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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 L.A., Australian electronic talent Kito (aka Maaike Kito Lebbing).

Kito, Los Angeles, Calif., Astralwerks

What’s it like where you’re living? I moved in with one of my best friends because we realized doing the pandemic alone is really not a vibe! But I kept my studio throughout the last year, which definitely has been amazing. It’s like my little sanctuary where I can go and feel like life is somewhat normal.

Did you lose important gigs, or income-producing work? Like a lot of musicians, I lost some income on gigs, but I felt very lucky to have music to work on – for my own project and production work for other artists. I did a lot of finishing! 

Are you doing anything now that can or will produce music-related income? Have you learned anything in the downtime? Lots of production and writing for other artists, as well as working on music for my own project. I did music supervision for the first time. It was for a short film called “FEMME,” starring Paapa Essideu, from “I May Destroy You,” and Harris Dickinson. It has been accepted to show at SXSW. I’ve always wanted to do music supervision and loved getting familiar with the process. Really excited for this short to come out and hope I get to do more. 

What are you doing now that’s ultimately constructive to your music life/career? For example, any releases during this period? I just put out a single called “Recap” featuring VanJess and Channel Tres. I’m super-proud of this record and love this collaboration. We just dropped the official video this week.

In the studio, what’s your set-up? I use Logic and, though it’s not the most creative plug-in to mention, I’ve been using SIR Audio Tools’ StandardCLIP a lot recently, which has really improved my mixes. I’m pretty much all in-the-box, so no exciting vintage hardware. But I think that might be the next thing for me to explore. 

What’s your creation process in the studio? It depends what part of the process it is! I tend to bounce around between different projects a lot. Sometimes I’m in more of a finishing/sound-sculpting mood and sometimes I like to just experiment and start new ideas. 

What’s your typical DJ set-up? I use Pioneer CDJs and a mixer and USBs with rekordbox. I love being able to create folders on my computer and add stuff, as I discover new music. 

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this odd period? How normal it feels to stay in on a Saturday night now. I was such a FOMO person pre-pandemic. 

Have you done anything online recently? I haven’t dived into live-streaming like a lot of people have. I kind of did the opposite at the start of lockdown. However, I do want to explore doing some production stuff live on Twitch and Instagram. 

Any theme tunes recommended for the moment? I released an accidental lockdown song at the beginning of the pandemic called “Alone With You” featuring AlunaGeorge, and we shot a DIY video during lockdown. So I’ll say that one! [laughs] 

Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation? Be kind to yourself! It’s unrealistic to be happy and productive all the time. The dips are normal and there’s nothing wrong with them! And they’re never permanent.

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

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