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 Germany, the Bonn-based electronic talent Mausio (aka Claudio Mikulski).
What’s it like where you’re living? How did you spend most of your lockdown time?
I live in Bonn, Germany, and we are allowed to go out, but only with 10 people and two households since beginning of November. The first two months of this year were planned as studio break and I used most of the time to build my first professional studio. When the first lockdown came in March, I just locked myself completely in and started producing all around the clock. Even if I miss touring so much that it really hurts, I could use the time as best as possible and now I have around 16 tracks that are at different levels of finishing. It was and is the most exciting time in my producer career, as I’m working with a lot of great musicians from all over the world via online sessions.
Did you lose important gigs, or income-producing work? Yes, definitely. I think for every live artist this year is really a nightmare. I worked really hard with my team the last year and had over 50 festival shows confirmed for 2020 and more than 120 shows in general. We made big steps regarding the placement on the stages, playtimes and everything. We had plans for a new visual and SFX concept and were totally ready to go after the studio break. I couldn´t even say there was this one important show I lost, as there were so many crazy big things planned. On the production side, I was extremely productive as mentioned above and tried to make the best of the situation I couldn’t change anyway.
What are you doing now that’s ultimately constructive to your music life/career? What’s your latest release? “You and Me” feat. Malou is the latest… I have never studied any kind of music production, nor am I from a musical family, nor did I inherit a big record collection from someone. I taught myself everything on my own from the first days of producing music around 10 years ago. This extremely intense phase in the studio, which would have never been possible when touring so much as planned, was like a full production course and I have learned new things every day. The best example is that I wanted to record some vocals during the first lockdown in April, but all recording studios were closed. So, I bought everything you need and taught myself vocal recording in a few days and now I never need to rent a studio again.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing? It was not surprising to me, but I never thought I will miss touring so much. I would die to wait five hours at an airport for a delayed flight or driving by car through the whole country to play a 90-minute show at the moment. The emotions you can create on stage, the interaction with the crowd, the feelings music can express and the excitement you have before a show starts is something that nothing can replace.
Have you done anything online recently? Have you seen any DJ video streams that impressed you? I had a lot of requests for live-streams, but I don´t want to do this. For me, playing music and performing is something that consists out of the eye-to-eye-level experience between the crowd and me. I really see every single person in the audience and their reaction influences my set and my performance. If I play a set in an empty room in front of a camera, I feel lost, and I don´t know how to behave or move. It sounds weird, but it’s a lot easier for me to play in front of 10,000 people instead of playing for one person.
Any theme tunes recommended for the moment? “Let’s Love” by David Guetta feat. Sia.
Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation? Do something you love, even if it has nothing to do with your business. Try to communicate as much as you can when you feel alone or sad with the persons you trust and always stay positive. After rain comes sun, so never give up your dream throughout a situation which is not your fault.
To check out more Life in Lockdown interviews, click here.