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 North of the Boarder, Toronto’s bass enthusiast Kraysh.
How did you spend most of your pandemic time? I spend most of my time producing. I just put out a track called “Shrapnel,” which sounds like you’re throwing a garbage can into a pool of garbage cans. I was also gaming lightly throughout the holidays [laughs], but now it’s back to creating.
Have things changed over time? Literally, everything. The hairs on my head are starting to fall out and I haven’t even played my first festival. Don’t worry, though; I plan to make my nude-skull look intentional by sporting Voldemort-like attire for the rest of my life.
Did you lose important gigs, or income-producing work? I have lost some work. I’d say almost every artist has been hit by the pandemic somehow, and so fewer artists are outsourcing the mixing/mastering/writing of their songs, which is what most of my work consists of.
Are you doing anything now that can or will produce music-related income? Yes, I still am mixing, mastering and writing, but for less people. On rare occasion, I’ll teach.
Have you learned anything in the downtime? I was really bad at math in high school, so I’ve been using Khan Academy during the pandemic to re-learn a lot of the stuff that I flunked back then. I’m so good at it now that I’ve been tutoring my little brother and helping him get his marks up, which I feel really good about! I also spent late 2020 learning how to code, which is very fashionable. I’m dying to pick up vocal and piano lessons, so that I can expand my musical brain and have more outlets to express myself. I haven’t started yet because I really prefer in-person lessons when it comes to acoustic instruments… though, nowadays, you can learn anything for free on the internet. Might hit up YouTube.
What are you doing now that’s ultimately constructive to your music life/career? For example, any releases during this period? I’m trying to increase the frequency of my releases to one track every one or two months, which is why I put out “Shrapnel” so early this year. Someone’s going to read that and think, “That means your music won’t be as genuine because you’re forcing it,” which isn’t true. The majority of these tracks have been finished for one or two years and I’m touching them up before releasing them. Overall, I’m trying to put the pedal to the metal much harder. Getting more done, learning more, wasting less time, trying to eat better, smoke less. Some people are against “hustling” and the glorifying of it. I agree, it’s not for everyone, and glorifying bad practice is bad. But I think you can work hard without compromising your mental and physical health.
What’s in your studio? Focal Shape 6.5 monitors, UAD Apollo Twin X interface, random tube distortion, two analog synthesizers, and four modules – an oscillator, an envelope, a filter, and a granular thing. Also, Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones, MacBook Pro,
Zoom H5 portable recorder, Grundig mic, bass traps, broken guitar amp, broken guitar and a partridge in a pear tree.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing? Nothing has been surprising to me for some reason. Maybe I’m not as affected by the outside world because I don’t really go outside. It’s just like… oh, this is happening… now that is happening… and I keep producing.
Have you done anything online recently? Yes, I played Virtual Vibes Festival, which was an insane life experience. I also played one of Mad Zoo’s Minecraft Festival, and a really fun one with Electric Hawk. I’m planning on hosting live-streams and making some YouTube videos in the near future.
Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation? Stay connected with friends and family. Try to fill any extra time with things that build on the health of your body, mind and soul. Try not to fall into bad habits or things that you know will hurt you, which is very easy to do in these times.
To check out more Life in Lockdown interviews, click here.