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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 Miami, the hoopster-turned-house-music-maker Rony Seikaly

Rony Seikaly, Miami, Fla., STRIDE Records

What’s it like where you’re living? How did you spend most of your time? In Miami, in particular, we didn’t really feel it as much as others because of the outdoors, and we’re allowed to be outdoors and stuff like that. So we didn’t get the brunt of it like most people that did. So I’m spending my time just making music and educating myself on things that I didn’t know, and use this time to really get better at everything that I do. And I think it was an amazing time that we could never have had otherwise.

Did you lose important gigs, or income-producing work? Not really. I’m pretty selective with the gigs that I choose to do, anyway. Although, of course, I was missing out on them, I know I will return to them when the world is in a better place again to do so. 

Have you learned anything in the downtime? I make music because I love making music. I don’t think of it as what’s gonna make me money and what’s not. I just think about just producing good music and if it works, it works. Again, it’s about just expanding my horizons as a producer, as a DJ, and just getting familiar with things that I didn’t have time for before with a hectic schedule. 

What music have you released recently? Lots of music, including “Kidda” and a full-length comp for my label called Stride All-Stars, Vol. 1.  

In the studio, what’s your set-up? I just realized not too long ago that the more toys you have, the less productive you become. So, I think, just like everything else in life, the simpler it is, the better it is, and being simple and good is a lot harder than people can imagine. I use Ableton Live and I have a few plug-ins that I like… obviously, [Spectrasonics] Omnisphere like everybody else. I mean, it’s got some great sounds.

What’s your creation process in the studio? I just need a little bit of an inspiration. It could be percussions. It could be a vocal. It could be a melody, and I just build around that. I see music as a way of a puzzle in my head, and I try to start with the imagination of what track this track can be, and just build around it. That’s the way I do things.

What’s your typical DJ set-up? The Pioneers, obviously, and I prefer the Pioneer mixer to the Allen & Heath, because my fingers are too big and the buttons are smaller, or closer together, actually.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing? I just realized how much time we spend giving our energies to others. What this time has really taught us is that we could actually spend time learning and doing things that we’ve always put off. And it just shows family becomes more important, everything becomes more important. Just gives you time to just stop and think for a minute. It’s something that everybody has through meditation, but this is in reality. 

Have you done anything online recently? Have you seen any DJ video streams that impressed you? No, that’s something I really haven’t done for a while. I have loved a lot of the streams I’ve seen, especially the big Beatport and Defected ones, but I’ve been holding out for the real thing… hopefully soon, fingers crossed.

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

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