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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 Belgium, the Antwerp-based electronic talent Maxi Meraki.

Maxi Meraki, Antwerp, Belgium, Meraki Records

What’s it like where you’re living? In Belgium, we weren’t in such a strict lockdown, as I heard some of my friends and colleagues in Spain – but we also have a lot of restrictions. Now people need to work from home via Zoom, restaurants and bars are closed, only allowed to go to the supermarket alone, etc. Also wear masks inside all shops we enter, but not outside on the streets.

What important gigs did you lose? I was very much looking forward to my debut at the 10th edition of Extrema Outdoor Belgium, having a huge line-up to celebrate with other names such as Nic Fanciulli, Solomun, Damian Lazarus, and Kölsch… to name a few! Next to this festival, the event on the Pirate Ship in Ibiza also got cancelled. Made my debut here the year before in 2019 to warm-up for CircoLoco resident Nathan Barato. Also, this event is still highly remembered for Hot Since 82 playing a fantastic gig on it in 2018.

Are you doing anything now that can or will produce music-related income? Have you learned anything in the downtime? During lockdown, I started taking extra courses in graphic design, which benefits my overall graphic designs for new mixtapes, website, etc. Also, I printed some merchandise, such as T-shirts, which were loved by a lot of people… last pieces in stock now – ha-ha!

What are you doing now that’s ultimately constructive to your music life/career? For example, any releases during this period? Yes, a single, “You Get What You Want,” was recently released. Last month, I started working together with a management agency, which will help me grow and improve. Concerning releases there’s a lot coming: a release is coming every three to four weeks in the coming months and signing some great tracks with some great labels, so really looking forward to what’s coming the next months!

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing? During the last few months, people really realized how much they care about some people in life and how much they need to appreciate these moments and contacts. But not only people, also grabbing that drink at your favorite bar, favorite pasta at your number-one restaurant, etc. 

Have you done anything online recently? Some new live-streams are coming up in the next months. I’m in the creative process now – considering which music style, name of the live-stream, creating some new merchandise, etc. I’ll be a whole concept that I want to bring, not just to be like a “normal” live-stream, but to stand out!

Any themed tunes recommended for the moment? Ha-ha, this makes me think of singing in the shower or those evening drives alone in the car. But to add some great tunes to this list: Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” and, for sure, Womack & Womack’s “Teardrops.” I think a lot of people were down and lonely, so these tunes could help stand up and put a smile on that face!

Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation? To give some tips: I deleted the newspaper apps on my iPhone. It’s only negative all the time. And if you really want to read some news, just visit those newspapers via your browser and read them once a day. Also delete apps like Facebook on your phone. Focus on good stuff in life: discover a new hobby, be creative, go for long walks outside. Also, you can start putting energy into food and spending time in the kitchen. Because in the end, the kind of food you eat is what makes you wake up and how you feel.

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

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