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 heart of America, the melodic dubstep duo Crystal Skies (aka Denver’s Britain Holcomb and Minneapolis’ Aaron Dawson).
What’s it like where you’re living? How are you spending most of your time? Aaron Dawson: Right now, things are starting to open back up after being locked down for a while. The restrictions just got lifted in my state where businesses can now operate between 50-percent and full capacity, depending on the business. They also increased the number of people that can participate in gatherings. Sporting events and concerts are no longer locked down, although there is a cap on how many people can attend. Personally, I spend most of my time at home, which is what I was doing pre-pandemic anyway. I’m just working on music, coding, and other stuff. I still go on walks, hikes, or bike rides occasionally to get out of the house when it gets to be too monotonous.
Have you lost important gigs, or income-producing work? If so, very briefly, what kind? Britain Holcomb:
Luckily, I don’t depend on income from playing shows or other music-related income, which is a good thing because we definitely lost a lot of potential income due to not being able to tour or play shows. I think a lot of people got hit much harder than I did. That said, we did have to cancel a number of shows and festivals, as well as a ton of flights – so that hurt a little, for sure.
Are you doing anything now that can or will produce music-related income? Dawson: We’ve been working on music throughout the whole pandemic to make sure we’re ready when it ends, so I think that work will definitely pay off this year. The important thing is that we continue to release new music no matter what, so that people stay engaged. That way, later on, we won’t have to rebuild the momentum when the music scene returns to full strength. Oh, and our latest release is “Crazy While We’re Young,” featuring JT Roach.
What are you doing now that’s ultimately constructive to your music life/career? Holcomb: The biggest thing I’ve been doing is making sure to keep producing music, even if it’s not making a lot of money at the moment. I enjoy creating music too much to ever stop, so even if I never played another show or made another dollar from it, I probably would still do it. Music has been one of the main things to help me keep perspective on everything and avoid becoming overwhelmed with the situation. That’s been very helpful because the pandemic sometimes does feel like it will never end, so having something positive in your life to combat that is important.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing? Dawson: I learned that even though I’m an introvert, I need and benefit from social interaction much more than I thought I did. Not seeing people’s faces took a lot of getting used to – it makes you feel like you’re a robot in a field of robots. A lot of emotion is lost in social interactions when you can’t see someone’s face.
Have you considered doing anything online? Have you seen any DJ video streams that impressed you? Holcomb: We’ve done a few live-streams during the past year. It’s definitely a great way to connect with people, even if you can’t see them in person. It’s really cool to see artists going outside their normal comfort zone and adapting to the new environment. I’ve been very impressed by the way in which everyone has adjusted to this and tried to make the most of it, even with the difficult circumstances. I think probably online streaming for music is here to stay, even after the pandemic is over.
Any theme tunes recommended for the moment? Dawson: Superbus’ “All Alone” (Seven Lions Remix). Not just because it’s applicable to the current situation, but it’s just a fantastic remix, in general.
Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation? Holcomb: Just try to continue doing the things that you enjoy doing, as much as you can. Try to exercise and do things that are active, if possible. Learn a new skill or hobby, maybe something that you’ve always wanted to do, but never had an excuse to. Read a new book or listen to a new podcast. There are still so many ways to make every day interesting and improve and grow as a person in the process.
To check out more Life in Lockdown interviews, click here.
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