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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 the West Coast, the L.A.-based bass-house talent Zookëper (aka Michael Doerr).

Zookëper, Los Angeles, Calif., Enhanced Recordings

How did you spend most of your pandemic time? I’ve pretty much been locked in my apartment this whole year, although I do sneak out and play golf – very poorly – once or twice a week. It’s the ultimate mood-booster, and it’s nice to get a few hours without a computer or phone screen. I also learned how to make proper cocktails.

Have things changed over time? I had a really tough time finding any sort of drive to make music for the first month or two. I realized that live shows were really the gasoline powering my motivation to make tunes, so it took a little while to learn how to be productive without having any shows on the horizon.  

What important gigs did you lose? I had a pretty full touring schedule that was supposed to be starting in late March of 2020, festival bookings, etc. The irony isn’t lost on me. 

Are you doing anything now that can or will produce music-related income? Have you learned anything in the downtime? Luckily, I’ve still been getting commissioned for remixes from the major labels, as well as some income from past releases and syncs and a ghost production or two – so I’m grateful for all of that.

Any releases during this period? My latest release is “Think of You,” featuring Marlhy. But I’ve been releasing tunes all this past year, and actually have a ton of new music slated for 2021. 

What’s in your studio? Genelec monitors, KRK sub, a laptop, a MIDI keyboard, and a 909 machine. I’m obsessed with the Arturia Analog Lab plug-in suite and the Roland Cloud stuff.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing? It was pretty wild to find out – via Instagram – that COVID apparently doesn’t exist in Tulum? 

Have you done anything online recently? I did a live-stream for Insomniac on Christmas Eve and opened with the title theme to “Home Alone.”

Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation? Use the Headspace app to meditate, watch some ’90s action-thrillers. If you’re feeling tapped-out on creativity, try to imagine the feeling of your first show post-COVID, and make a song for that moment.

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

DJ Times Magazine is copyright © 2021 by DJ Publishing, Inc.