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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 Berlin-based electronic talent Anja Schneider.

Anja Schneider, Berlin, Germany, Sous Music

How did you spend most of your pandemic time? I tried not to let the whole situation get to me too much and stay as busy as I could. Besides the challenge of homeschooling and family time, I spent a lot of time in the studio and produced, as well as released a lot of new music. I used the time to actively work on new ideas and started the “Backstage” element of my “Club Room” podcast, which is where I get guests on for a chat. I have had FJAAK, Etapp Kyle, ANNA, Damian Lazarus, Chris Liebing and many more! I am excited for where this is doing to go, and I can’t wait to share some future guests with you all. I have also been very busy working as a political speaker and representative for Booking United, which is a government-recognized association looking after over 2,000 artists and 170 agencies and management companies across Germany. I am also going to be back on National Radio with documentation about artists during the pandemic.

Have things changed over time? Of course, but if I am honest with myself… they have been only for the good. To reflect more and concentrate on the little things has been refreshing – although, at times, a challenge. But I love challenges, and they all make us better people.

Did you lose important gigs, or income-producing work? Yes, like everyone we have no gigs and no way of making money. I do not have any other revenues streams to support myself or my family. We have lost all of our income and the hardest part about this is that we have received no support for a year. Other business-related or commercially recognised industries have all been given as much support to get through this as possible. I believe that many people in the creative, music and arts world feel that we are just forgotten, and it’s such a shame as we help to provide something, which helps many to get through these hard times. We needed a voice, and that’s why I joined Booking United.

Are you doing anything now that can or will produce music-related income? Yes, apart from shows which is the main income, I do also have my radio show on Radio Eins, which is a weekly show, and I do some journalism contributions, but that’s not enough to survive long-term.

Have you learned anything in the downtime? Yes, that cohesion exists and we need to learn to support each other as much possible.

What are you doing now that’s ultimately constructive to your music life/career? For example, any releases during this period? I have been making a lot of new music in lockdown, so I opened 2021 with my “Turning My Head” EP on my own label Sous Music, and then that’s been followed by a two-part EP, “Dubmission” and “All I See.” I am also working on some new remixes for a Liverpool duo I love at the moment called Matrefakt, and Tesla 286. I’ll also be contributing a track for the Detroit Marble Bar compilation. I feel that we’ve all been given more time than we ever expected during the last year to be at home, in the studio and get new music out there.

What’s your studio like? I am a partner with two dear friends, Jan-Eric and Klas in Berlin at Blackhead Studios. So, over the years, it’s become a treasure trove of all the synths and equipment you can ever imagine. It’s a mixed office space, too, with a nice kitchen area, so it’s a place you can easily spend all day at. We have had it for five years now and have been bringing it up to date gradually, but it’s an ongoing project. It’s a full-time mixing, mastering and production studio, where we – before Corona – had lots of clients coming on a regular basis, and we have three suites in total.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing? I had no idea how much I miss the contact with other people. Even random people, hugging them and meeting new faces every weekend. We all need hugs, especially me!

Have you done anything online recently? I didn’t do any streams during 2020, apart from a live event with Watergate online, because I simply didn’t like the feeling of them. I want and need to contact and interaction with the crowd, it’s so important for me. But I think that maybe I will be doing something soon this year, as I think none of us realized this would still be going on now. My podcast, “Club Room,” and the interview part, “Backstage,” is a full-time operation for me and is weekly, so that keeps me on my toes and online all the time. You can now also follow me on Patreon to get some exclusive content and workshops, etc.

Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation? Stay the f**k at home!

To check out more Life in Lockdown interviews, click here.

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