’t been looking after basic hygiene previous to all of this. I really hope this period helps people realize that basic hygiene is important and should be regularly washing their hands, etc.
What have you done online? Have you seen any DJ video streams that impressed you? I’ve just hosted the weekly mix. I’ve been tuning into a lot of streams, though – I’m loving Guy Lawrence from Disclosure’s Twitch stream at the moment.
Any theme tunes recommended for the moment? Daniel Bedingfield’s “Gotta Get Thru This.”
Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation? Well, I’m definitely past the point of sanity, but I’m not sure COVID/lockdown had anything to do with that! [laughs] Perspective is important. Look around you – look at what you’ve got. There are people who would dream of what you have around you. It’s a shit situation, but it could be much, much, much, much worse. Try and focus on the positives. We’re conditioned to look at this entire time negatively, when in reality there is a lot of potential for good to come from this.
To check out more Life in Lockdown interviews, click here.
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